Nov 26 2011 12:00pm

Lloyd Dobler Has My Heart: The Romance in Say Anything

John Cusack in Say AnythingTo know Lloyd Dobler is to love him. Diane Court is about to know Lloyd Dobler.

Say Anything is one of my all-time favorite romantic movies, and more than likely my favorite one from the ’80s: The music, the lines, and above all else, John Cusack gives this movie its place among the greats of pop culture.

Released in 1989, Cusack stars as Lloyd Dobler, an average Joe, taking the chance and asking the class valedictorian, Diane Court, out on a date. She’s beautiful, smart, and according to most people, out of Lloyd’s league. But to everyone’s surprise she doesn’t just say anything, she says…yes.

Mike Cameron: I don’t know you very well, you know, but I wanted to ask you—how’d you get Diane Court to go out with you?

Lloyd Dobler: I called her up.

Mike Cameron: But how come it worked? I mean, like, what are you?

Lloyd Dobler: I’m Lloyd Dobler.

Mike Cameron: This is great. This gives me hope. Thanks.

Their date is a graduation party and Diane and Lloyd begin spending time together—uch to the disappointment of Diane’s father, especially when he finds out that Lloyd aspires to be a professional kick boxer, among other things.

Lloyd Dobler: What I really want to do with my life—what I want to do for a living—is I want to be with your daughter. I’m good at it.

There is a great kissing scene in the rain and they do the deed in the back seat of Lloyd’s car. Afterwards, it’s Lloyd who’s shaken and Diane who’s the calm one. It was a nice twist.

Diane Court: Are you shaking?

Lloyd Dobler: No.

Diane Court: You’re shaking.

Lloyd Dobler: I don’t think so.

Diane Court: You’re cold.

Lloyd Dobler: I don’t think I am.

Diane Court: Then why are you shaking?

Lloyd Dobler: I don’t know. I think I’m happy.

The combined fear of commitment and her father’s disapproval convinces Diane to break it off with Lloyd. She just wants to be friends. Ouch. And she gives him a pen to write her while she’s away in England.

Lloyd Dobler: She’s gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.

Oh, poor guy! The broken hearted Lloyd roams the streets and finds some local guys hanging out. One is even a very young Jeremy Piven.

Joe: Dude, where’d she dump you, man?

Lloyd Dobler: In the car.

Denny: Oh man, your car? Man, Dissed in the Malibu. That’s your castle, man.

Lloyd Dobler: I got a question. If you guys know so much about women, how come you’re here at like the Gas ’n’ Sip on a Saturday night completely alone drinking beers with no women anywhere?

Joe: By choice, man.

Lloyd then seeks advice from his friends, who are girls. He’s refusing to fight for her out of his wounded male pride.

D.C.: Lloyd, why do you have to be like this?

Lloyd Dobler: ’Cause I’m a guy. I have pride.

Corey Flood: You’re not a guy.

Lloyd Dobler: I am.

Corey Flood: No. The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy.

Best line ever, in my opinion. But this is coming from a wounded Corey who wrote 85 plus songs about Joey. But I digress.

Most romance movie junkies love the scene when a broken hearted Lloyd stands outside Diane’s bedroom window, boom-box raised to the sky, Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” blaring. Yes, that is one of the most sigh-inducing scenes ever, I agree.

Diane still doesn’t run out and beg to be taken back, whereas Lloyd had me at Boombox.

Later, Diane finds out her father is a crook who’s been ripping off his elderly clients and is about to go to jail. Diane disowns him and goes to find the one thing she believes to be true in this world. For me, this is the most romantic scene.

Lloyd is kickboxing in the ring. He appears to be winning.

Trainer: Hey Lloyd, someone’s here to see you.

Lloyd looks up; his opponent kicks him in the face, breaking his nose and knocking him down. We see his nose being fixed, he sneezes and sits up, and then he is given a towel to hold to his nose to catch the blood. Diane goes over to him.

Diane: Lloyd?

Lloyd sits up.

Diane: Lloyd, I’m sorry.

He turns away and gets up. Diane follows him.

Lloyd: What do you want?

Diane: I’m sorry.

Lloyd: What do you want?

Diane: My father’s guilty. He lied to me, he lied to everybody. I just left home... I need you.

Lloyd: You do?

Diane: Everything else means nothing to me. If I hurt you again, I’ll die.

Lloyd: Hurt me again? Not a chance, don’t worry about it.

Diane: I love you.

Lloyd: What?

Diane: I love you. How many more times do I have to say it?

Lloyd: One more time would be nice.

Diane: I love you. Please, I love you.

She moves to kiss him; he pushes her away.

Lloyd: One more question, you’re here because you need someone or ’cause you need me? Forget it, I don’t care.

He kisses her, they embrace.

Diane: I need you.

How sweet! I love seeing both their vulnerability, their need for each other, and it’s oh-so-cute how tough Lloyd tries to be. Diane literally could’ve said anything standing there and Lloyd would’ve taken her back. Sigh!

The movie ends with Diance visiting her Dad in jail. She gives him a pen to write her. Bam, in your face Dad. And Lloyd and Diance live happily ever in ’80s love.


Philly native Charli Mac is an aspiring author, mother, wife, friend, and part-time clown. Come find lost love along the Jersey Shore at Twitter her @CharliMacs

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Jodie A. Wilson
1. Jodie A. Wilson
I admit it, never seen or even heard of this film, but after reading this, I'm totally streaming this from some er not so legal site. J/K. Loved that Lloyd pushes her away. In your face princess!
Charli Mac
2. CharliMac
@Jodie How could you not have seen this movie? I know I am older than you but this is just ridiculous! Go watch at once and report back to me, orders!
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