say anything

Uncle Buck

Did you like the movies of the eighties? Then you’re going to love the television series of the teens. Deadline reports that ABC is currently working on a half-hour sitcom based on John Hughes‘ 1989 “New Classic” (we use the TNT designations in this house) Uncle Buck, with Universal TV and producer Will Packer (the immensely successful producer behind both Ride Along and the Think Like a Man features) on board to turn the film into a weekly offering. The new Uncle Buck will be, well, pretty much just like the old Uncle Buck, as Deadline reports it “will center on a childish man, played in the film by [John] Candy, who learns how to be an adult by taking care of his brother’s kids in a very childish way.” Weirdly enough, this isn’t even the first time that Uncle Buck has been turned into a small screen offering — a CBS series based on the movie hit screens for one season back in 1990. One season. Big hit. Of course, Uncle Buck is not the only beloved eighties property to be getting the small screen treatment this pilot season, and it’s certainly not the most egregious. Let’s take a journey, back to a period of time when original entertainment wasn’t such a wholly foreign concept, to explore what else network television is so forcibly mining for new material.

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Say Anything

UPDATED: Victory is ours. Put down your boomboxes. Fold up your kickboxing trousers. Wait for the airplane to ding. This is not a drill, and frankly, it’s nearly impossible to believe that this is happening, but here it is: NBC is making a series based on Say Anything, Cameron Crowe‘s 1989 John Cusack- and Ione Skye-starring teen romance. It’s okay if this news is hard to swallow, because even with the recent rash of small screen revivals of beloved properties — think Real Genius, Problem Child and Big – word that Say Anything is getting a new television series seems almost too bizarre to be believed, too weird to be true. Let’s parse this.

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20th Century Fox

This week is the 25th anniversary of Cameron Crowe‘s first feature, Say Anything, and while he went on to direct three more fantastic films (plus one good one and two stinkers) this one holds a special place in many of our hearts. It’s a rare honest look at teenagers in and out of love, is eminently quotable and features a high number of memorable and possibly iconic scenes. A quarter of a century later and the film is more beloved than ever. The anniversary has led to a handful of editorials on the movie — our own Kate Erbland even had the nerve to question whether Lloyd and Diane were still together 25 years later! The responses were varied and highly pessimistic, but the truth is clear in Lloyd’s persistence and optimism and in Diane’s joy and satisfaction. You only have to watch the movie to know that the two are still living it up in London. The commentary on the 20th Anniversary Blu-ray of Say Anything features something I’ve never seen (or heard) before, and that’s a twenty minute introduction set against a slide show of b&w set photos. Crowe, John Cusack and Ione Skye start things off strong with their recollections on what brought each of them to the film. Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary track for Say Anything.

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Say Anything

Sometime during the spring of my freshman year at college, a friend of mine decided to break out a big romantic gesture for his girlfriend of just a few weeks – they weren’t celebrating anything special, no anniversary or holiday to peg it to, he just wanted to do something – and he decided to recreate the infamous boombox scene from Say Anything. It went over like gangbusters. He drove his truck to the back of her dorm, stood in the bed of it, and blasted Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” for everyone to hear. I’m certain that was part of the charm – his girlfriend heard it, the rest of her dorm heard it, people walking to class heard it. (She was, to put it delicately, a bit of a show-off.) Most importantly, everyone seemed to get it. Cameron Crowe’s film was nearly fifteen years old when this particularly over-the-top expression of love occurred, and although I’d never dare to compare the epic love story that was Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) and Diane Court (Ione Skye) with a pair of dumb college kids eager to make their affections public in a world pre-Facebook, they did have something in common – neither couple is still together. 

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Say Anything Boombox Scene

When most people hear “music supervisor” they think of television and the person who places the songs heard throughout an episode. These days, most shows end with a highlight reel of the artists and music featured in the episode so you can easily figure out who sang what (and, they hope, go out and by the song). But music supervisors do not only exist in the world of TV, they also work on movies. As this past weekend’s Oscar broadcast proved, the main recognition for movie music falls to the film’s composer. Rightfully so. The composer does create the lion’s share of the music and helps deliver the overall impression a film looks to make on audiences, but they are not the only ones involved in shaping the tonal language. Original songs written for a film can become as iconic as the film they are featured in (right, Llewyn?), but placed music is just as much a part of the experience and those curating the choices are as big a part of the scoring process as the composer.

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Say-Anything_scenes

No, there’s no special anniversary for Cameron Crowe‘s directorial debut. At least not for another eight months, when Say Anything… turns 25. The reason it’s a Scenes We Love pick this week is because of all the recognition it’s been getting lately as a major influence on The Spectacular Now. The new indie teen movie’s male lead, Miles Teller, has been called the John Cusack of his generation, and the movie itself is being celebrated for a mix of comedy and drama and romance not achieved so well since the genre’s heyday in the 1980s. Say Anything… came about at the end of the decade and is considered by many to be the best, even considering all the exemplary works of John Hughes. Strangely, there’s a severe lack of clips from the film on the Internet. Maybe it’s because of Fox ordering them removed from YouTube and elsewhere, because there’s not even a proper version of the famous boombox serenade to be found. Not that this would be my first choice of a scene. The movie is full of a lot more than just Cusack being Cusack in a trenchcoat and a Clash t-shirt, giving his heart to Ione Skye and getting a pen in return. We’ve selected a handful of favorites from what could be found, but as always please tell us the scenes you love from the movie below.

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Aural Fixation - Large

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day (which I know came and went two days ago, but I wanted to keep the romance going) I decided to get into the spirit of things by looking not just into romantic movies, but movies that featured romantic moments where music played a big part in the delivery. We all know the moment when the music swells and our two leads finally lean in, run for or jump into that kiss or embrace created to make our hearts swoon. But I’m not talking about those moments. I’m talking about the moments where the music was just as important as anything said or done and it was the music that truly helped bring the romance to the scene (granted most of these moments were usually also paired with two good looking actors making eyes at each other). Grab your leftover chocolate and conversation hearts and join me in watching these love birds sing, dance and profess their love through the magic of music in these movie moments that are as much about the tunes as they are about the love.

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I think it is safe to say we have all struggled with the blurring of reality and fantasy in our romantic lives. Film, while marvelous, often leaves us starry-eyed and convinced love will find us regardless of who we are or what we do. That is its biggest gift to audiences, and one of the reasons people line theaters to watch even the most offensive of Katherine Heigl offerings. Decades of studying romantic gestures in film, however, has left me a little touchy about the real life application of such moves. While we might find Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) absolutely adorable when he’s proving his endurance by bravely holding a virginity theme song blasting boom box over his head outside his ex-lover Diane’s (Ione Skye) window in Say Anything, he’s actually more crazy than not. The truth of the matter is that if some man stood below our window blaring music at six in the morning, someone might get shot. (Full disclosure: I’m from Texas, y’all). It’s sweet and silently exaggerates his devotion to Diane, and leaves the girls in the audience swooning and the boys thinking they could be so suave. But in the real world, Llyod is very pathetic and arguably a little stalkery. Lucky for him, Diane likes that about him the most and races down to take him back, wearing nothing but her nightgown and personality.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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