You could've asked me, "Guess what forgotten kids' comedy from the '90s is being remade?" and then given me 100 guesses to come up with the right answer, and I still would've never hit you with this correct response. Especially since it's a film that was both a box office abortion and a critical punching bag. Ain't It Cool News is reporting, via The Hollywood Reporter, that 1991's Drop Dead Fred, the heartwarming tale of a little girl's booger-picking, farting, recklessly wild imaginary friend who stays with her through adulthood, is next on the redo block in Universal Pictures' system. What the fuck?!
Perhaps the original's reviled nature is what makes Drop Dead Fred so surprisingly acceptable as a remake. Unexpected, but partially sensical. It's far from a sacred property, and there's really nowhere to go but up in quality. Drop Dead Fred holds a dear place in the hearts of many, though, including yours truly. Why else would I even be commenting on it here? My first experience with the film was back in my pre-teen years, when my mother rented it for me at the local Dollar Video (a competitor of Blockbuster Video that didn't last very long, yet was always my preferred rental destination). I was home sick from school and needed some lowbrow entertainment. Mom nailed her selection, and I found myself loving Drop Dead Fred. The film had everything my 12-year-old brain could ever ask for: an imaginary friend to prove that I wasn't crazy for having my own (what's good, Joe?), cutie deluxe Phoebe Cates, and immature jokes and crude sight gags. Slam dunk.
A few years back, Drop Dead Fred randomly played on a cable movie channel. I watched, hoping for an enjoyable trip down Nostalgia Lane. Only, I was met with a detour down Wow, How Could I Have Liked This Drive. Right up there with Transylvania 6-5000 in the pantheon of films I once loved but now can't sit through without wincing. Some charms remain, but overall it's a poor film that ultimately makes sense as a remake. The central plot (imaginary friend sticks around even when the kid is an adult) is clever, and the reported casting of Russell Brand (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) in the title role, originally played a fella named Rik Mayall, seems spot-on. A role that Brand was born to play.
Fred himself....As a kid, I thought this character was hilarious. Now, though, he could be the most annoying, unbearable, somebody-off-him-immediately creation ever.///Russell Brand, your new "Drop Dead Fred"
Phoebe Cates' shoes are tougher to fill, though. If I were able to toss my five cents in, the nominee would be Diora Baird. Why such an unestablished actress, you ask? It's simple, really: I'm all for fresh faces getting big breaks. Not convincing enough? Just look at her, then.....
Okay, okay. My real nominee is Mila Kunis. I just came across that new Diora Baird pic yesterday and couldn't let it pass me by.
News learned over at: Ain't It Cool News
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