Better off dead

The Frida Cinema Santa Ana, CA


Dr. Galena Rhoades

Research Professor and Director, Institute for Relationship Science, University of Denver; Clinical Psychologist

moderated by

Atalia Lopez

Frida Cinema Board Member

Better Off Dead— Navigating love and loss

Have you ever wondered what an 80s cult classic film can teach us about the psychology of love and heartbreak? Join Dr. Galena Rhoades as she delves into the intricate world of relationships through the lens of the cult classic film Better Off Dead. Dr. Rhoades will explore the predictors of relationship success, offering valuable insight into improving the outcomes of romantic relationships. Additionally, Dr. Rhoades will illuminate the impact of breakups on our psychological well-being, examining the positive and negative ramifications. Discover strategies for navigating the complexities of heartache and emerge with a deeper understanding of how to transform breakup experiences into opportunities for growth and resilience.

The Frida Cinema Santa Ana, CA

Film Synopsis

After his girlfriend ditches him for a boorish ski jock, Lane decides that suicide is the only answer. However, his increasingly inept attempts bring him only more agony and embarrassment.

    Lane Meyer (John Cusack) is a teen with a peculiar family and a bizarre fixation with his girlfriend, Beth (Amanda Wyss). When Beth dumps Lane, he decides to kill himself, making bumbling attempts at suicide. Outside of his morbid endeavors, Lane spends time with his oddball buddy, Charles (Curtis Armstrong), and befriends Monique (Diane Franklin), a visiting French student. Eventually, Lane resolves to race Beth's obnoxious new beau on the ski slopes, with unexpected results

    Photo credit: Warner Bros.

    About the Speaker

    Dr. Galena Rhoades is a Research Professor and the Director of the Institute for Relationship Science at the University of Denver and a practicing clinical psychologist. Her research program focuses on romantic relationship formation processes and predictors of relationship success as well as studies of the effectiveness of couple intervention programs, of which she has over 130 publications in these areas. Dr. Rhoades founded the Denver non-profit Thriving Families, which offers MotherWise, a relationship education program for women and teen parents during pregnancy and postpartum, as well as mental health services.

    Atalia Lopez is an Australian transplant, Letterboxd devotee, and Frida Cinema board member. She teaches classes on the intersection of film, literature, and the urban environment at Chapman University, and is proudly responsible for exposing hundreds of students to David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. Atalia completed her undergraduate studies in literature at Chapman University and holds a master's degree from the University of Oxford.