Ever since seeing Say Anything five years ago, I've loved John Cusack - like a mad New Kids fan. I’ve movie-stalked him through 80s teen romances like The Sure Thing, Better off Dead, and Sixteen Candles. I've even followed him in his grown-up roles as angst-ridden killer-for-hire in both Grosse Point Blank and War, Inc., and as neurotic record-store owner, Rob, in High Fidelity.
But why like John Cusack? It's not like his roles have been groundbreaking or Oscar-worthy. I just like his brand of quirky humour mixed with his infectious earnestness. And fellow fans will agree: Anyone who genuinely loves John Cusack appreciates honesty, anti-consumerist ideals, romance – and Joan Cusack. Plenty of lovely, crazy Joan.
Take Say Anything for example. Here’s a great kid, fresh out of high school and pursuing the hottest, yet smartest girl in school. It’s obvious Lloyd likes her – a lot. And though he knows her dad’s a bit of a snot, he's dead honest about what he wants to do with his life. The best part: He means every word.
“I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.”
And after his girl Diane dumps him to please her father, he shows up with his stereo, playing "In your eyes" at her window. That's got to be one of the most iconic 80s scenes in the history of the universe (well, other than MJ's busting out the moonwalk to the world):
You'll understand why I love this movie so much when I say that only American Pie and its dirty spinoffs were the teen comedies that defined my youth. Say Anything was an refreshing teen romance – about perseverance and commitment.
So, when I saw him sitting outside, munching on sushi in my old neighbourhood, I was stunned, dazzled and drooling. I didn't have the guts to talk to him, especially not while he was in the middle of dinner and in talking to someone. I mean, what would I say? "Wow, it's you! Can I marry you? Oh wait, I'm already married . . . "
Ah well. I'm just glad I actually got to see him in person . . . even though he probably noticed us giggling like idiots in his perirphery . . . and hoisting pretend stereos above our heads, singing "In your eyes, the light, the heat . . ."