Friday, November 20, 2009

Movie Review: Better Off Dead

My favorite thing about high school (aside from that time I had to kill all my classmates in order to progress to the tenth grade - sorry, guys!) was skiing the K-12 against this Ken-doll jerk who stole my girlfriend and totes winning her back, only to be all "Suck it, Beth, I gots me a new supercute French exchange student girlfriend who not only digs my sick saxophonin' skills but also taught me how to fix my wicked vintage Camero in only ten quick montage-frames, yo!" Yeah, high school woulda been pretty perfect after that, if only I could figure out how to get the paperboy to leave me alone about his damn two dollars!

Listen, Better Off Dead is clearly not a movie for everyone. If you don't like things that are funny, I mean, just don't even bother. Rent  Grandma's Boy instead or something. The thing I love so much about eighties teen comedies is that they were so much more clever than most of today's hypersexualized fare. These days, if someone tried to make a movie involving claymation hamburgers singing a duet, a young man trying to off himself in increasingly comical ways, a mildly retarded shut-in attempting to seduce a foreign exchange student through masculine displays of snorting jello up his nose, random street races against Asian sports-announcer wannabes, and popularity-defining ski competitions, it would get shut down in the twelve minutes it takes those seven dudes to write Not Another Teen Movie Part Two.

I mean, if the woman you exchanged black-and-white headshots with suddenly dumped you after six whole months of going steady, just because she wanted to date someone more popular, you'd pour yourself a mighty tall glass of paint thinner too, right? If only life were as simple for Lane (John Cusack) as it is for his younger brother, who builds spaceships out of the toys he buys from the offers on the backs of cereal boxes. Thank goodness for cute exchange students (Diane Franklin) and two-minute montages set to uptempo pop ballads! Besides, everyone knows if you really want to kill yourself, you might as well ski the K-12. Even Olympic medalists won't tackle that snow-capped rock.

Man, I just summarized this movie almost exactly the same way three times.

Here is a clip:

Next Up: Black Sheep! (Not the Chris Farley movie.)

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