If you haven't seen 1989 classic "Say Anything," you should stop what you're doing and watch it immediately. Starring John Cusack and Ione Skye, "Say Anything" is about a man (not a guy), Lloyd Dobler, who decides to pursue the ever-perfect Diane Court following their high school graduation, despite the claims that "Diane Court would never go out with a guy like Lloyd Dobler."
"The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don't be a guy."
To everyone's surprise, the two fall in love. Not because Lloyd is some hot jock, because he really is an awkward, goofy-looking man, but because he made Diane laugh and respected her. They spend the summer together immersed in the bliss of young love before Diane's father forces Diane to break it off with Lloyd before she leaves for England for her fellowship.
"She's gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart; she gave me a pen."
When Diane finally realizes that all along, it was her criminal father who was toxic for her, she and Lloyd get back together, and Lloyd gives up everything to follow her to England, despite his dreams of becoming a kickboxer, the sport of the future.
"What I want to do with my life - what I want to do for a living - is I want to be with your daughter. I'm good at it."
While the movie itself is wonderful and teaches the lesson of things aren't always what they seem, it is Lloyd Dobler and his charm that make this movie my absolute favorite to this day.
Lloyd is just an average man who falls for a woman out of his league, but that doesn't stop him from at least trying. From the beginning of their first date, which was a graduation party, he exemplifies what it is like to be a true gentleman. While his actions may seem mundane and simple to those lucky enough to experience these, he really sets the standard for those who haven't been treated this way.
Lloyd starts off the night by picking up Diane at her house. He walks up to the door and doesn't just sit in his car waiting or, god forbid, honks the horn to alert her. He introduces himself to Diane's father, shakes his hand, tells him a little bit about himself and promises to have Diane home and safe at a reasonable time. While at the party, Diane drifts around and talks to some of her fellow graduates that she may have not spoken to otherwise. While she is not at Lloyd's side the whole time, as he was (dis) honored with the role of Keymaster, every once in a while, Diane notices him checking up on her from across the room to make sure she is alright.
Throughout the movie, Lloyd overall respects Diane. It is clear that she is calling the shots and setting the pace in this relationship. He does not push her to do anything that she does not want to do or pressure her into dating him. At one point, Diane tells him that she would like to remain, friends, as she is leaving for England at the end of the summer, and Lloyd respects her decision until she falls for him.
Her father, being investigated for tax fraud, persuades Diane to break up with Lloyd, saying he is holding her back from her true potential and that it's not even worth it since she'll be leaving soon. Lloyd, of course, is heartbroken and tries to get Diane back. This includes the iconic scene where he is standing outside of her bedroom window holding a (heavy) boombox over his head playing their song, "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel.
In the end, Diane finds out the truth about her father after finding all of the money he was stealing from the nursing home patients of the nursing home that he runs. Diane realizes that all along, it was her father who was bad for her and runs to Lloyd begging him to take her back. The two makeup and go to England together.
Say Anything is not only my favorite John Cusack movie but my favorite of all time. I've seen it so many times; I have it memorized. It's my go-to feel-good movie when I'm feeling stressed or down, and so has become part of my soul. Lloyd Dobler has become the standard as to which I want my future boyfriend/husband to be, and I think that's not asking for much.