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Drop Dead Fred Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Slapstick '90s comedy is filled with crass humor.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Drop Dead Fred is a 1991 slapstick comedy about a newly-separated woman who has brought her mischievous imaginary childhood friend back to life. As a goofy comedy, there are numerous moments of cartoonish violence. Much of the comedy is inappropriate for younger viewers -- Fred smearing dog excrement on a spotless white rug, or Fred picking his nose and wiping it on others' faces, for instance -- but overall, despite these scenes and some of the language and sexual content (Fred looking up skirts, a bare male bottom), this is a charmingly dated slice of early '90s silliness that could resonate for teens and adults who had imaginary friends when they were younger.

  • Families can talk about the different types of violence in movies and TV shows. What makes the moments of violence in this movie cartoonish, as opposed to realistic or graphic?

  • What makes this a slapstick comedy, as opposed to another type of comedy?

  • In this movie, kids (and Elizabeth as an adult) with imaginary friends are shown as being in need of psychiatric and pharmaceutical help. Do you think the use of pills on children with imaginary friends curtails their active imaginations and personalities, or does it help them to live normal and productive lives?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: In its own way, this movie shows the importance of having an active imagination, in childhood and beyond.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: While the film definitely encourages a whole slew of bad behaviors, Elizabeth does learn to accept who she is, and to stand up to those who have been mean to her.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Cartoonish violence involving an imaginary friend who engages in numerous instances of slapstick pratfalls. A woman is knocked unconscious after being hit in the head with a frying pan.

  • sex false3

    Sex: An imaginary friend looks up women's skirts in two scenes. In the first scene, while looking up the skirt of an older woman, he exclaims, "Cobwebs!" In the second scene, while looking up the skirt of an attractive younger woman, he exclaims, "No panties!" There is also reference to people "doing it like the pigeons." At a fancy party, a body builder server has his toga removed, exposing his naked buttocks. During a business meeting, a woman yells that she only gets to "schtup" a married man in the room once a month.

  • language false2

    Language: Occasional profanity: "S--t." "Piss off." "Hell." "Bitch." Early in the movie, after hearing a bedtime story, a young girl exclaims, "What a pile of s--t."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the main characters smokes cigarettes. Characters drink wine at a party.