The movie's writer&director, Cameron Crowe, is a former writer for Rolling Stone. Due to his purported "baby face" appearance, the magazine sent him on an undercover assignment to a local high school and report on what had changed, if anything, in high school life. From that assignment grew a book, and then the hilarious film, Fast Times at Ridegmont High. (Who can ever forget Sean Penn's blowout performance as Jeff Spicoli?) That movie was his authorial debut; his directorial debut, SAY ANYTHING arguably qualifies as his most endearing film. Cameron's filmography includes SINGLES, JERRY McQUIRE, and ALMOST FAMOUS (largely autobiographical); each lusciously good.
But SAY ANYTHING is sui generis; head and shoulders above the crowd. This could be due to Cameron's writing and directing, or John Cusack's astounding performance as Lloyd Dobler. John Cusack is that rara avis actor: he imbues each role with a sensibility that surmounts the many hurdles of the medium. Whatever the reason or reasons for this film's enduring success, it begs the question of how resonant the film is for many of us.
This Washington Post article details the effect Lloyd Dobler has for many (in particular, women); even today eighteen years later! What the article's writer fails to note is that the pithy speech Cusack delivers re his future profession was written by John Cusack, and as such is pure, undistilled Cusack. Moments such as that one (and the mentioned 7-11 parking lot scene) continue to haunt me.
-- David M Gordon / The Deipnosophist