25 years later, 'Say Anything' gives us a heart, and we give it an 'A'
Director Cameron Crowe has said before that he often writes a movie with the goal of having one or two lines stand out and be remembered long after the movie leaves theaters. For 1989's Say Anything, it was "I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen." Say Anything, released April 14, 1989, turns 25 years old today.
The movie, which follows a lovable underachiever (John Cusack) who is looking for a "dare to be great" situation. He finds it in an unlikely relationship with the high school valedictorian (Ione Skye). It's a high school movie where approximately 2 minutes of it happens in high school -- their graduation ceremony. Instead it's a movie about friendship ... with potential. And it's pure Cusack-Crowe magic.
Film critic Roger Ebert adored Say Anything, writing: "The romance between Diane and Lloyd is intelligent and filled with that special curiosity that happens when two young people find each other not only attractive but interesting - when they sense they might actually be able to learn something useful from the other person."
To celebrate the movie's silver anniversary, here are 10 things you probably didn't know about Say Anything:
1. Eric Stoltz once promised Crowe he'd appear in any movie Crowe would have him in. In Say Anything, he's Vahlere, the guy who throws the graduation party.
2. When Lloyd drops the line about kick-boxing and Don 'The Dragon' Wilson, you might wonder who he's talking about. Wilson, who won 11 world kick-boxing titles, actually makes a cameo in the film. He's Lloyd's sparring partner.
3. Speaking of kick-boxing, the dojo that Lloyds teaches in is the same dojo used in 1984's The Karate Kid.
4. When Lloyd holds up the boom box for the film's iconic seen, the song that's actually playing is a Fishbone song. Cusack was a huge fan of the band at the time. Only after the movie was completed was Crowe able to get Peter Gabriel's permission to use In Your Eyes.
5. Most people think of Cusack and Lloyd Dobler as indivisible, but Cusack wasn't the first choice for the part. Robert Downey Jr. turned down the role, and Christlan Slater also auditioned for the part. Kirk Cameron also was considered.
6. Likewise, Skye wasn't the first pick for playing Diane Court. Elisabeth Shue was initially considered for the role.
7. Crowe, along with his then-wife Nancy Wilson, make a cameo in the film as pedestrians in front of the mall where Lloyd and Diane had their first "date."
8. "I gave her my heart, and she gave me a pen." was voted as the No. 73 of the "100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere magazine. The line didn't make AFI's list of 100 best movie quotes, but two Crowe lines from Jerry Maguire do. ("Show me the money!" and "You had me at 'hello.'")
9. John Mahoney, who played Diane Court's dad, used to say fans would come up to him all the time and quote his memorable line: "I'm incarcerated, Lloyd!"
10. Not everyone loved the movie. Variety called it a "half-baed love story" and the New York Times said "the film doesn't have much to offer an actual adult." The movie retains a 98 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.