Better Off Dead

"Two speaks no English, the other learned English from watching "The Wide World of Sports." So you tell me...which is better, speaking no English at all, or speaking Howard Cosell?"

release year: 1985
genre: comedy
viewing setting: home DVD 11/22/13 and laserdisc 6/15/97

synopsis: High school student Lane Myer lives and breathes for his when she dumps him, he must cope despite a variety of crazy people in his life.

impressions: This is a wacky high school comedy full of weird elements, among them: a mother who can't cook and who dresses up as a reindeer for Christmas...dinner that slithers off the table...a brother who never talks but who can build incredible things out of mail-order kits...the cute French foreign exchange student who's living next door with the annoying loud mom and dorky son...Japanese brothers who always want to race and one of whom talks like Howard Cosell...the newspaper kid who's determined to get his two dollars. Very, very funny.

acting: John Cusack is Lane, who just needs to break out of his rut and gain some confidence. The guy who played Booger in Revenge of the Nerds is Lane's best friend, whose help and advice are of questionable value. Diane Franklin is Monique, who helps Lane climb out of his depression (and also fixes his late-60s Camaro!) Amanda Wyss is the empty-headed girlfriend whose idea of the best boyfriend is whoever can ski the best.

final word: Great 80s high school comedy, one of the classics.

back to the main review page