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Parents' Guide to

Say Anything

By Randy White, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Smart, edgy coming-of-age story.

Movie PG-13 1989 100 minutes
Say Anything Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 15+

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 10+

A good way to teach girls early what real love looks like.

What interests me about this film is that it is (almost) waaaay ahead of it's time in terms of values and the way women are treated. There's a scene where a couple walk past the main characters and she repeatedly tells the boy to leave her alone and he repeatedly fails to do so. While this is in stark contrast to the way that the central couple communicate - in the film no one steps in - which I can't immagine happening today. Nevertheless it's a good teachable moment. The film is as much the girl's story as the boy's and they are excellent role models both. The story is deeply romantic and online some have commented that love like that doesn't exist. It did for me - but only because I learned to walk away from the jerks who didn't treat me with the kind of respect that is modelled here. Yes, they do have sex - yes there is drinking - but if you watch it with your kids then you can manage these issues. They have sex, but it's not shown and its in the context of a profoundly loving and respectful relationship, which is, in my opinion, a better version of reality than never showing anything at all. I'd say that girls and boys of ten and up with benefit greatly from holding the behaviours portrayed as a gold standard.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (6 ):

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.

Movie Details

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