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Love & Mercy (2015) Movie Review: Pickin’ Up Good Vibrations

love and mercy poster

Love & Mercy (2015)
Director: Bill Pohlad
Cast: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti

Each year there’s a bunch of biopics vying for your attention. Some like Straight Outta Compton and Steve Jobs generated quite a bit of buzz. Love & Mercy about the Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson was also very well received, though the movie’s release was quieter.

The most striking choice director Bill Pohlad makes is in casting two very different actors to respectively play the young and older Brian Wilson. Surprisingly it’s not as jarring as I would have imagined. This choice helped to immediately differentiate between the two eras as the film cut back and forth in time. Love & Mercy is factual based but it’s more concerned with what’s going on inside Wilson’s head than what his facial features look like.  

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10 Things I Like About “Say Anything”

Say Anything John Cusack Boombox

This post is part of MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur – High School/Teen Romance Movies. Don’t forget to check out all the great posts in this feature.

John Cusack holding a boombox outside his girlfriend’s bedroom window. It’s an iconic cinematic moment that, if you’re like me, are familiar with even if you haven’t watched 1989’s “Say Anything“. It’s been referenced and parodied so much, it’s about time I check out what the fuss is all about. Funny thing is watching that scene in context played out differently than what I expected. I’ll talk about that down below.

Say Anything reminds me a little bit of the more recent teen movie “The Spectacular Now“. The characters and their relationship feel instantly genuine. You see, Lloyd (John Cusack) doesn’t have big plans after high school. The only thing on his mind is getting a date with Diane (Ione Skye), the brainy girl who’s totally out of his league.

While Diane is the envy of other girls, her highly focused mind-set keeps her sheltered from many typical high school experiences.  We can see how Lloyd and Diane influence each other in ways that they would have never experienced if they never met. Their romance is not overly sappy and the humor comes across naturally. And also like The Spectacular Now, the father figure plays a role in this coming of age story.

Without further ado, here are 10 random things I like about Say Anything. A heads up, some of these will contain spoilers. You may want to watch Say Anything first before reading further.

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