Better Off Dead... (1985) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • The teenager Lane Meyer has a crush on his girlfriend Beth Truss. When Beth dumps him to stay with the successful skier Roy Stalin, Lane is depressed and decides to commit suicide. However he gives up and tries to improve his skill of skier to ski the dangerous K12 slope to impress Beth. Meanwhile his neighbor Mrs. Smith receives the exchange French student Monique Junot and her fat son Ricky Smith considers Monique his girlfriend; however, Monique has an unrequited crush on Lane that does not note her. When Lane stumbles upon Monique in a high-school party, he befriends her. The upset Lane challenges Roy in a competition on the K12 slope but then he regrets. However Monique is a great mechanic and skier, and fix Lane's Camaro and teaches him how to ski the K12 slope. What will happen to Lane?

  • 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!

  • Lane Meyer is obsessed with his girlfriend Beth and is crushed when she falls for the new captain of the ski team, Roy. After several failed suicide attempts, narrow escapes from the relentless paper boy, and nearly unbearable dinners at home with his crazy family, Lane finds a new love in French exchange student Monique Junot. Meanwhile, he must beat Roy on the slopes to regain his honor.

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


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • John Cusack stars as Lane Meyers, a geeky loser high school student whose girlfriend dumps him in their senior year for the new captain of the ski team. Crushed by his loss, Lane decides that suicide is the only answer. His various pathetic attempts only end in embarassing failure, making matters worse. On top of all this, his father is harassing him about his life and his broken-down car, he is being stalked by a lunatic paperboy, and his ten year-old brilliant gifted brother is quickly becoming Hugh Heffner.

    Obsessed with winning Beth back, he challenges the new captain to a deadly ski race down K-12, the most dangerous slope in California. Meanwhile, the outcast loser neighbor across the street is offering housing for a beautiful French foreign exchange student who decides to help him get back on track. Can he get his car running again? Can he survive the paperboy stalker? Will he win Beth back, or is he better off dead?

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