Arrested by You by Rupert Hines is the perfect song to cap the movie Better Off Dead since it speaks to the budding love story that takes place within the movie between Lane and Monique perfectly. The rest of the movie is a laugh riot despite being dark and kind of depressing, but quite honestly the fact that Lane is so broken up about a girlfriend of six months is pretty typical of a high school student. Romance runs hot, heavy, and quickly in high school and if you sink too deeply too fast you might find out that the other person has let go long before you were ready. After all, as much emotion is packed into high school there’s also the possibility that vapidity and shallowness will be just as possible in the development of teens.
Of course as a love story Better Off Dead works just as well since it’s basically a comedy wrapped around a love story that’s derived from a comedic tragedy that is something that many upon many individuals have felt during their high school years. The methods in which Lane tries to kill himself are even comical since none of them work and they end up backfiring somehow and becoming part of the comic relief of the film. If this movie was ever meant to be serious then it really missed the mark, but if it meant to be funny throughout its entire length then it was brilliant. That’s the thing with this movie though, you just don’t know since it’s kind of dark but still really funny and very touching. The crush that Monique has on Lane is pretty obvious but it’s just as obvious that once his neighbor Ricky is told that Monique is basically his match made in heaven he’s reluctant to let her go.
Of course Ricky finds love too in this insane comedy and eventually Lane’s ex figures out that while she made a snap judgment in dumping Lane he’s no longer interested in her since he found someone that actually likes him and has similar interests. It’s like taking a time warp and experiencing the frantic nature of high school all over again, including the uncertainty and the neverending angst that so many kids go through thinking that the world is going to end if they don’t get what they want right now. Sometimes it’s simply exhausting while at other times it’s funny since if you can remember those days some of the strangest things in the world carried the most importance to us, yet now we look back and wonder what in the world we were thinking.
The truth of it is that high school is worse than many a battlefield with ever aspire to be since it’s a place that young people are sent to socialize, learn, grow up, and in many cases discover the base principles of life in a very convoluted and difficult manner that offers only the slimmest of margins for total success and a wide margin of error for messing up in the most monumental way.