Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Drop Dead Fred (1991)


Last night I insisted to my girlfriend that I wouldn’t take notes while watching this as I had no particular intention of blogging it, as I often don’t bother blogging comedies- sometimes it’s nice to just watch a film. Then, today, it occurred to me that any film featuring both Rik Mayall and Carrie Fisher just had to be done. So here I am, blogging, with no notes.

It’s weird seeing Rik Mayall in a Hollywood movie; he just doesn’t seem to belong. Especially at this point in time, just pre-Bottom. And, yes, this film suffers a bit from the old-fashioned Hollywood disease of comedies having to be about characters learning some kind of emotional lesson and growing as a person rather than just being funny. But it works, and Mayall is outstanding, which is sort of the point.

Also outstanding is Phoebe Cates as Elizabeth, and Carrie Fisher is also good as, well, herself. The concept is deliciously silly, too, and it’s nice to see some cartoon-esque special effects achieved in live action rather than CGI. But there’s a serious subtext about emotional abuse, too; Elizabeth has been constantly bullied, first by her scary mother and later by her slimy husband, and Fred is a representation of the side of her personality that needs to be unleashed.

Perhaps the script is a little ho-hum at times, but Mayall’s performance elevates the film to something special. Well worth a watch.

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