Blu-Ray Review: Remarkable 20th Anniversary Edition of ‘Say Anything...’

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CHICAGO – Sometimes fans have the choice between holding on to the standard DVD version of their favorite films or upgrading to the latest format, anniversary, or ultimate collector’s unrated fantastic edition. With many Blu-Ray releases merely improving the technical specs but often leaving the special features alone, it can be a tough call. Such is not the case with the 20th anniversary edition of the great “Say Anything…,” a release packed with excellent bonus material that make it a must-own for fans of Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut.

HollywoodChicago.com Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0

After breaking through with his script for “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” Cameron Crowe fell into the worst project of his career, a lackluster ’80s teen movie called “The Wild Life”. After that experience, Crowe told himself that he wanted to write something personal and real; a film that took the lives of young people seriously and not merely as jokes for a John Hughes-esque comedy. Using people he knew growing up as inspiration, Crowe wrote the spectacular “Say Anything…,” hoping for a major director to take it. When James L. Brooks suggested that Crowe direct it himself, the rest would be history, and Cameron would go on to direct beloved films like “Singles,” “Jerry Maguire,” and “Almost Famous”.

Say Anything... was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 3rd, 2009.
Say Anything… was released on Blu-Ray and DVD on November 3rd, 2009.
Photo credit: Fox Home Video

“Say Anything…” is the turning point in the career of one of the best screenwriters of the last quarter-century. The film came out when I was personally in high school and spoke to me way more than anything in the John Hughes filmography. Movies like “Pretty in Pink” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” were fun and I watched “Weird Science” more than any teenager should, but “Say Anything…” was real. Crowe dared to treat his teenage subjects like actual human beings and, with a story of a parent who hides a dark secret, revealed that maturity isn’t necessarily a product of age. Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) and Diane Court (Ione Skye) became icons, “In Your Eyes” became a highlight of every prom, and a young writer/director proved that teenage love stories didn’t have to played purely for laughs.

Twenty years later, “Say Anything..” plays even more confidently and impressively to these eyes than it did when I was actually the same age as Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court. With years of bad teenage movies under my critical belt, I can look at “Say Anything” and more succinctly realize how much Crowe did right with this film. With assured, committed performances from everyone, but especially John Cusack and Ione Skye, “Say Anything…” is even better than you remember.

The great new edition of “Say Anything…,” available on Blu-Ray and DVD, includes several new special features that include interviews with nearly all of the important players. Cusack, Skye, and Crowe not only contribute a commentary (complete with a 20-minute introduction on the history of the film) but appear with other stars including John Mahoney on the fantastic retrospective featurette entitled “An Iconic Film Revisited: Say Anything…20 Years Later”. Other special features include “A Conversation with Cameron Crowe,” the very-funny “I Love Say Anything…” Featurette, “To Know Say Anything…Is To Love It!” Trivia Track, 5 Alternate Scenes, 10 Deleted Scenes, 13 Extended Scenes, Vintage Featurette, Theatrical Trailers, TV Spots, and a Photo Gallery.

The special features for this edition of “Say Anything…” are exactly what fans of the film would hope would be included on a 20th anniversary edition, reuniting the key players to discuss not just the making of their favorite movie but how it came into their lives and how it changed them forever. The love for this work that still resonates in Crowe, Cusack, and Skye’s voices is remarkable. This is not just a project that they filmed before moving on to the next movie. “Say Anything…” changed their lives. If it changed yours too, pick up the 20th anniversary edition of “Say Anything…” as soon as you can.

‘Say Anything…’ stars John Cusack, Ione Skye, and John Mahoney. It was written and directed by Cameron Crowe. The 20th anniversary edition was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on November 3rd, 2009.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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