While I was on vacation at the beach, I watched the thematically appropriate One Crazy Summer, starring John Cusack and written and directed by Savage Steve Holland.
So now that we’re back, we watched their earlier collaboration Better Off Dead (just re-released in the “I Love the 80s” line with goofy packaging label). It’s still as cute and warm and funny as I remember (although a lot more slow-paced than today’s films, which is part of its charm), but it wasn’t until now that I realized it’s got the same plot as an Archie comic.
Cusack as Lane is Archie, of course, a schlubby nice guy who finds himself over his head when it comes to girls and sports. He winds up challenging the school’s top dog on a killer downhill ski run, just like Archie often competes in sports beyond his skill level. Both have a goofy slacker buddy with a fondness for strange hats; in the movie, he’s played by Curtis “Booger” Armstrong.
Lane is obsessively in love with Beth (who, contrary to name, is Veronica, driven by social standing) but winds up with Monique, the girl next door who fixes cars, plays sports, and encourages and loves him for who he is — Betty with a French accent.
It goes to show how universal this triangle is.