26 September 2006 | MRavenwood
Hard to Place this Movie in any Genre Besides "Good Movie"
I've never cared for "teen movies" and this *isn't* one, so don't worry. On the surface, this movie would appear to be about high school, or growing up, or the 'loser' guy dares to get the 'winner' girl. This movie is about truthfulness and it's liberating qualities and also about the price one pays for success or greatness.
Diane Court is the valedictorian and the "most likely to succeed" in her high school. Lloyd Dobler is the well-liked underachiever with good character. Lloyd's low-pressure friends accept Diane at a party and she, at last, gets to let her hair down. This launches a romance that Diane's father disdains.
Always quick to shower her with praise, encouragements, and gifts Diane's father has visions of her earth-shattering success. On her part, Diane is getting a little self-conscious over her father's incessant chatter about what HE wants her to be.
Lloyd's attentions to Diane grow inconvenient to her father perhaps less for his romantic interest, but worse: he's diverting her from her greatness. Simultaneously, Lloyd has no outward indicators of achievement. He lacks direction and can't really say what his next moves are. Diane's father's agitation grows when investigators from the IRS launch a criminal investigation of him.
The acting in this film is so believable you feel like you are in the movie yourself. John Mahoney (the father)makes this role look so easy and his face conveys every emotion so clearly. John Cusack nails this role as the anxious-to-please, smitten teen with a sincere heart. His dialog sounds very natural. Ione Skye is lucky. Not many female rolls for teenage girls are as juicy as this one: no nudity, no ax murderers, and no entering into talent competitions. Additional endorsement: I danced with a naval officer from a nuclear sub to the main theme of this film and he immediately asked me if I had seen this film. We proceeded to have a conversation about how great this film is!