When his girlfriend of six months unexpectedly breaks up with him, Lane Meyers (John Cusack) is ready to throw in the towel. And while Lane’s oblivious parents and quirky little brother don’t notice that his suicide attempts, even trying to off himself doesn’t go Lane’s way. This dark comedy is able to make depression and the overall doldrums that is known as high school seem like hilarity at every turn.
After once again making a “I want my two dollars” reference that went over my intended audience’s head, I was feeling nostalgic for Better Off Dead, which is in my opinion, pretty much the only good 80s movie out there. Unlike teen romance movies from the 1980s such as Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, or The Breakfast Club, Better Off Dead is hasn’t made quite the name for itself in Hollywood history but it does seem to have a bit of a cult status. Those of us who like it, really like it. And hence we make references like “I want my two dollars” all the time. Or, we randomly say things like, “Gee, I’m real sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.” Or we just reminiscence about dancing hamburgers with glee. (And unlike those other movies, it has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes it a great movie – I think it’s the dark comedy and the surrealism combined that really seal the deal.)
At any rate, all this nostalgia made me think it was time to pull out Better Off Dead and give it a re-viewing in a decade other than the 80s. Some movies that I loved growing up really turned out to be a bust when I re-watched them as an adult. (I’m looking at you, Dirty Dancing.) But Better Off Dead was just as funny – if not funnier because I probably understood more of the jokes now – to re-watch. Next time you’re really blue, dig out Better Off Dead and you’ll find yourself laughing right away!