There are lots of iconic and emblematic images in film; the knight playing chess with Death, Scarlett standing tall against the setting sun, Bogey watching the plane roar away into the fog. Another example, one more modern, is a simple one: John Cusack standing outside the house of a girl, looking up into the window, holding a boombox over his head that’s playing ‘In Your Eyes’ by Peter Gabriel. It says so much, and says so little, that people often forget it’s a part of a larger film, one that I originally thought had inexplicably made the list for that iconic scene alone. Well, I was wrong; there’s so much going for Say Anything that I don’t really know where to begin.
I have no idea what I was expecting with this; maybe I was just expecting a little more… “movie”-ness, but this didn’t really have any of that. What it did have was a surprisingly poignant and touching high school romance story, without any of the normal Hollywoodized high school stuff or dramatic twists and turns. It was incredibly, incredibly straightforward, and it was so refreshing to watch, just to sit through a film with no frills and no need for airs or pretensions of how it should act; it was a breath of fresh air for me. The acting was perfect, the script was spot on, the direction was seamless, and the immersion factor was so high that I had trouble coming down once the film was over.
Of course, this also means that there’s nothing in the film that really sticks out as particularly exemplary or worthy of note. Even the iconic “boombox outside the window” scene is rather inconsequential in the whole run of the film; I wouldn’t have thought anything of it had I not already known of its iconic status. Still, the film as a whole was just so solidly well done that I couldn’t help but realize just how much I liked it. This is one I will likely revisit at some point in the future, and as for those previously like me who had never seen it, give it a chance; you might just find a new favorite with this one, like I did.
Arbitrary Rating: 9/10