Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Retro Flashback: Drop Dead Fred
Fred centers around a young, childish woman named Lizzie (Phoebe Cates) who loses her husband, car, and job in a single day. Forced to return to her domineering mother, she accidentally releases her long captive imaginary friend; Drop Dead Fred.
With predicable results, Fred totally destroys what's left of Lizzie's life and she spends the rest of her life in an insane asylum. Just kidding. Of course, she becomes a strong independent woman who tells her hubby and mother where to stuff it. She gets a love interest five seconds later, because movies hate female characters who could actually live a happy life sans relationship. And Fred moves on to improve some other child's life.
I am not sure what the creators of this film intended it to be. Was it a kid's film or an adult's film? Certainly it was aimed at children with it's near manic use of fart jokes and slapstick comedy. However the sexual jokes and the psychological abuse inflicted at the main character are certainly not kid-friendly.
The most puzzling part of this film is the star power this silly little film managed to get. The great Marsha Mason forced to play fourth banana to the love child of Yahoo Serious and Jim Carrey? Try not to cringe when Carrie Fisher yells at an empty chair thinking it's Fred. Or the cute and talented Phoebe Cates ending her iconic career on this note. Well, Drop Dead Fred merely stunned her career, Princess Cariboo delivered the death blow.