Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) in Say Anything
Why does this movie resonate with so many ’80s” brats? Sure we were a bit wild, but maybe it was something more. Before the internet, smart phones, Facebook, and Apple even existed, we connected. We actually connected through actual face time with one another. We connected when we were apart by actual telephone line, and we played our music loud. Music wasn’t for our ear buds only, it was to be shared loudly and publicly because it represented who we were.
We experienced growing up with our peers by navigating through our insecurities out in the open, not behind a screen, where we could just turn discomfort “off”. When we crushed or fell in love, it was generally a matter of public record. We pined for those in our own neighborhoods and schools, rarely did we obsess over a celebrity. Love was local.
Considered a masterpiece, James Cameron’s premier attempt at screenwriting did not disappoint. It launched the career of John Cusack and remains a signature movie that represents life in the late 1980s.
I hope the pure writing of the 1980s returns. Writing that found significance in the small stories and the small ways we transitioned from friends to lovers, from children to adults, and from nearly clueless to somewhat enlightened.
A great story doesn’t need Hollywood style special effects. It doesn’t need characters that are mind-blowing lovers, super human in physical strength, mental intelligence, or lifted, tucked, and airbrushed into perfected beauty like so many of today’s quickly forgotten movies. The great stories that stick with us from any generation stick simply because they are not just about the characters, they are about us. They connect to that “thing of mystery” that connects us to all people.
Every day I’m learning to write a little bit truer for me. I realize in order to get published for pay, I’m eventually going to have to face the firing squad called critics and submit work to others and be subjected to OPO (other peoples’ opinions). Sometimes it seems like other writers I know have just finished their Ph.D in writing, and I’m still the D- kid trying to squeak out of English IV in high school. I still don’t know what direction to go in next.
FOCUS! I can hear the impatient teacher yell at the day dreamer kid that lives in my head.
Alright, already! Just say anything. Write today. Write because it gives you joy. Write like you’re Diane Court (played byIone Skye) who’s just learning to drive. You don’t have to know where you’re going, just let love and a hunger for the unknown and adventure be your guide. Passion for writing will physically and mentally take you to destinations you never dreamed of. Be brave and go now.
In case you missed the movie, this is a great song and it captures most of the big scenes!