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Better Off Dead... (1985)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 27,883 users  
Reviews: 169 user | 37 critic

A teenager has to deal with his girlfriend dumping him among family crises, homicidal paper boys, and a rival skier.

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Title: Better Off Dead... (1985)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jenny Meyer
...
Johnny Gasparini
Scooter Stevens ...
Badger Meyer
...
Laura Waterbury ...
Mrs. Smith
...
Ricky Smith (as Daniel Schneider)
...
Yee Sook Ree
Brian Imada ...
Chen Ree
Chuck Mitchell ...
Rocko
...
Beth Truss
...
Aaron Dozier ...
Roy Stalin
Frank Burt Avalon ...
Roy's Ski Buddy #1
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Storyline

Lane Meyer is a depressed teen who loses his girlfriend Beth. Her given reason for breaking up is: "Lane, I think it'd be in my best interest if I dated somebody more popular. Better looking. Drives a nicer car." Anyway, poor Lane is left alone and thinks up treacherous ways of killing himself. He finally meets a French beauty called Monique and falls for her. Simultaneously, he must endure his mother's terrible cooking which literally slides off the table and his disgusting next door neighbour Ricky (and his mum) while he prepares for the skiing race of his life - to get his old girlfriend back! Written by Michael Feller <reb@magna.com.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Teenage life has never been darker...or funnier... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Better Off Dead  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This wasn't the first time Diane Franklin used a French accent in a film. For part of Second Time Lucky (1984) she played a French nurse in World War I. See more »

Goofs

The math teacher tells Lane to show the class his solution to the "paltry geometric dilemma". A dilemma is a difficult decision - math problems can't have dilemmas, because they can't think. The correct word would be "conundrum". See more »

Quotes

Monique Junot: I figured if we had nothing to say to each other he would get bored; go away. But instead he uses it as an excuse to put his testicles all over me.
Lane Myer: Excuse me?
Monique Junot: You know, like octopus? Testicles?
Lane Myer: Ohhhh. Tentacles. N-T. Tentacles; big Difference.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last line of the credits reads The film's over... you can go now. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Family Guy: I Take Thee, Quagmire (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Here Comes Santa Claus
Written by Gene Autry and Oakley Haldeman
Performed by The Carpenters
Produced by Richard Carpenter
Courtesy of A&M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Have You All Gone Mad?
7 March 2010 | by (north dakota) – See all my reviews

The IMDb user rating seems a bit excessive. Now, I like John Cusack (he was great in Grosse Pointe Blank and Eight Men Out) and I enjoy teen comedies like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but this flick is about as bad as a movie can get. A dark comedy with very little edge and even less laughter, this was one of the biggest disappointments I have seen in recent memory. Now I know why it was listed for one cent on Amazon.com.

The story concerns high schooler Cusack whose girlfriend, played by Amanda Wyss (Shakma) leaves him for a boorish jock. The film's title come from Cusack believing himself to be better off dead than minus Amanda Wyss. So, he tries to commit suicide (he really doesn't, his foolish attempts only give credence to the fact that he can't score at anything) a couple times during the film. Savage Steve Holland tries to coax laughs out of an eccentric family, Cusack's best pal that snorts snow and a deranged newspaper boy demanding his money. It's films like this that give teen comedies a bad name.

STORY: $$$ (There was plenty room here for Holland to give his viewers the goods but his writing skills are wanting to say the least. He fails to build any sort darkness out of John Cusack's character making his suicidal sojourns pointless and flat. Holland was dealt a hanging curveball and popped the darn thing up).

ACTING: $$ (Rather weak here as well. Genre favorites Curtis Armstrong, Vincent Schiavelli and Amanda Wyss do their thing and try to give this some substance but fail. Cusack is far better in other films and David Ogden Steirs is wasted as John's father).

SEXUALITY: $ (Little of note here. The sexy Tina Littlewood is accidentally stripped in the school cafeteria and blushes in her underwear).


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John Cusack hates Better off Dead SpinCT
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Was this movie written by a child? Dumb and Cheesy. waters-9
John Cusack doesn't hate this movie (um, anymore?) kaphawoman
who else thought Beth was a bit** JLetofan
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