The surrealism of Better Off Dead makes it a more accurate depiction of adolescence than any of the more reality-based movies. The real world always seemed as confusing to me as it was for Lane, even though it appeared to follow more consistent rules. That's why this movie is so much better than, say, movies by John Hughes.

By the way, this is really a companion piece to Real Genius, which depicts a group of teenagers who are able to harness surrealism for their own purposes.