At last, a teenage love story with real characters instead of cliches, poses, and attitudes (1989). The directorial debut of Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire), it follows two very different high school graduates in Seattle—aspiring kickboxer Lloyd (John Cusack) and brilliant student Diane (Ione Skye), who’s just won a fellowship to study in England—as, to everyone’s surprise, they gradually get involved. John Mahoney plays Diane’s devoted but demanding father. Produced by Polly Platt, with James L. Brooks serving as executive producer, the movie stands out mainly because its attention to detail is so precise; Cusack and Skye are especially fine, but the overall treatment of contemporary teenagers is so refreshing that it almost makes up for dozens of phony and superficial predecessors (and for once the adults aren’t viewed exclusively from the wrong end of the telescope). As in Brooks’s Broadcast News, it’s the characters and their interrelationships that make the story.