Here at FYA, we appreciate all that is scientific and fair. Which is why, against our better judgment, we bring you the Freddie Prinze, Jr. Overtime Deathmatch: Say Anything (13) vs. The Outsiders (5). Why is this happening? Lord knows, really. For some reason 50% of you seem to think that Say Anything deserves to remain in this tournament, and now we are at an impasse. There is only one way to solve this:
violent, bloodthirsty battle royale calm and reasoned argument.
Normally, we’d have one person argue for each side, but given the hasty assembly of this post and the overwhelming preference at FYA HQ for Movies That Are Not Say Anything, things got a little messy this time around. Posh is the
sole primary champion of Say Anything, whereas Jenny was the most eloquent when expressing the good points of The Outsiders and not just slamming Lloyd Dobbler. The rest of us have filled in arguments where necessary, and I even tried to defend Say Anything in places for the sake of science. (It… didn’t go well.)
And now, without further ado: the deathmatch shall begin.
Jenny: Okay, how about the fact that The Outsiders is an ACTUALLY GOOD MOVIE? One that stands the test of time? We watched it recently, and it was just gorgeous. The shots, the story, and the acting. I got chills when I heard Ponyboy Curtis utter the opening lines: "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home."
Posh: As the lone Say Anything lover here at FYA HQ, I have thrown myself into careful research in order to give this 1989 gem the defense it most certainly deserves. I now present to you my opening argument:
Jenny: This movie is adapted from an actual YA novel. In fact, one of THE YA novels, and it's an adaptation that stays true to the book.
Alix: This film was written and directed by Cameron Crowe, which means that the source material is probably Cameron Crowe. I could argue that this is not as cool as basing your movie on a seminal novel that pretty much every American school kid has to read at some point, but I won’t. Instead, I will give Cameron Crowe props for realism—how many hapless teens have identified with Lloyd over the years, just like Cameron before them?
Jenny: Launched the careers of pretty much EVERYONE: Patrick Swayze, Tommy Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, DIANE LANE, and Leif Garrett! And it ALSO features a cameo of none other than Tom Waits!!!! But there's more! What other cameos are in this film? Why, a very young Sofia Coppola, and the author herself, Ms. S. E. Hinton.
- Lili Taylor. Being awesome. Per usual.
- John and Joan Cusack, playing siblings in a movie.
- Ione Skye, being beautiful.
- Jeremy Piven, being drunk.
- Eric Stoltz wearing a rooster costume.
Jenny: It's one of the most beautiful love stories of ALL TIME, because that's what it's about -- a bunch of boys who love each other. Stay gold.
Alix: Admittedly, Jenny, that is not the most convincing argument (although I, for one, am CONVINCED. But I was convinced long before we got here, soooo). Since I am incapable of saying good things about the “romance” in this movie, I will instead sample from one of our commenters last week:
“Say Anything is maybe the greatest love story ever committed to film.”
That… is not so much an argument as a statement, the veracity of which is highly debatable. But it’s all I’ve got, folks.
Alix: Honestly, I don't even want to defend The Outsiders, which I haven't seen since 7th grade English class. The real problem I have is the bizarre celebration of averageness that's happening with Say Anything. Coming into this tournament, I didn't have much of an opinion on Say Anything other than I thought it was a bit overhyped and really boring. But now, because of all of the inexplicable adulation for this mediocrefest of a movie, my apathy has turned to this:
Any movie left in the tournament (and most of them that are no longer with us) should be able to defeat this awful turdfest of a film, including The Outsiders, which, from what I remember, is pretty decent and has lots of pretty dudes. Why are we even having this conversation right now?!
Mandy: Alix, I'm in the same boat as you re: Outsiders (haven't seen it since Grade 7 Language Arts). But how can you go wrong with a bunch of dudes with hearts of gold from the wrong side of the tracks? Just bro-ing out, them against the world. And it's one of the few teen movies that the most important relationships aren't about kissy-face.
Megan: I also haven't seen the Outsiders since 7th grade English! So I can't help with that one, but I can help with the shitting on Say Anything if we need it. But we might have enough of that already. So for now, I'll just say that a guy in high school told me I was just like Diane Court, which is insane, because she has no personality and high school me was BRIMMING with personality (good, bad or otherwise) and it remains to this day one of the most baffling and insulting compliments I've ever received. (And yes, he DID mean it as a compliment!)
Erin: Say Anything has spawned a generation of Nice Guys who think that if they Just.Keep.Trying, that girl they like will go out with them. Who cares that the girl has declined, numerous times, and has too much shit going on in her life to even deal with some pissant kickboxer with delusions of awesomeness.
ALSO. If ANYONE showed up at my house, uninvited, and blared fucking Peter Gabriel outside my window to wake me up, I'd be waking their ass up with my shotgun.
Jenny: Has anyone watched Say Anything SINCE they saw it when they were 13? Because it was on one day, and let me tell you, I preferred my memory of it.
Meghan: I KNOW. I honestly can't remember anything about the movie, other than Lloyd and the girl driving around in a car a lot and me being SUPER DUPER BORED.
Alix: Okay, as much fun as we’re having trashing Say Anything, we should probably bring it back to The Outsiders. I want folks to vote for The Outsiders based on merit, not just because the alternative is terrible. And if the following argument doesn’t Swayze you, as Mandy would say, I don’t know what will. Francis Ford Coppola directed The Outsiders! As commenter katherinelynn pointed out last week, Francis Ford Coppola also brought Champ Cans to the world. Ergo, a vote for Say Anything is a VOTE AGAINST CHAMP CANS. Choose wisely, good people.
Posh: In Say Anything, Cameron Crowe gave us a character who still resonates with teenagers (and adults). Lloyd Dobler isn't hot, and he isn't cool (have you seen that trench coat?), but he's dedicated to following his heart, and that's why he inspires hope in regular guys and girls everywhere. In this film, he learns how to go from being "just a guy" to being a man, and his journey is universal in its obstacles and victories. Also, he's really into kickboxing, which we all know is the sport of the future.
In closing, here are the other reasons why Say Anything is a cinematic classic.
- This song.
- "I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen."
- Lloyd horsing around with his nephew, aka the cutest kid ever.
I know y'all could say anything about this movie, but when it comes to the polls, I hope you'll say YES.
What’ll it be, FYA?
Polls close at Midnight CST tonight.