Drop Dead Fred Review

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Elizabeth returns home to live with her mother after her marriage breaks down and her devilsome imaginary childhood freind Fred re-appears on the scene to help her overcome the trauma.


The American writers of this comedy had to come to British independents for the finance, which ought to tell you something.

Pretty Phoebe Cates is the disaster prone heroine who loses her handbag, her job and her bounder of a husband all on the same day. Frankly, she's such a wimp in droopy frocks and little girl ankle socks, one cannot entirely scorn hubby for straying in the direction of Bridget Fonda, whose clingy little black dress, we are informed, is unmarred by v.p.l. because she doesn’t wear any.

Unhappily back home with a mommy as warm as Joan Crawford (Mason), Cates’ Elizabeth renews the acquaintance of her childhood imaginary friend “Drop Dead Fred”. With a friend like Mayall’s noisy Fred, she doesn’t need enemies since his specialties are puerile pranks and property destruction. If an imaginary friend is basically only good for throwing food in restaurants and messing up mummy’s house, what use is he to a grown-up?

Although Mayall tries hard on manic overdrive to invest the proceedings with some verve, The only excellent idea threatening to emerge here is a scene in a child psychiatrist’s waiting room where a crowd of juvenile patients are all accompanied by their variously strange imaginary friends, who compare news while anxious parents hover around oblivious.

That any of it, however, should suddenly, melodramatically lead to Elizabeth learning to assert herself is, to say the least, unpersuasive.

There is scarcely a laugh to be had unless you are six years old or immoderately fond of such wheezes as depositing dog poop on a white carpet