Better Off Dead (1985)

This is the first time I’d watched Better Off Dead since the wonderful TV series “Community” began airing, and I’m wondering if “Community” creator Dan Harmon set it up that way.  In fact, I’ve mentioned it in a Tweet, so I’m sure it’ll be answered… maybe.  According to IMDb, this is John Cusack’s fifth movie, and while it didn’t really make him a huge star, it certainly helped pave the way for him becoming an actor that movie lovers love.

Lane Myer (Cusack) is obsessed with the girl he’s dating, Beth (Amanda Wyss), and when she breaks up with him to go out with skiing stud Roy Stalin (Aaron Dozier), Lane is devastated.  His life begins to spiral out of control and he starts viewing suicide as an option and halfheartedly attempts it in comical ways.  I’m making it sound a lot darker than it actually is.  Soon he meets the gorgeous French foreign exchange student, Monique (Diane Franklin), that is staying at the weird neighbour’s place, and then wacky ’80s movie hijinks!

I think I’ve gone on record several times saying that I think Better Off Dead is one of the most quintessential ’80s movies that exists.  Everything about it is so rooted in that decade of neon decadence.  Writer and director Savage Steve Holland created such a bizarre and off-beat world for this film, eschewing the regular high school film tropes throughout the entire picture that he helped pave the way for other genre-bending high school movies.  Ugh, that sentence made me feel so pretentious and Armond White-ish.  Sorry.  Anyways, if you ever get the chance to watch it, you shan’t be sorry.

4 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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