Spoilers

In discussing films, there might be spoilers. Sorry!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Better Off Dead ...

What is a teenage to do when his girlfriend dumps him for his rival, his dad thinks he's lost his mind, the paper boy is after him and the neighbors just got a hot, french exchange student?

You make one of the best off the wall comedies, one that doesn't even make it into the comedy section in later years. Video stores -- when there were still video stores -- filed it under Cult Classic.

John Cusack plays Lane Meyer, a champion level skier who just hasn't figured it out yet.  Until he can conquer the dreaded K12 mountain and win back the love of his lost Beth, he doesn't think that life is worth living anymore.

So ensues a hilarious half hearted attempt to be Better Off Dead.

A major element of this film, that propels it into cult status is the slew of secondary characters that steal the scenes when no one if looking.

*     The father who is trying to figure out what his sons are up to.  All he wants for Christmas is his garage windows fixed and even that is out of his realm of possibly. He does look pretty sure of himself though, when he dons the aardvark suit his wife gave him as a gift.

*     The mother who thinks TV dinners - as well as aardvark suits -- make wonderful Christmas presents and who cooks food that literally crawls off the plate and wanders away.  "It's got raisins in it. You like raisins."

*     The kid brothers who doesn't have a word of dialogue but captures our attention as he picks up trashy women and begins to build a space shuttle out of household appliances.

*     And who could forget the paper boy.  Tough and ready, with his gang of black clad paper boys racing after Lane calling out his "Two dollars.  I want my two dollars."

It's the paperboy who chases Lane down the K12 and into the arms of his true love. Not the fickle Beth who he thought he wanted.  But, Monique,  the french exchange student living across the street. She's got a mean pitching arm, a love of the Dodgers and the best advice Lane gets in the whole movie: "I think you need just a small taste of success and you will find it suits you."




"Gee, I'm real sorry your Mom blew up, Ricky."

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