According to linguist Deborah Tanner, men use speech as a way of getting attention and establishing their position in a group. For them, language is naturally aggressive and combative. Speech for women, on the other hand, is used to confirm and maintain intimacy. Conversation means reaching out to others and talking about matters of the heart.
The differences between men and women's conversational styles are graphically presented in He Said, She Said, a Paramount Pictures release. Kevin Bacon plays Dan Hanson, a boyishly charming journalist for the Baltimore Sun who writes obituaries and dates a wide variety of women. Elizabeth Perkins, in her finest comic performance to date, is Lorie Bryer, Dan's main competition at the newspaper. She covers weddings and looks down her nose at his chauvinistic games. When a column on the Op-Ed page opens up, they square off against each other. Their bosses can't decide who is better for the position, so the two reporters find themselves opposite each other with columns titled "He Said" and "She Said." Their combative editorials prove to be very entertaining, and soon they have a television show with the same format. As they become more and more romantically involved, the differences between them are magnified.
"He Said," the first half of the film, is directed by Ken Kwapis; it presents Dan's view of their work and love life. "She Said," the second half, is directed by Marisa Silver; it covers the same timeframe from Lorie's perspective. This is a snappy, scrappy comedy about some of the universal problems which plague romantic relationships due to different perceptions of conversation, feelings, love, work, fantasy, sex, and commitment. He Said, She Said is guaranteed to stimulate conversation between couples.