Saturday, January 21, 2006

[DVD] Say Anything (1989)

It's weird, but it has happened. I've been subconsciously borrowing DVDs which has John Cusack starring in them, and this time, it's John Cusack together with one of my favourite storytellers (storyteller, cos he wrote and directed his own films) Cameron Crowe, in Crowe's directorial debut with Say Anything.

From this early work, you can't help but notice the foundations laid for Crowe's later works, with the loads of music incorporated and some moving the narrative forward, and the enjoyable characters he creates - some seem so ordinary, yet so real and special, the idiosyncrasies that have, the quirky situations they're put in, the character development.

Ordinary, identifiable characters have become hallmarks, and in this film, it is no different. Perhaps what made this simple story endear itself, is the chameleon John Cusack. Here, he plays average joe Lloyd Dobler, who has just graduated from high school, but has no big plans for himself in the aftermath. He's at a lost at what to do, but had stunned his cohort by dating the school sweetheart, and the brainiest scholar at that. That unattainable beauty with brains, Diane Court (Ioan Skye), the object of every schmuck's desire.

But then you have her overprotective father who objects to their relationship (don't they always?) and a looming corporate scandal (like NKF's) which questions morality between two different camps of thought. The bigger picture might already seem familiar given that the boy-meets-girl-love-breakup-reconciliation theme has been done to death, but what appeals is the really witty dialogue amongst characters, despite some stuff looking out of date (hey, it's a 1989 movie after all).

The Special Edition Code 1 DVD comes with so many extras, check this - 13 extended scenes (those shortened to speed up the pace, so it's included here instead), 10 deleted scenes (those that didn't make the final cut, which explained in more detail certain subplots like the corporate scandal cum investigation), and 5 alternate scenes. There's also an audio commentary by Crowe, Cusack and Skye, as well as the theatrical trailers.

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