Like many kids that grew up in the 80s, I spent a lot of time at the movie theater. Movies shaped my understanding of how the world functioned. And no actor influenced my perspective of the world more than John Cusack.

I first encountered Mr. Cusack’s art in the movie Better Off Dead. In this film, Lane Myer, played by Cusack, had his heart broken and believed there was no reason to go on. Luckily, he fell in love with the exchange student next door and then competed in a skiing contest, where he had to complete the race on one ski. One ski people! He was racing on one ski! Better Off Dead taught me that you shouldn’t fall in love with the popular girl, because she might break your heart. But that’s okay, since a beautiful exchange student may come along. Also, I learned to always pay the paper boy.

After his breakout role in Better Off Dead, Cusack had a string of movies that defined a decade: One Crazy Summer, Hot Pursuit, The Journey of Natty Gann, Eight Men Out. But the movie we all remember is Say Anything. In Say Anything, Cusack attempts to woo the love of his life, despite her father’s attempts at destroying their relationship.  How does he do this? By holding up a boom box and playing Peter Gabriel as loud as possible. It works.

So, in a nutshell, here are the lessons that John Cusack instilled in me: don’t try to be popular, weird friends stick by you, Shoeless Joe was innocent, someone else will always come along, and Peter Gabriel heals all wounds. Now, to pass these lessons along to my kids. Okay, maybe not. With all due respect to Mr. Cusack, I think his movies may have left me with a slightly warped understanding of how life works.

Ellio's 1 - pizza

Instead of learning at the knee of John Cusack, my kids are learning life’s lessons first hand, from me.Most of their lessons happen at the dinner table. While we like to linger over our dinners, discussing the world, we unfortunately don’t have a lot of time during the week to prepare them . So, pizza is often our go-to meal and that’s not so different from when I was a kid. If you were part of a busy family in the 80s, you are well acquainted with Ellio’s frozen pizza. The mix of chewiness and crunch in the crust, the stretch of cheese, the savory punch of pepperoni… Obviously, I love frozen pizza – Ellio’s Pizza especially.

Ellio's 2 - pizza with kid

Ellio's 3 - pizza with baby

Pizzastalgia is all about remembering your childhood and the role that pizza played during that time. Eating Ellio’s Pizza always brings me back, and much like John Cusack held that radio above his head, I lift up Ellio’s Pizza to the delight of my kids because they know dinner will be tasty and ready fast.

Ellio's 4 - Say Anything

Another great reason for parents to love Ellio’s Pizza is that it uses fresh ingredients and 100 percent real cheese, with no artificial flavors. Like Cusack in many of his movies, I like to be a little rebellious and stack my pizzas on top of one another and eat them like sandwiches. That’s how we roll in the One Good Dad house.

Ellio's 5 - box

What are your Pizzastalgia moments? Share here and on Twitter with the hashtag #Pizzastalgia

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Life of Dad and Dr. Oetker USA LLC. I have received compensation for this post; however, all opinions stated are my own.

*A special thank you to http://www.DrinkAndSmile for helping me with the Say Anything graphic. 

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