Say Anything… – Daily News of Los Angeles

Crowe’s Youthful Vision is Founded on Research

Cameron Crowe says: “So many of the movies about young people now seem to be coming from guys sitting in offices that think they know what young people are like. They don’t really go out and spend time doing the research.”

Cameron Crowe does the research.

For “Say Anything,” his first film as a director-screenwriter, he hung out at Seattle teen haunts and spent hours chatting with kids over burgers and fries.

For “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” his best-selling book about adolescent culture, he went undercover in 1979 to do his fieldwork. A young- looking 21-year-old at the time, he passed himself off as a high school student.

The book was turned into a hit movie in 1982, for which Crowe wrote the screenplay. “Fast Times” vaulted Sean Penn from anonymity to stardom with his performance as a marijuana-puffing, party-animal surfer, and helped ignite a teen-pic boom in the ’80s.

Crowe is far from happy with the direction that boom has taken in the years since. He has grown tired of movies where “Animal House” behavior abounds, where there’s always at least one car chase and “every Porsche goes into the water.”

He said “Say Anything” was written to counterbalance the hormonal excesses that have become the stock in trade of the Hollywood teen movie.

“Say Anything” is about a romance between a brilliant but lonely high school beauty and a good-hearted kid who makes up in sincerity and sensitivity for what he lacks in social polish. (Ione Skye and John Cusack play the couple).

Courtesy of Daily News of Los Angeles – Soren Andersen – April 25, 1989