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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 19.74%
Average: 7.89%
Pretty Bad: 6.58%
Total Crap: 1.32%

2 reviews, 64 user ratings

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Better Off Dead
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by Chris Parry

"A strange beast of a film that can't quite decide what it is."
4 stars

Gal obsesser, John Cusack, loses the love of his life to a jock who can ski the tallest mountain in the town. Obsesser seeks to win back girl by skiing the unskiable and beating the jocks at their own game. But hark! There be a new girl in town! She's French, but nobody's holding that against her.

It's Cusack, so it's gold, right? Yes and no. Certainly Cusack is the high point of the film, and certainly the array of mentally challenged sub-characters, from the weird folks across the street to the stalker paperboy who will do anything to get his $2, are funny. And certainly the film doesn't stand still long enough to ever get boring and has enough high points to get you through.

But it does have issues to address. Savage Steve Holland, as a director, was always about as unfocused as his name suggests. He likes to get his art and animation in movies, which doesn't always bode well for the movie. There's a lot of it in One Crazy Summer, and it doesn't help that flick, and right from the opening credits here you know you're not only watching a Savage Steve affair, but you're also watching something that can not be taken seriously.

The main problem, as I see it, is this is supposed to be a romantic movie, and not for a second did I buy it. All the women that Lloyd obsesses over are outright shrews. The cool chick obsessed with skiing jocks, I wouldn't use her as nuclear reactor shielding. The French exchange student chick who pitches oranges like Roger Clemens, I'm sorry, but a fastball in the high 80's does not a girlfriend make.

It's all pretty much a case of Cusack's natural charm making up for objectified pseudo romance and a mixture of great jokes and jokes you can see coming about two weeks before they hit.

Though it would be very unfair to harp on the downside of Better Off Dead, because the film is completely enjoyable, albeit in a Porkys/Revenge Of The Nerds/Police Academy kind of way - it's funny, but it's also a little messy; a little bit Steve Guttenberg, a little bit Meg Ryan.

But if you're a Cusack fan, an 80's teen angst fan, or just bored on a Saturday night, go grab you some Better Off Dead and laugh at the bad 80's trailers. And put a bra on your head. And gimme my two dollars. If you can get past the scattershot nature of the humor, it's not a bad waste of time.

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originally posted: 02/02/99 10:58:56
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User Comments

6/21/16 Joanie One of the best flicks ever! 5 stars
9/19/13 Annie G One of my favs - watch most years after Christmas. 5 stars
5/31/12 Matthew Thompson Dalldorf A very funny teen-angst spoof 5 stars
6/13/08 Billy stupid for suicide 1 stars
3/17/08 Pamela White Cusack os cute 3 stars
2/07/07 MP Bartley Pointlessly odd. Oddly pointless 2 stars
1/02/07 William Goss A bit too oddball for its own good. 3 stars
6/17/06 nicolecrom2678 One of Cusack's best! 4 stars
1/16/06 Charlie Truly one of the best flicks of the 80's. 4 stars
12/10/05 havthat Perhaps one of Cusack's best roles. 5 stars
8/29/05 ES Silly, not much of a romance but has some funny parts scattered about 3 stars
8/23/05 mwildema One of the best 80's comedies" 5 stars
3/31/05 Mark I'm a big Cusack fan, and I like offbeat comedy, but this movie really fell flat for me. 2 stars
2/01/05 Jeff Anderson One of the best written & funniest teen comedies of all time. SAVAGE STEVE HOLLAND IS KING! 5 stars
8/12/04 ana TWO DOLLARS!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/17/03 anna guest one of my favorites!!!! 5 stars
9/09/03 Me Full of One Liners 5 stars
8/02/03 LeoH So bad that it rises to a new level of awesomeness! 5 stars
7/30/03 3man "I want my two dollars!!!" Very entertaining teen movie 5 stars
3/09/03 jack b nimble funny stuff... pure hilariety 5 stars
2/19/03 sledgehammer you must like Say Anything. so do I. but the BOD charachter's name is Lane, not Lloyd. 5 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby Gut-funny. 4 stars
12/28/02 anniebelle may be the best cusack film of all 5 stars
12/22/02 Pigwidgeon An impossible-to-hate movie. "Buck Up, Little Camper!" 5 stars
11/19/02 Mike Hunt Better Off Dead at absolute least is a cinematic tour de force. 5 stars
11/10/02 Richard Cranium Had to buy that guy a new hat last time 5 stars
10/07/02 Dennis What an awesom spectacle....the crowd awaits in anticepation as the ligths turn green...... 5 stars
10/05/02 Zefram Mann Fucking hillarious. Frankenburger scene still makes me laugh myself to tears to this day. 5 stars
1/11/02 Travis R. Sorensen starts ouy ok but quickly fades. the japanese howard cosell was pretty funny 2 stars
10/17/01 Jay Stuler Gee Ricky I'm real sorry your mom blew up 5 stars
9/04/01 Allan Rutenberg Classic comedy from the 80's. If you didn't get it--you're truly lost.. 5 stars
6/10/01 Shelly The greatest movie of all time 5 stars
5/18/01 zeitgeist i've seen this movie a hundred times and i still laugh my ass off 5 stars
4/24/01 Jed Forget "Being John Malkovich" THIS IS CUSACK'S BEST MOVIE! 5 stars
4/14/01 Tony Soprano Bada-Bing 5 stars
2/06/01 Cool Hand Luke It's happened to everyone. 4 stars
2/06/01 Classicdog Funny shit!!! 4 stars
2/04/01 Del R 2 dollars! 2 dollars! Worth more than that! 5 stars
1/25/01 Sully "Looky why they be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that.." 5 stars
12/01/00 Jim One of the best movies ever made. 5 stars
5/10/00 Harry Nash This is one of the best cult films I've ever seen. 5 stars
4/23/00 Rita John Cusack is talented AND beautiful! 5 stars
12/15/99 Michelle Bennett What girl doesnt love John Cusack! 5 stars
9/21/99 Tina Agree, 98%; Love Cusack, Hate Love Stories... 4 stars
9/10/99 the Grinch I loved the japanese Kosell impersonator. Made by same guy who did "Eek,theCat"has moments 3 stars
7/26/99 Michael Grimm 2 dollars, enough said 5 stars
7/05/99 JRCarey A great sleep aid 2 stars
6/25/99 Andrew P. If you don't like this, you suck. 5 stars
5/02/99 Whitney Ok, but not nearly the best I've seen! 3 stars
4/10/99 Michael Grimm Cream of the crop 5 stars
3/28/99 TJwills Cusack proves his worth again. The paperboy rules, too. 5 stars
2/18/99 Piz if your an 80's child, this is killer! 4 stars
1/30/99 Deceon Classic of Classics, Required viewing for Children of the 80's 5 stars
1/23/99 C Dub One helluva funny flick. 5 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Stupid, but hilarious nonetheless.... 4 stars
10/19/98 Kwyjibo Cusack is a God. 5 stars
9/26/98 Maegs Its a shame, throwing away a perfectly good white boy like that 5 stars
9/23/98 Nate Dogg Scary as it may seem...I've always been attracted to Ricki's mom... 5 stars
9/21/98 Miss Stress This is pure snow, do you know the street value of this mountain? 5 stars
9/20/98 {{{OZ}}} Can Cusack do wrong? 4 stars
9/19/98 J-Guy I want my 5 dollars... BACK! It was okay, but not great. 3 stars
9/17/98 cheryl_ann another great cusack flick, dan schnieder kicks ass as ricky too. 5 stars
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  01-Jan-1985 (PG)


  01-Jan-1985 (PG)

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