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All Critics (34)
| Top Critics (11)
| Fresh (3)
| Rotten (31)
| DVD (5)
Drop Dead Fred is an erratic stab at making madness sensible, a slapstick nightmare that goes too sane, that tries too hard to be both good and rotten.
This is easily one of the worst films I've ever seen.
The episodic flashbacks are cast in an unfunny Freudian light -- domineering mother, helpless hubby, the tragically withdrawn child. What a laugh riot!
The movie is no comic masterpiece, but it is consistently amusing in a way that sometimes reminded me of a kiddie picture and at other times of a more sophisticated comedy.
It tries too hard to mimic Beetlejuice, especially in British comic Rik Mayall's frantic performance as the title character -- Mayall is no Michael Keaton -- but it has a whimsical comic energy.
Drop Dead Fred is a movie for people who like the sound of fingernails on blackboards and the feel of a drill bearing into a bicuspid.
That any of it, however, should suddenly, melodramatically lead to Elizabeth learning to assert herself is, to say the least, unpersuasive.
It's rare that a movie so cleverly conceived is so poorly executed.
It plays like a collection of bits, skits that have been thrown together with little eye to continuity.
It's particularly irritating if you've seen the much better Harvey.
A charmless, irritating psychological fantasy that can`t decide whether to aim at kids or adults.
Drop Dead Fred is a therapeutic fable for people who believe that by becoming an adult, one inevitably loses the capacity to have fun. But the alternative it suggests is nothing short of horrifying.
This quirky comedy from Dutch director Ate de Jong shares psychiatric themes dealing with abuse, madness, imaginary friends, and mental illness. Of course, all of these themes, however interesting and sparse in most comedies, are not well represented and are used to exploit bad jokes and queer physical comedy. Actually, what bothers and annoys most in this film is the performance from one person in particular, and that is comedian Rik Mayall as the eponymous Drop Dead Fred. Famous in England for his over-the-top stand-up comedy routines, here Mayall plays an imaginary friend to Elizabeth, played by Phoebe Cates. She is in an emotionally abusive relationship with her husband, Charles, played by Tim Matheson, and controlled by her domineering mother, played by Marsha Mason. Cates plays her role very quietly and in a distinguished way, which is odd in comparison to that of Rik Mayall, who is a loudmouthed, thoughtless, relentlessly irritating nincompoop. His performance is beyond comparison, because it doesn't make any sense in context with the rest of the situations presented during the film. If he exists to work through Elizabeth's inner turmoil, and does so throughout the film, than why does he have her commit crimes, or basically ruin her own life in the process of leaving her husband and finding her own strength? While the basic story is not terrible or anything resembling clichéd, the characters do these baffling and always misguided things that infuriate you as the viewer. This ranges from people throwing pasta in restaurants and calling it impulsive fun, to friends being okay with getting her home totaled and then she beats up a figurative man that she can't see. Everyone in this film is just unfortunate and misguided at every turn. There are some decidedly funny laughs to be had once in a while, but the overall view of this film is trashy and gross.
Besides a few moments where the writers stumbled upon a lucky line that happened to work, "Drop Dead Fred" is easily the most brainless film I have ever seen in my entire life. As a childhood imaginary friend comes back to haunt her and her new job, along with her relationship, everything goes to hell as she seems to be insane. This film is just one annoying scene after another and it is solely the most painful experience I have ever had, trying to get through a movie. "Drop Dead Fred" is easily THE worst movie I have ever seen, hands down!
This is great purely for Rik. I love 'Bottom' and 'The Young Ones' and this is close to being great stuff, close. The idea is cool and original but it needed more mischief from Rik and more risky laughs. Its still good, love Rik's look.
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.
Probably why Phoebe Cates retired from acting.
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