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DVD Review: Say Anything… 20th Anniversary Edition

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I gave her my heart. She gave me a pen.  — Lloyd Dobler

I first fell in love with Lloyd Dobler, the main character in Say Anything…, when I was readying to graduate high school in 1989. His edict not to “sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career… sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed” was music to my not-yet-determined-a-career-path-in-life ears.

Flash forward two decades, and Say Anything… is just as good as it was back then. What’s not to like about a movie packed with now mega-stars but then virtual nobodies, great writing and acting, an awesome soundtrack, and a quirky, funny love story?

In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a quick recap: John Cusack (2012) plays Lloyd Dobler, an average student and big-time kick-boxing fanatic/semi-semi pro; Ione Skye (Fever Pitch) plays valedictorian Diane Court, Lloyd’s love interest; John Mahoney (Frasier) plays Diane’s overbearing but well-intentioned father; Lili Taylor (Six Feet Under) plays one of Lloyd’s gal-pal BFFs; John’s sister, Joan Cusack (The School Of Rock, plus practically every film her brother has even been in), plays Lloyd’s sister; and Jeremy Piven (Entourage), Eric Stoltz (Some Kind of Wonderful), and Chynna Phillips (one of the trio from the band Wilson Phillips) also pop up in cameos.

Lloyd loves Diane from afar. He finally musters up the courage to ask her out via an awkward telephone call. Surprising both of them, Diane says yes. Lloyd takes her to a raging grad night party, where he is congratulated for showing with Diane, as exhibited in this exchange:

Guy: I don't know you very well, you know, but I wanted to ask you — how'd you get Diane Court to go out with you?

Lloyd:  I called her up. 

Guy: But how come it worked? I mean, like, what are you? 

Lloyd: I'm Lloyd Dobler. 

Guy:  This is great. This gives me hope. Thanks. 

Heck, even Diane is appreciative of Lloyd’s efforts:

Diane: Nobody knew me before tonight.

Lloyd: They knew of you. Now they know you.

The charming, sincere Lloyd quickly charms Diane (how could he not, when he points out glass so she doesn’t step in it?) and the pair end up spending the summer together. The elephant in the room is that Diane has a scholarship to a school in England (and a father who wants to dictate her every move). With the end of summer looming and Lloyd becoming more of an influence on Diane, she struggles to reconcile her life plans with her unexpected relationship with Lloyd.

Say Anything has a 100-minute run time and is rated PG-13. The DVD is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, with sound in Dolby Digital 5.1 (so every line of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” is crystal clear). Subtitles are available in English, French, and Spanish.

Standard extras include the requisite commentary track with director Cameron Crowe, Skye, and John Cusack. Surprisingly, this was the first film Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) directed, but boy, did he prove he was a director to watch with Say Anything…. This is no ordinary commentary, too, as it opens with a 21-minute discussion from the three that takes place while production photos play out on-screen, all before launching into the movie itself. The three share great rapport in the commentary.

Next, there are 10 deleted scenes, 13 extended scenes and five alternate scenes (including two variations of the infamous “Lloyd with the Boom Box” complete with commentary from Crowe). Rounding out the expected extras, but with an extra touch, are Crowe’s personal photos from the film, trailers, Say Anything… TV spots, and a vintage featurette.

The 20th Anniversary edition of Say Anything also features two surprising and fun extras beyond the standard fare. The first is “A Conversation with Cameron Crowe,” in which he discusses working on his directorial debut. The second is “I Love Say Anything,” in which famous (funny) fans who love the film explain why they do (in the vein of VH1’s I Love the 80s).

Side note: On November 3, New York City held four “Mobler” events (in Penn Station, Washington Square Park, Union Square, and Times Square) to celebrate Say Anything…. Dressed in trench coats and carrying boom boxes, a mob of Lloyd Dobler look-a-likes took to the streets for the formation of a full-blown “Mobler” and live concert. The film inspired a band, Lloyd Dobler Effect (LDE), named for the awkward yet earnest and endearing Dobler, and in honor of their namesake film’s 20th Anniversary Blu-ray and DVD release, the band performed the song forever associated with the movie, Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes,” acoustically live in Times Square.

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