Say Anything



Smart, edgy coming-of-age story.
  • Review Date: March 14, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 1989
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

Not applicable
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.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this 1980s classic 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, Say Anything 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.

What's the story?

In this smart, funny story about growing up and struggling with imminent responsibilities, Lloyd (John Cusack) is a teenage kickboxer on no particular career path. Dianne is a brain with an overprotective father (John Mahoney). After graduation, the opposites fall for each other, spend the summer together, and end up making love, the details of which Diane spills to her father. Her father wants more for his daughter than a future with a slacker like Lloyd -- she's set to go to England to study on a fellowship at the end of the summer. Under pressure from her father, Diane breaks up with Lloyd. But when she discovers that her father has been stealing from the retirement home he owns, she reconsiders. Lloyd's the one person she's come to trust.

Is it any good?


You can call it a "teen flick," but writer/director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) tells a story about people who just happen to be teens. 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. 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Diane trusts Lloyd and why Diane's father acts the way he does. Also, how do Diane and Lloyd cope with the stresses of teenage life?

  • Do you think this movie is still relevant? Why, or why not?

  • Why do you think this movie is considered a teen classic?

  • Do you think Diane and Lloyd are role models? Why, or why not?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1989
DVD release date:May 23, 2000
Cast:Ione Skye, Joan Cusack, John Cusack
Director:Cameron Crowe
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:mature themes and sexuality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byLoveOwenWilson September 10, 2010
i liked it but the sex scenes were a bit uncomfortable to watch especially when you have concerned parentslike mine. but overall it was cute. i loved it!! John Cusack is sooo cute!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byzeekattacklee January 4, 2015

A classic for mature young adults..

Please keep in mind that this is a movie aimed at mature young adults.. The film does contain a couple parts where drinking is involved, a couple of sex scenes, and contains Strong language.. Otherwise, a great film for ages 14 and up.. But, please keep an eye on younger kids when letting them watch this..
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bySanjay407 October 28, 2011


Rated PG-13: Some Violence, Some Sexuality, and Language
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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