Better Off Dead is a romantic comedy film that centers on high school student Lane Meyer (John Cusack). Lane comes from an odd family; his mother Jenny (Kim Darby) is a housewife who is not particularly good at anything, his father, Al (David Ogden Stiers) is numb to everything around him and his brother, Badger (Scooter Stevens) is smart, but does not speak. When Lane's girlfriend, Beth (Amanda Wyss), leaves him for Roy Stalin (Aaron Dozier), the captain of the school's ski team, Lane attempts to end his life on numerous occasions. However, every attempt he makes fails, often under funny circumstances. Lane's life takes a turn for the better when he meets Monique (Diane Franklin), a French foreign exchange student. The two spend time together, doing things Beth would never have done with him, including working on his 1969 Camaro. Just when he thinks his life is getting better, a competition threatens to ruin Lane's newfound confidence.