14 Surprising Facts About Say Anything…

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No scene in late 1980s cinema is more iconic than Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) holding a boombox over his head with the song “In Your Eyes” blasting in an attempt to win his girlfriend back. Cameron Crowe’s directorial debut was released on April 14, 1989, and even though it only made a small profit at the box office, it has since become a Hollywood classic. Here are 14 facts about Say Anything...

1. CAMERON CROWE BASED THE SCRIPT ON A REAL-LIFE HEARTBREAK.

Until Say Anything…, Crowe hadn’t written a love story. He told the San Diego Union Tribune that the movie’s “a love story for people who don’t say I love you” and in 2009 told the Los Angeles Times that, “It’s a very personal movie, and it reminds me of falling in love, falling out of love, and falling back in love with life and all the unexpected glories and pain that happen along the way.” 

The “personal” part references his first love and heartbreak: “She fell for me, and I fell for her, but not at the same time,” Crowe said. “And yes, I used to drive by her house late at night, listening to music, feeling like a sap and somehow heroic at the same time. She was already with someone new, but I was going to wave the flag of our great love, even if I was the only one at the ceremony."

2. JOHN CUSACK WAS AGAINST STARRING IN ANOTHER TEEN MOVIE.

After starring in a string of teen flicks, Cusack was ready to move on to adult roles. “He told me he never wanted to graduate again in a film,” Crowe said about why Cusack was reluctant to take the part. “He said he had graduated, like, six times already. We used to pull out the graduation gown, and he’d go ‘Aaaaaaarrrrgghh.’”

With a little coaxing from John Mahoney, Cusack read the script and liked it, calling Lloyd a “great American character.” “He’s somewhat eccentric,” Cusack relayed in the film’s production notes. “He isn’t a tunnel-versioned urban teen preoccupied with sex, school, and his job. I realized I would never be 20 again so I might as well cap off that phase of my career on a positive note. I’m glad I took the part.”

3. LLOYD DOBLER WAS BASED ON CROWE’S NEIGHBOR.

The writer-director was having issues writing the leading man, but became inspired when he met his Alabama neighbor, Lowell Marchant. “He was this friendly guy with a crew cut who just wanted to meet everybody he could,” Crowe told Entertainment Weekly. “He knocked on the door and said, ‘Hello, I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Lowell Marchant. I am a kickboxer, and I’ll be living here for a little bit. Are you aware of the sport kickboxing? It is now a major sport covered by ESPN.’ I’d tell [executive producer James L. Brooks], ‘The character’s not coming, and there’s this f***ing guy down the way who keeps knocking on the door and he’s a kickboxer.’ And Jim’s looking at me like, ‘And you’re wondering what to write?’”

4. IONE SKYE WAS THE OPPOSITE OF DIANE COURT.

The actress had trouble identifying with the A-student Diane Court because she wasn’t like that. “I wasn’t a good student,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I grew up with my mother, not my father. I kind of had a wild childhood. Even the father stealing money from old people, I was saying to Cameron, ‘I can’t access why this would upset me.’ That didn’t seem bad to me at the time.” Skye’s real-life father is famed Scottish musician Donovan. Two years after the movie came out, Skye married Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz; the couple divorced in 1999.

5. THEY MADE THE DAD GUILTY TO BE DIFFERENT FROM PRETTY IN PINK.

Crowe told Entertainment Weekly he had a difficult time casting the father: Rob Reiner was the first choice but wasn’t acting at the time. “We just kept hearing about John Mahoney, and then he came in and was so disarmingly charming and looked like William Holden. A lot of people, even actors coming up for the part, wanted to know, ‘Why does the father have to be guilty?’ The answer was, without the father being guilty it’s Pretty in Pink.” Mahoney said he took the part because “the character just utterly fascinated me. I’ve played killers, but I don’t think I’ve ever played a character so remorselessly amoral like that.”

6. THE COREY CHARACTER IS BASED ON A COREY WHO WAS OBSESSED WITH A GUY NAMED JOE.

Crowe told Entertainment Weekly that Lloyd’s bestie Corey Flood (Lili Taylor) was named after a Corey from Philadelphia who had a relationship with Joe. “She was always talking about this guy and she sent me a tape that had a whole bunch of songs and she said, ‘A lot of them are about Joe.’” Four years after the movie wrapped, Lili Taylor met the real Corey. “And she was still talking about Joe,” she told EW. Taylor also mentioned how strangers on the street will run into her and ask her to sing “Joe Lies.” “I don’t really want to do that, you know? On the street! But it struck a chord with people. And I appreciate it.”

7. CUSACK KICKBOXES IN REAL LIFE.

After learning the “sport of the future” for the movie, Cusack continued training and has a level six black belt in Ukidokan kickboxing. Martial arts fighter Benny “The Jet” Urquidez has fought with, and trained, Cusack. “He’s got the kind of control that I can put a cigarette in my mouth and he can kick it right out without hitting me,” Urquidez told the New York Daily News. In an interview with Details, Cusack revealed, “I like fighting so much because it’s not passive-aggressive. If you want to fight, let’s fight. I appreciate the honesty of it.”

8. THE PRODUCERS CREATED THE ROLE OF REBECCA JUST FOR PAMELA ADLON.

According to an interview with The A.V. Club, the Louie actress auditioned to play D.C., which went to Amy Brooks. Adlon said the producers created her character “because they liked what I did, which was wonderful, but I really didn’t have much to do.” She also said, “I call Say Anything… the best movie I’ve done, even though I’m in it for two seconds.”

9. A DELETED SCENE INVOLVES A QUESTIONABLE STUDENT-TEACHER RELATIONSHIP.

Crowe posted a deleted scene from the film on his website in which a teacher, Mr. Deegan, creepily hits on Diane Court. The teacher casually tells Diane “I’d like to see you sometime” and “I was always smiling at you.” “I just thought you were a nice, happy guy,” she responds. He then attempts to kiss her. After she steps away he says to her, “I wish you were older.” It seems pretty obvious why this scene was cut.

10. PEOPLE STILL GIVE ERIC STOLTZ THEIR KEYS.

The actor played the keymaster during a grad party scene, and his one duty was to collect everybody’s keys at the beginning of the party and distribute them at the end. “I still have people come up to me at parties and hand me their keys,” he reminisced to Moviehole. In addition to playing a small role in the movie, Stoltz also worked as a production assistant on set.

11. THE ROCK BAND SAY ANYTHING NAMED THEMSELVES AFTER THE MOVIE BECAUSE THEY RELATED TO LLOYD.

It’s no coincidence the L.A.-based group has the same name as the movie. Lead singer Max Bemis told MTV, “Say Anything… was one of my favorite movies when I was growing up because I’ve always been like a goofy, sincere but not a total dweeb type of a character, and I think that relates to the perspective that a lot of the songs are written from. I just thought it was a cool name for a band.” 

12. CUSACK ALMOST RECREATED THE BOOMBOX SCENE AT A PETER GABRIEL CONCERT.

Before Peter Gabriel sang “In Your Eyes” at his 2012 Hollywood Bowl show, he invited a special guest onstage. Cusack walked onstage carrying a boombox, handed it to Gabriel, and bowed down in deference. Gabriel briefly lifted the boombox over his head, and then sang the song.

13. A SITCOM VERSION OF SAY ANYTHING… WAS IN THE WORKS, UNTIL CROWE PUT A STOP TO IT.

In 2014, Fox gave the green light for producers to adapt the movie into a single-camera TV sitcom that would take place 10 years after the film’s events, but they apparently didn’t bother to ask Crowe for his blessing. Once Crowe found out about it, he tweeted his dismay about the project and said, “I have no involvement … except in trying to stop it.” Cusack also cried foul about the project; the backlash prevailed and the project was canceled.

14. CROWE HAS CONSIDERED WRITING A SEQUEL TO THE FILM.

In an interview with Film School Rejects, Crowe admitted he would like to revisit Dobler and work with Cusack again. “I only mentioned it to [Cusack] once,” Crowe said. “In the spirit of the Truffaut movies, where Antoine Doinel would come back and be in a different context, I really did think that Lloyd could be worth revisiting in maybe a completely different context. So, I don’t know. I guess it would be a spiritual follow-up. I don’t know how strict of a sequel it would be. I don’t know which characters would appear or reappear. It just feels like a character I could still write for.” Cusack told the ladies of The View he’d be up for doing a sequel if Crowe asked him.

Amazon’s Big Fall Sale Features Deals on Electronics, Kitchen Appliances, and Home Décor

Dash/Keurig
Dash/Keurig

If you're looking for deals on items like Keurigs, BISSELL vacuums, and essential oil diffusers, it's usually pretty slim pickings until the holiday sales roll around. Thankfully, Amazon is starting these deals a little earlier with their Big Fall Sale, where customers can get up to 20 percent off everything from home decor to WFH essentials and kitchen gadgets. Now you won’t have to wait until Black Friday for the deal you need. Make sure to see all the deals that the sale has to offer here and check out our favorites below.

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Dash/Amazon

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HP/Amazon

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Selieve/Amazon

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NECA/Amazon

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12 Surprising Facts About T.S. Eliot

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Getty

Born September 26, 1888, modernist poet and playwright Thomas Stearns (T.S.) Eliot is best known for writing "The Waste Land." But the 1948 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature was also a prankster who coined a perennially popular curse word, and created the characters brought to life in the Broadway musical "Cats." In honor of Eliot’s birthday, here are a few things you might not know about the writer.

1. T.S. Eliot enjoyed holding down "real" jobs.

Throughout his life, Eliot supported himself by working as a teacher, banker, and editor. He could only write poetry in his spare time, but he preferred it that way. In a 1959 interview with The Paris Review, Eliot remarked that his banking and publishing jobs actually helped him be a better poet. “I feel quite sure that if I’d started by having independent means, if I hadn’t had to bother about earning a living and could have given all my time to poetry, it would have had a deadening influence on me,” Eliot said. “The danger, as a rule, of having nothing else to do is that one might write too much rather than concentrating and perfecting smaller amounts.”

2. One of the longest-running Broadway shows ever exists thanks to T.S. Eliot.

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In 1939, Eliot published a book of poetry, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which included feline-focused verses he likely wrote for his godson. In stark contrast to most of Eliot's other works—which are complex and frequently nihilistic—the poems here were decidedly playful. For Eliot, there was never any tension between those two modes: “One wants to keep one’s hand in, you know, in every type of poem, serious and frivolous and proper and improper. One doesn’t want to lose one’s skill,” he explained in his Paris Review interview. A fan of Eliot's Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats since childhood, in the late '70s, Andrew Lloyd Webber decided to set many of Eliot's poems to music. The result: the massively successful stage production "Cats," which opened in London in 1981 and, after its 1982 NYC debut, became one of the longest-running Broadway shows of all time.

3. Three hours per day was his T.S. Eliot’s writing limit.

Eliot wrote poems and plays partly on a typewriter and partly with pencil and paper. But no matter what method he used, he tried to always keep a three hour writing limit. “I sometimes found at first that I wanted to go on longer, but when I looked at the stuff the next day, what I’d done after the three hours were up was never satisfactory," he explained. "It’s much better to stop and think about something else quite different.”

4. T.S. Eliot considered "Four Quartets" to be his best work.

In 1927, Eliot converted to Anglicanism and became a British citizen. His poems and plays in the 1930s and 1940s—including "Ash Wednesday," "Murder in the Cathedral," and "Four Quartets"—reveal themes of religion, faith, and divinity. He considered "Four Quartets,” a set of four poems that explored philosophy and spirituality, to be his best writing. Out of the four, the last is his favorite.

5. T.S. Eliot had an epistolary friendship with Groucho Marx.

Eliot wrote comedian Groucho Marx a fan letter in 1961. Marx replied, gave Eliot a photo of himself, and started a correspondence with the poet. After writing back and forth for a few years, they met in real life in 1964, when Eliot hosted Marx and his wife for dinner at his London home. The two men, unfortunately, didn’t hit it off. The main issue, according to a letter Marx wrote his brother: the comedian had hoped he was in for a "Literary Evening," and tried to discuss King Lear. All Eliot wanted to talk about was Marx's 1933 comedy Duck Soup. (In a 2014 piece for The New Yorker, Lee Siegel suggests there had been "simmering tension" all along, even in their early correspondence.)

6. Ezra Pound tried to crowdfund T.S. Eliot’s writing.

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In 1921, Eliot took a few months off from his banking job after a nervous breakdown. During this time, he finished writing "The Waste Land," which his friend and fellow poet Ezra Pound edited. Pound, with the help of other Bohemian writers, set up Bel Esprit, a fund to raise money for Eliot so he could quit his bank job to focus on writing full-time. Pound managed to get several subscribers to pledge money to Eliot, but Eliot didn’t want to give up his career, which he genuinely liked. The Liverpool Post, Chicago Daily Tribune, and the New York Tribune reported on Pound’s crowdfunding campaign, incorrectly stating that Eliot had taken the money, but continued working at the bank. After Eliot protested, the newspapers printed a retraction.

7. Writing in French helped T.S. Eliot overcome writer’s block.

After studying at Harvard, Eliot spent a year in Paris and fantasized about writing in French rather than English. Although little ever came of that fantasy, during a period of writer’s block, Eliot did manage to write a few poems in French. “That was a very curious thing which I can’t altogether explain. At that period I thought I’d dried up completely. I hadn’t written anything for some time and was rather desperate,” he told The Paris Review. “I started writing a few things in French and found I could, at that period ...Then I suddenly began writing in English again and lost all desire to go on with French. I think it was just something that helped me get started again."

8. T.S. Eliot set off stink bombs in London with his nephew.

Eliot, whose friends and family called him Tom, was supposedly a big prankster. When his nephew was young, Eliot took him to a joke shop in London to purchase stink bombs, which they promptly set off in the lobby of a nearby hotel. Eliot was also known to hand out exploding cigars, and put whoopee cushions on the chairs of his guests.

9. T.S. Eliot may have been the first person to write the word "bulls**t."

In the early 1910s, Eliot wrote a poem called "The Triumph of Bulls**t." Like an early 20th-century Taylor Swift tune, the poem was Eliot’s way of dissing his haters. In 1915, he submitted the poem to a London magazine … which rejected it for publication. The word bulls**t isn’t in the poem itself, only the poem’s title, but The Oxford English Dictionary credits the poem with being the first time the curse word ever appeared in print.

10. T.S. Eliot coined the expression “April is the cruelest month.”

Thanks to Eliot, the phrase “April is the cruelest month” has become an oft-quoted, well-known expression. It comes from the opening lines of "The Waste Land”: “April is the cruelest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain.”

11. T.S. Eliot held some troubling beliefs about religion.

Over the years, Eliot made some incredibly problematic remarks about Jewish people, including arguing that members of a society should have a shared religious background, and that a large number of Jews creates an undesirably heterogeneous culture. Many of his early writing also featured offensive portrayals of Jewish characters. (As one critic, Joseph Black, pointed out in a 2010 edition of "The Waste Land" and Other Poems, "Few published works displayed the consistency of association that one finds in Eliot's early poetry between what is Jewish and what is squalid and distasteful.") Eliot's defenders argue that the poet's relationship with Jewish people was much more nuanced that his early poems suggest, and point to his close relationships with a number of Jewish writers and artists.

12. You can watch a movie based on T.S. Eliot’s (really bad) marriage.

Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Tom & Viv, a 1994 film starring Willem Dafoe, explores Eliot’s tumultuous marriage to Vivienne Haigh-Wood, a dancer and socialite. The couple married in 1915, a few months after they met, but the relationship quickly soured. Haigh-Wood had constant physical ailments, mental health problems, and was addicted to ether. The couple spent a lot of time apart and separated in the 1930s; she died in a mental hospital in 1947. Eliot would go on to remarry at the age of 68—his 30-year-old secretary, Esmé Valerie Fletcher—and would later reveal that his state of despair during his first marriage was the catalyst and inspiration for "The Waste Land."

This story has been updated for 2020.