In Cameron Crowe’s 1989 American teen romantic comedy-drama film Say Anything…, after Diane Court (Ione Skye) breaks up with John Cusack’s character, he stands outside her house loudly playing Peter Gabriel’s song, In Your Eyes, over a boombox. A modern version of Romeo’s heartfelt petition to Juliette.
At the movie’s end, Court’s father goes to jail for embezzlement.
Despite Skye’s character being a valedictorian with a full-ride scholarship to a prestigious college, Court decides to get on the plane with Cusack’s character, flying off to France as he pursues his dream of being a kickboxer.
As a romantic teenager struggling to understand my emotional self and love, I thought that was a beautiful and vulnerable gesture of a man fighting for his love and relationship.
Today, I’m not so sure.
Stories like this are why Pursuers, Distancers, Rescuers, Villains, and Victims get all jumbled in my stories. It is why I have questions.
- Was Cusack’s character just saying anything to get what he wanted?
- Was Cusack’s character’s behavior an act of love or love bombing? A commitment or an obsession?
- After Court ended the relationship, was he disrespecting Court’s boundaries by pursuing her? After all, she chose him in the end.
- Do you think if Court’s father weren’t embezzling medicare money, he would have called the police to protect his daughter?
- Was Court’s character pursuing a hero or looking for a ticket to France? Did she love him?
- Cusack’s character gives a long soliloquy about never wanting to sell or buy anything. Was that idealism, entitlement, positivity, or something more?
- Their characters would be 54 or 55 now. Where do you think they would be now?
- What does a 55-year-old kickboxer’s life look like?
- If a 37-year-old woman wrote and directed this story instead of a 37-year-old male, how would it look different?