Here is an appealing drama about a teenage love affair between two very different people. Diane Court (Ione Skye) is the senior class valedictorian at a Seattle, Washington high school. She has just won a fellowship to study in England. Diane lives with her divorced father (John Mahoney) who runs a nursing home and believes that his precocious daughter is the cat's meow. John Cusack, in the most rounded role of his career, is just right as Lloyd Dobler, an underachiever who loves the sport of kickboxing. His two best friends are girls who think he's a gentleman and a sensitive soul. Diane finds out that they are right when she accepts his nervous offer to go out. He opens her up to a side of herself she has never explored and when he is out with her, he feels invincible. Their budding relationship is tested when Diane's father, the one person in the world she totally trusts and respects, is caught embezzling funds from the nursing home.

Writer and director Cameron Crowe has taken the hackneyed subject of teenage love and given it some freshness. Here are two characters we can root for: an intellectual who is humanized and an unfocused boy who finds a "dare-to-be-great situation" in the loving support he provides his girl in her time of need. The poet Rainer Marie Pilke once Worte: "For one human being to love another that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, that last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation."

This excellent film proves in a convincing way that the task of loving is a very special talent indeed.