Drop Dead Fred

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This boisterous comedy allows Mayall to be completely naughty, to shock, to offend...and to exasperate beyond belief. Elizabeth (Cates) reverts to youthful fantasies in a bid to escape the trauma of losing both her husband and her job. Tucked up in her own bed back home with Mom, she revives her imaginary childhood friend Fred (Mayall), and together they make sweet music. Too bad for adult viewers that this entails smearing dog shit on the living-room carpet, concocting mud pie for dinner, destroying a houseboat, etc; while Elizabeth's desperate attempts to get back together with her husband and to exorcise childhood demons aren't likely to appeal to younger viewers. Mason (as Elizabeth's domineering mother) and Fisher (as her best friend) lend strong support. But Cates appears strangely resigned to each life-shattering episode; even the goggle-eyed, frantic Mayall fails to galvanise her.

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