Directed by: Ate de Jong
Written by: Carlos Davis
Elizabeth (Phoebe Cates) is a mild mannered woman who travels through life as a meek little girl. At a young age her tyrannical mother (Marsha Mason) locked her imaginary friend up in a box. As this friend was her source of strength, Elizabeth lost her will to rebel and fight. Most importantly she lost the will to have a voice of her own. The result of this was having a disaster for a marriage as she fully accepts her husband Charles (Tim Matheson) has cheated on her, and is easily swayed to believe that it was not only her fault, but her idea. Instead of having a moment of strength and independence from this tragedy, mother appears and whisks her home, making decisions for her once again. Unable to sleep in the house that haunted her childhood, Elizabeth awakens and opens the box her mother locked Drop Dead Fred (Rik Mayall) away in so many years before. Out explodes a foul mouthed man shocked to find his child friend has grown up. What transpires next is a whirlwind of madness as she tries to hide the fact that as an adult woman, she has an imaginary friend.
Drop Dead Fred is nothing but an insane display of comedy gone completely wacky. Fred himself is pretty much unlikeable. He wears an obnoxious neon green color that counters his flame red hair and British accent visually making him just as outrageous as he is verbally. Instead of making his playmate Lizzie laugh by being hilarious, he calls her Snotface and refers to her mother as the Mega Bitch. He is offensive and rude, and somehow simultaneously absolutely hilarious.
The ridiculous extremes the film goes to is worthy of confused head shaking. Because Fred was supposed to support Lizzie as a child and not an adult the conflict is even greater. The cheating husband, the overbearing mother, and Fred himself are all exaggerations meant to make you laugh but also evaluate the rebellious inner strength Lizzie is searching for that has been repressed since her childhood. If you want to delve further into the films psyche, I’m sure many themes of that nature run throughout, but it’s my conjecture that it’s a lot easier to overlook any point this film is trying to make and just laugh at the preposterous events that occur and foucs on the ridiculous slap stick humour. This is the kind of dumb, pointless movie that is hilarious and requires no sense of realism to exist.
Drop Dead Fred is vulgar and offensive, not to mention obnoxious. But these are the qualities that also make this movie shockingly amusing. With an obvious lesson being taught that is easily overlooked by the mocking of itself, Drop Dead Fred exists as a movie for anyone with an offbeat sense of humour. It’s bizarre nature and strange way of telling it’s story makes Drop Dead Fred pure and simple funny. Three and a Half out of Four Stars.