First I will answer the unasked question: Yes. I am obsessed with Say Anything. Obsessed with all of Cameron Crowe's pre-divorce movies, in fact.
To start, a couple of definitions:
"The Manic Pixie Dream Girl exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures."
The Cameron Role is a sort of autobiographical stand-in for Crowe himself. Originally called out by Campbell Scott referencing his role in Singles, it's always the lead role. Assumed to speak most directly for what Cameron believes and is trying to say with the movie.
Basic housekeeping is out of the way, huzzah! On to Random Movie Theory #1.
Lloyd Dobbler is the male lead. John Cusack's coloring matches that of Cameron Crowe. Lloyd makes a lot of idealistic pronouncements, many of which fall solidly into the moral center of the Crowe universe. So he's the Cameron, right?
Not so fast.
Cusack's performance as Lloyd is charismatic, electric even. He's the emotional center of the movie. But it isn't actually his story. It's Diane's.
The main character is the one who grows the most through the course of the movie. Diane is the one facing her father's betrayal. Diane is the one whose worldview changes. She's the character who has growth and is a different person at the end of the movie.
Also, compare Diane to William Miller, Crowe's literal autobiographical stand-in from Almost Famous. Brainy child prodigy, somewhat socially awkward, hasn't spent a lot of time in high school with the other students.
In contrast look at how outgoing and magnetic Lloyd is. We never see any of Diane's friends, while Lloyd obviously has connections throughout the school, in the same way that Penny Lane has obvious connections throughout the music industry. Lloyd is a catalyst for Diane to loosen up and embrace life in the same way Penny does that for William.
Lloyd Dobbler is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. And Diane Court is the Cameron role.
Chris babbles about movies,pop culture, life, and weird stuff that occurs to her. Oh, and occasionally something useful happens.