Geometry in Better off Dead

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The black comedy “Better off Dead (1985)” is too cartoonish for today’s taste. However, it is so much over the top and ridiculous and ludicrous that it can be considered funny again. Not because the jokes are good but because they are so predictable and over the top that it is also amusing. It is an early performance of John Cusack (who plays Lane Meyer in this movie and would play much better later, like in the “Runaway Jury” and himself was very disappointed by how the movie came out). There is a hilarious scene in a math classroom, in which some ridiculous nonsensical homework problem comes up: the math teacher (played by Vincent Schiavelli, who is probably best known for playing the evil doctor in the James Bond movie “tomorrow never dies”), starts as follows: “The three cardinal trapezoidal formations hereto made orientable in our diagram, creating our geometric configurations which have no properties, but with the location.” The scene drags then on a bit too long for a comedy. In the end, students are distraught when the class is over. But they get consolidated by the fact tomorrow there is the other class and that they have to memorize pages 39 to 110. All the students (except Lane, of course, who thinks he would better be off dead) are delighted. All right!