Friday, August 8, 2014

The Allure of Lloyd Dobler

Say Anything (1989) came out while I was in high school. Half of my friends had it on VHS and we would watch it at every sleepover*.

We all would drool and sigh for Lloyd Dobler, possibly the most decent and vulnerable male character any of us had ever encountered. He just...cared so much! He was willing to follow his girlfriend across the ocean in a loving show of support. 

Lloyd was counter-cultural in any number of ways--a seeming lack of ambition, a reluctance to buy in to the capitalist dream. He was a sweet rebel, though. A contrast to Christian Slater characters of the time - the homicidal anti-hero of 1988's Heathers and the radio pirate of 1990's Pump Up the Volume.

At the start of the film, Lloyd is asked how he convinced the gorgeous valedictorian to come to a party. He says he just called and asked. His questioner smiles, "This is great. This gives me hope. Thanks."

Lloyd Dobler gave us hope as well. That we would be loved, supported, and have partners who really wanted to talk with us and share feelings along with the hormones. 

*Also in the rotation?  Top Gun, The Princess Bride, and in one departure from the norm, Fatal Attraction.  Yikes!

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