Say Anything…

More a drama than a comedy, and given that I grew up with American Pie, quite sweet. John Cusack's Lloyd is surrounded by a chorus of supportive girls who only have the job of confirming what a nice guy he is. Seeking male advice is always "a mistake", and the film has some fun with the sexist jocks drinking at the petrol station without a dame in sight.

Cusack always comes in one flavour, a bit like Keanu. Nervous energy, slightly pathetic, intermittently witty. He walks into the film already besotted, on a seemingly impossible quest to win the girl. Ione Skye's Denise is the one with the arc – she gets to choose. But her choice is between the devoted Lloyd and a devoted father. The latter (brilliantly played by John Mahoney – Marty Crane in Fraiser) is a suffocating presence in Denise's life. There are several scenes in which we see the way he uses his devotion as a means of control.

Luckily for Lloyd, the dad proves to be a tax dodging criminal and ends up in jail. He gets the girl by default. But I wonder whether Denise hasn't traded one over-protective parent for another. The film ends with the couple waiting for the airplane seatbelt safety sign to be switched off. Denise has a fear of flying, and Lloyd is hyperactively trying to comfort her. I was left hoping that when Denise gets the seatbelt off, she'd be able to leave these caring men behind, and walk on her own two feet.

No comments:

Post a Comment