Things In Say Anything You Only Notice As An Adult

Say Anything is a 1980s cult classic, and the boombox scene is a defining moment that likely overshadows your recollection of the rest of the movie. Now hailed as the movie's hallmark, it was one of those moments you probably used as a benchmark during your adolescence and teen years. Who didn't dream of a Lloyd Dobler-esque romantic gesture? 


John Cusack and Ione Skye (Lloyd and Diane, respectively) had enough onscreen chemistry to give you hope through the often awkward, sometimes painful teen-dating era. To this day, the boombox scene — or, later, that backseat scene — might make you weak in the knees. 

Like those adolescence and teen years, though, reality blurs when viewed through the lens of time. Being a teenager was probably not as perfect or, alternately, as horrible as you remember. And your memory could be playing tricks on you where the super nostalgic Say Anything is concerned, too. Take a trip down memory lane by poring over all the things about this irreverent love story that you'd only notice as an adult. 

Diane and Frasier had the same dad

As amoral as Diane Court's dad wound up being, it's impossible to watch the film now and not view James Court through the lens of another role: the beloved patriarch on Frasier, Martin CraneSay Anything was released in 1989, while Frasier didn't start its 11-year run until 1993. So you may not have recognized actor John Mahoney then, but you surely would if you later became a fan of the Crane family sitcom. 


That's not to say the characters are without similarities — they're both charming and brash. But they also have some ironic differences, namely the fact that Martin Crane was a retired police officer. That definitely doesn't jive with James Court's side hustles of fraud and embezzlement. 

Adding to the Frasier fun is the fact that this film is set in Seattle, the city in which the Crane family famously lived. And Bebe Neuwirth, who also went on to star in Frasier, makes a cameo as Lloyd's school adviser. 

Of course, this is all tinged with sadness in light of Mahoney's passing. When news broke of his death in February 2018, Say Anything director Cameron Crowe tweeted a photo from the set, saying, "Here's to you, John Mahoney! You make the unforgettable look easy." Cusack also gave his co-star a nod, tweeting that "he made everyone around him better and happier each day." 


Lloyd and Constance really are siblings

It's probably common knowledge to you at this point in your life that Lloyd and Constance are played by real-life siblings John and Joan Cusack. However, they were both relatively green when Say Anything hit screens. John's career was gaining momentum when Say Anything premiered, having starred in a string of hit teen movies like Better Off Dead and Stand By Me. But poor Joan's role as Lloyd's big sis, Constance, is "uncredited." Hard to imagine, right? 


The siblings have since become Hollywood heavyweights. Both John and Joan boast more than 80 acting credits each. What might also occur to you upon re-watching Say Anything is that the movie is among the first of many together for these two. 

They starred in the John Hughes classic Sixteen Candles a few years earlier, although it was another uncredited role for Joan (for shame). In addition to those roles, this killer brother-sister combo has starred in eight films together: Class, Grandview, U.S.A., Broadcast News, Grosse Pointe Blank, Cradle Will Rock, High Fidelity, Martian Child, and War, Inc

So, yeah, Joan and John are tight in real life just like Constance and Lloyd were in Say Anything. In an interview with AV/Film in 2008, Joan touched on this, saying "it was helpful" to have each other growing up in the industry. 


Behold, the vanishing yearbook

Unless Diane came up with some very clever concealed cross-body satchel, there's no way she had her yearbook on her when Lloyd picked her up for their first date. It would have been pretty hard to miss set against her bright white dress and shrug. Since she had never heard of the dude hosting the party prior to going, she wouldn't have had it stashed there. And yet, multiple times during the party, she breaks it out and asks classmates to sign it. 


By night's end, when she and Lloyd are about to leave, it's nowhere in sight again. Miraculously, though, it reappears in the car in the wee hours of the morning as she reads inscriptions aloud to Lloyd. Sense a pattern here? 

There's only one heroine in film that has mastered the art of making things disappear and reappear, and that's Harry Potter's Hermione Granger. But, c'mon, she had magic on her side — not to mention a beaded purse upon which she'd placed an Undetectable Extension Charm in order to fit her many possessions. Since Diane didn't have sorcery at her fingertips, it's safe to assume the vanishing handbag was a filming inconsistency. 

Corey gives off major Mystic Pizza vibes

Although Lloyd and Diane are the most discussed characters to come from Say Anything, Lloyd's best friend Corey doesn't get nearly enough recognition for being as cool and complex as she was. Credit for that performance, of course, goes to actress Lili Taylor. The first time you watched the movie, you probably didn't pick up on the fact that the character — as quirky and original as she was — seemed strangely familiar. Watch it now, though, and that sense of déjà vu will undoubtedly make sense: Mystic Pizza!   


Just one year before Say Anything hit theaters, Taylor starred in this heartwarming rom-com about a group of friends in coastal Connecticut. Although the film was not considered a box office success at the time of its release, it went on to become a cult classic (and the film credited for giving Julia Roberts her big break). 

Taylor's characters from the two movies have a lot in common. In Mystic Pizza, Taylor plays a young woman named JoJo who is in a holding pattern of making up and breaking up with her boyfriend. In Say Anything, Taylor plays a young woman who is in a holding pattern of making up and breaking up with her boyfriend, Joe. The similar story arcs plus those names (JoJo and Joe)? C'mon! 


Hold up, is "scam" '80s code for sex?

When Lloyd is talking to his friends Corey and D.C. about asking Diane out on a date "again," Corey points out that they never had a first date. Adorably oblivious love-struck teen that he is, Lloyd insists it was a date when he sat across from Diane at the mall food court. To which Corey responds, "That's not even a scam." Sweet innocent Lloyd doesn't know what a scam is, so his BFFs fill him in. "Going out as friends," Corey describes it. "No, it's not. Scam is lusting," D.C. interjects. 


But, like, which is it? The lingo pops up several times throughout the movie, leaving one to wonder what exactly scammin' is. Is it the same as "hooking up" now? Who can keep up? But the bottom line is that "scamming" is not that. According to the In the '80s "Glossary of Eighties Terms," scamming simply refers to a casual make-out session or a guy "picking up chicks." So, basically, a scam is the PG, '80s version of Netflix and chill

Diane's kind of a feminist, social activist badass

We all get better as we get older. We live, we learn, we grow. And with this evolution comes a heightened consciousness to the world around us — that's the hope, at least. When you first watched Say Anything, you probably viewed Diane totally in context to Lloyd. He was the sun. Her narrative revolved around his. Not to mention she came off kind of stuffy and definitely naive.


Then you become an adult and realize that, hey, Diane isn't just a catalyst for Lloyd's plot. She's not a sidekick. She's actually a very nuanced character more than capable of carrying her part in the film. You could even categorize her as a fierce, female role model. For starters, she's unapologetically smart. She works hard — both at school and at her dad's nursing home after. When Lloyd babbles about his aversion to older people, she accuses him of ageism. Plus, the fact that she made up her own mind about having sex with Lloyd and then had no shame in telling her dad proves just how rad she is. 

Upon rewatching the movie, it's easy to stop secretly wishing Lloyd and Corey wound up together (don't deny it) and be happy that Lloyd found a strong, independent woman like Diane. 


Tapeheads? Wasn't that....

Why yes, yes it was a movie John Cusack starred in. In 1988, one year before Say Anything, Cusack starred alongside Tim Robbins in the comedy Tapeheads about "a couple of creative losers" who stumble into the music industry. It wasn't exactly a monster hit at the box office, so you probably didn't connect the dots the following year when Say Anything debuted. But there is a little nod there, nonetheless. When Lloyd is mourning his breakup with Diane, he drives down 45th Street and passes the famed Guild 45th Theatre. On the marquis is — you guessed it — Tapeheads.


Don't go getting any ideas about catching a flick at this cinema gem, though. As of 2017, the Guild 45th Theatre is closed, reportedly for renovations and refurbishing. According to the Seattle Times, no development plans have been filed with the city. In the interim, however, the Guild 45th did receive historic landmark status from the city. 

Law enforcement totally would have busted Lloyd for that boombox stunt

For the record, Lloyd Dobler was an ace. He was smart, funny, endearingly quirky, and seemingly friends with everyone. His best friends, who were all women, considered him a catch. He had all of that going for him before he even broke out the boombox. So when he held it over his head outside of Diane's window as Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" streamed out, it was impossible not to fall in love. 


Diane should be studied for the amount of willpower it must have taken not to run outside and fling herself into his arms. And watching this scene decades later still does the trick. It's one of the greatest romantic moments of cinema ever. 

Having said all of that, that boombox scene was also unlikely to go off without a hitch. In that sort of suburban Seattle neighborhood with Diane's dad, there's no way Lloyd would have made it through five minutes of music blaring from a boombox at an hour when most other people are snoozing. And while he may not have gotten hauled off to jail, any interaction with the cops would have been a real chemistry killer. According to the city of Seattle website, noise disturbances can result in a warning, followed by a $250 fine and even criminal charges. 


Ugh, that make-up (and make-out) scene was unsanitary

Hooray for Diane finally coming to her senses and finding Lloyd at the boxing gym. And how cute is it that he tries to put up a strong front and pretend like he hasn't been waiting for this moment since the second they broke up? However — and this is a big one — Lloyd could have hopped in the shower prior to their make-up make-out session. Okay, okay, so it doesn't technically show them kissing on the lips, but there's there's enough snuggling and neck-nuzzling to feel confident that's where it was going. 


Meanwhile, have you ever been to a boxing gym? There's a very specific odor a person emanates when they've spent time in one, particularly when that time is physical. Lloyd was no doubt sweaty and pungent, not to mention he has blood running out of his just-broken nose. Blech! Thanks to your now-adult sensibilities, the hygiene issues rampant in this scene probably make your stomach turn (and not in a butterflies kind of way, either). 

Afraid of flying? Listen to Lloyd

While there are plenty of people who would blow smoke on a date just to impress a girl (or guy), Lloyd Dobler doesn't seem like one of them. During the finale scene of Say Anything when he and Diane are on the flight to England, she is predictably super anxious. To calm her nerves, Lloyd tells her, "All right, high level airline safety tips: If anything happens, it usually happens in the first five minutes of the flight, right?" 


In youth, it probably never crossed your mind to question the validity of Lloyd's statement. You may even have adopted it as your own in-flight-calming-mechanism. But is there anything to it, really? 

Well, looks like ol' Lloyd knew his stuff — sort of. In a study published on in 2014, statistics show that among the six phases of airplane flying — taxi, take off and initial climb, climb, cruise, descent, and final approach and landing — 14 percent of accidents occur during take-off and initial climb, which would be the period Lloyd references. 

However, 47 percent of accidents occur during final approach and landing. That's almost half happening right at the end, and the site notes these are typically the most serious accidents as well. They add, however, that fatal accidents are also likely during the climbing stage at the beginning. So Lloyd isn't totally off-base, but he isn't entirely accurate either.