This post began as a small “News Worth Sharing” post, but quickly got out of hand. Once I was done, I had to create a new category – Random Rants. I hope I don’t have to add to it often.
Surfing the net today I discovered an article on slashfilm.com that quotes Cameron Crowe as saying that there may possibly be a sequel to “Say Anything”. His comments, made during the annual Television Critics Association press tour, are quoted as follows:
“I do kind of think there might be another chapter to that. I’ve thought about it from time to time and talked to John Cuasack about it. Lloyd Dobler might be back. It’s the only thing I’ve ever written that I might consider doing that with.”
To which I say, “Oh my dear God, please %#$&ing no.”
“Say Anything” was one of the seminal movies of the 1980s to me. I honestly think that it helped define me as a person. The Character of Lloyd Dobler helped me understand what people meant when they refered to someone as a “romantic”, and I did eventually wind up teaching Karate for a few years (Don’t think I didn’t think of this flick more than once when I asked kids to give me their strongest kiais). His speech about not wanting to sell anything or buy anything or process anything was one that I had verbatim in my repertoire at one point in time, and I actually DID once say to a girlfriend’s father, “I just want to hang out with your daughter.” when he asked me what my plans were in life.
So, to say I’d be protective of this movie would be a massive understatement.
Now, certainly at this point, the quote could be considered idle speculation. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. In fact, these are exactly the kinds of little seedlings you get in advance of these types of movies. The director or some actor at some completely unrelated event seemingly indulges some meaningless conjecture, and then next thing you know you’re seeing a trailer. I’m not kidding, it happens just like this.
Now, not all of these 20+ years later sequels are horrible nightmares. I enjoyed the return of Gordon Gecko, and the world is a better place for Scorcese’s decision to revisit Fast Eddie Felson, that’s for certain.
However, the potential exists to do serious damage to your characters. Michael Corleone should have stayed on that park bench forever. And please, don’t even get me started about Darth Vader.
So why take that risk?
And the most important thing of all is that you close the imagination on the time beyond the movie for us forever. “Say Anything” is a movie about teenaged romanticism. Not just with a girl or a guy, but with life in general. At 18, Lloyd Dobler COULD say he didn’t want to Sell or Buy or Process anything. He COULD dream of being a professional kickboxer. We’re left with him and his girlfriend taking off into the sky and the future for them is wide open… just like life IS to people at that age.
As such, the movie speaks to THAT period of life. The teenaged years, when you can still afford to be idealistic.
Now this element of what I’m saying is independent of the quality of the sequel. No matter how good a movie you make, no matter how excellent or not the sequel is, once you show me “Middle Age Lloyd Dobler” I will forever stop thinking of “Say Anthing 1 Lloyd Dobler” as Lloyd Dobler and start thinking of him as “Young Lloyd Dobler”, the yet to be man who is destined to become whatever you put forth in the sequel. I know that sentence isn’t the easiest to follow.
Let me simply restate that if you leave the characters as they are, I’m free to imagine who they will be. Or more importantly NOT imagine who they will be… to be free of images of them later in life. However, if you paint the picture for me, you not only rob me of the fun of possibly imagining it for myself, I’m locked in to attaching the new story to the original like an addition on the side of a house. Thus “Say Anything” would stop being a teen movie for me… teen romance, teen idealism, teen problems… and start being a movie that’s more like, the life of Lloyd Dobler pt 1.
This is why I refuse to watch “Clerks II” I don’t give a shit how funny it is. I honestly don’t care if it imparts a load of sage wisdom about the meaning of life. If I watch it, I can never see Randall and Dante man that counter again and not think of who they would eventually become. And I don’t want to think of them eventually becoming anything. As a snapshot of life, Clerks is pretty much perfect (note, I’m CERTAINLY not saying the movie is perfect, LOL). They’re snarky and cool and underachieving, but right there, right then, that’s great. I don’t want them in my head as middle-aged or approaching middle-aged men. Randall and Dante are early 20 somethings who work at the quick stop. And that’s it.
I’m already bitter. Just thinking about this has me pissed off. I am totally willing to forgo the slight chance that “Say Anything 2” will be an awesome, worthy successor, in order to completely avoid the far more likely possibility that it will taint a beloved classic. And god %$#&ing forbid “Say Anything Again” or “Say Everything” or “Do Anything” gets made and Lloyd is a Salesman somewhere. I will go on a horrifying, ranting rampage across the blogosphere that people will NOT want to see.