Say Anything… (1989)

Film and Plot Synopsis

An improbable couple meets after high school graduation and must deal with their friends, family, and other pressures just to stay together. Lloyd Dobler is an average kickboxer with a good heart but limited ambition. Diane Court is an aloof genius who is very closely protected by her father. When Diane gets a scholarship to study in England, she has a weighty decision to make that is made only more complicated by a criminal investigation against her father.

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‘Say Anything…’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Say Anything... (1989)Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) is a high school senior who has a crush on one of his fellow classmates and valedictorian Diane Court (Ione Skye). Lloyd and Diane are both graduating for high school in Seatle. Lloyd’s parents live overseas, so he lives with his older sister Constance (Joan Cusack) and her young son. Diane lives with her doting divorced father Jim (John Mahoney) who owns a retirement home that Diane works part time at.

Lloyd has no definitive plans for his future, while Diane is on a trajectory for greatness. Diane wins a fellowship that will allow her to attend college in England at the end of the summer. Lloyd calls and asks Diane out to a party even though he is told by everyone that she is out of his league. Diane agrees to the date, and when she shows up at the party with Lloyd, everyone is surprised. The party is thrown by Vahlere (Eric Stoltz) who is a former student who throws a graduation party every year.

At the party, everyone tells Diane how great Lloyd is. Lloyd is placed in charge of everyone’s cars keys so he maintains some distance from Diane, while always checking on her. Diane has a great time and feels for the first time, unfortunately, that her classmates finally got to know her. She agrees to see Lloyd again and invites him to a dinner at her house with her father and his friends. During the dinner, Internal Revenue Service agents show up at the door and inform Mr. Court that he is under investigation. Mr. Court denies the allegations and tells them to talk to his lawyer.

Over the summer, Lloyd and Diane spend a lot of time together. Diane takes Lloyd to meet the residents of the retirement home where she works at. Lloyd teaches Diane to drive a stick shift car. They eventually have sex together in the back of Lloyd’s Chevy Malibu. The intimacy changes everything, and Lloyd believes he is in love with Diane. Lloyd confides his feelings to one of best friends, Corey (Lili Taylor). Corey tells Lloyd that he needs to take care of Diane and be a man, not a guy.

Meanwhile, Mr. Court does not approve of Diane’s relationship with Lloyd. He believes that Lloyd is not a good match for his daughter, and worse, he feels that Lloyd is mediocre. He tries to talk Diane into not seeing him as much. When she resists, her father gaslights her by pointing out the short amount of time that they have together before she leaves for England and the stress he is under from the IRS investigation. Diane agrees to stop seeing Lloyd, despite the fact that she is in love with him.

Diane breaks up with Lloyd the next day. She gives him a pen to write her under the advice of her father. Lloyd is devastated by the break up and begins to flounder through life. He tries to call Diane on several occasions, but she doesn’t answer or return his calls. His anger begins to get the better of him. One night, Lloyd stands in the park across the street from Diane’s house holding a boom box above his head playing Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”, the song that was playing when they had sex together. Things are not much better for Diane. She desperately wants to talk to Lloyd, but doesn’t out of loyalty to her father. Things are also going badly for Mr. Court as well. His credit cards have been cancelled as the criminal investigation continues.

Diane dresses up and goes to the IRS building when she can’t get any answers from her father about the investigation. She meets with an IRS investigator (Phillip Baker Hall) who tells her that her father is guilty of embezzling funds from the people that he takes care of in the retirement-home. He explains that he has been doing this for seventeen years. He also recommends that she go to England and try to put this behind her. Diane goes home and begins looking for evidence against her father. She finds thousands of dollars in a locked chest. She goes to confront her father at the nursing home. Her father denies any wrongdoing, but confesses after Diane confronts him about the money. He tells his daughter that he did this for her. Diane is heartbroken over his deceit and seeks out Lloyd. She tells him that she loves him and is sorry for listening to her father. Diane stays with Lloyd for the remainder of the summer. Mr. Court enters a guilty plea and begins a nine month sentence in prison.

Lloyd visits Mr. Court in prison. Lloyd tells him that he is moving to England with his daughter. Diane’s father yells at Lloyd over his frustration of being incarcerated and not being able to see his daughter. Lloyd gives him a letter from Diane that says she cannot forgive him. Diane arrives just as Lloyd prepares to leave. She says goodbye to her father and they embrace. She gives her father a pen and asks him to write her while she is in England. The film ends with Diane and Lloyd on the plane. Diane is deathly afraid of flying, and Lloyd holds her hand and continually talks her through the takeoff.

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Twentieth Century Fox released Say Anything... on April 14, 1989. Cameron Crowe directed the film starring John Cusack, Ione Skye, and John Mahoney.

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