Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Teenagers can get along with their parents if they're honest. Try for the seemingly unattainable and you may attain it. Men and women don't necessarily fall into stereotypical roles. Be contrary. Follow your gut. Great successes are sometimes laughed at in the beginning. Themes include gratitude, compassion, and integrity.
Positive Role Models
Lloyd is kind, caring, and honest and is willing to get hurt to be with the girl of his dreams. Although he doesn't yet have a career plan, he knows he wants to spend his future with the girl he loves. Diane is a smart, hardworking, responsible, and mature teenager who always calls home to let her father know where she is. She's willing to sacrifice the boy she loves to support her father, who is under criminal investigation. The father lies about stealing money from his nursing home residents; he feels justified because he believes he provides them with good care and makes them happy.
Violence & Scariness
When Lloyd gets knocked down kickboxing, his bones have to be snapped back into place. Lloyd throws a glass bottle against a fence in anger.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
French-kissing. Teens have sex in the backseat of a car. Not much is shown, but the event is discussed afterward. The teenagers also are shown in bed, under the sheets.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Language is infrequent and includes one "f--k," plus a couple uses of "s--t," "bitch," "goddamn," "d--k," and "Jesus Christ" as an exclamation.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens drink and get drunk at a party; the main character drinks one beer and helps make sure others don't drink and drive.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 1980s classic Say Anything survives as an excellent, coming-of-age movie for teens. Teens-to-be also may enjoy it, but it may not be suitable for them, with its teen drinking, teen sex, profanity (including one "f--k"), and parental betrayal. More than simply a teen film, it boasts fine performances, a lot of humor, and a well-chosen soundtrack. This is a true-to-life depiction of teen life. Both main characters deal with the pain of broken families and oppressive family expectations, which could spark discussion. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
A frank portrait of teens on the cusp of adulthood, this movie mines a type of movie that has acquired a (deservedly) negative reputation and comes up with gold. You can call Say Anything a "teen flick," but writer/director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) tells a story about people who just happen to be teens. Utilizing stock elements of the genre -- hip soundtrack, slacker kids, and screwed-up families -- Crowe finds the stuff of great drama.
Much of the humor is found in adolescent awkwardness. Viewers can't help but feel Lloyd's angst as he asks Diane out, deals with her father, and evades an overzealous guidance counselor. But the movie's serious themes ring true as well. Diane's father isn't dismissed as a criminal who wants to keep the lovers apart; his stealing is a misguided effort to give his daughter the best of everything. Eric Stoltz (Some Kind of Wonderful) and Lili Taylor round out a superb supporting cast.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.