Fred: The Movie Movie Poster Image

Fred: The Movie

(i)

 

YouTube star's movie is fraught with disaster for tweens.
  • Review Date: September 17, 2010
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2010
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie makes light of a tween's unhealthy obsession with a classmate who clearly doesn't return the sentiment. He uses the Internet to locate and attempt to spy on her after she moves. Various forms of bullying go unchecked throughout the story, including name-calling, cyberbullying (tweens post embarrassing videos and pictures of Fred online), and physical attacks during a dodgeball game.

Positive role models

Fred's mom is unconcerned with her son's disturbing behavior, and her work schedule and apparent narcolepsy (or overindulgence) mean he's left to his own devices most of the time. Other adult figures are absent throughout the movie.

Violence

Fred's hyperactivity results in lots of slapstick accidents (falls, collisions, electrocution, etc.), but they're played for humor and not intended to reflect reality. In one scene, a teen falls off a treadmill and suffers a broken arm; in another, boys pummel Fred with playground balls during a one-sided game of dodgeball.

Sex

The movie centers on Fred's obsession with his longtime crush, Judy, whom he refers to as a "smokin' hot babe." (He also says he wants to take it to the "next level" with her.) Judy wears slinky dresses, skimpy bikinis, and teetering high heels to middle school. A teen boy is seen in his boxers. There's no physical contact, but it's implied that Fred is hoping for some. The game of "spin the bottle" comes up (Fred pretends to play.)

Language

Fred's not allowed to swear, so he concocts substitute phrases to use instead. His favorite -- "oh my gammit!" -- sounds very close to "damn it" and is used frequently. Lots of name calling like "moron" and "idiot," as well as marginal language like "sucks," "buttloads," and "Jesus" (used as an exclamation).

Consumerism

The movie is an extension of a series of popular videos on YouTube, so kids who haven't seen them before will want to check them out after seeing the movie. Fred's name and image grace a line of clothing and accessories marketed toward tweens.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

In one scene, Fred's mom cracks open what appears to be a can of beer. From her overall behavior, viewers might infer that she has a drinking problem.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie centers on popular YouTube character Fred Figglehorn -- who's a huge hit with kids, though most adults find him very irritating. Yes, Fred's irritating mannerisms, toddler-like tantrums, and high-pitched voice will grate on parents' nerves ... but that's actually nothing compared to how they'll feel about the movie's iffy messages. Fred's obsession with his crush, Judy, borders on stalking and voyeurism, and he's often the subject of bullying, in both the classic and the cyber sense. If that's not enough, factor in the multiple instances of pseudo-cursing (like "gammit"), and it's clear that this is a movie for impressionable tweens to avoid.

What's the story?

FRED: THE MOVIE chronicles the desperate attempts of social outcast Fred Figglehorn (Lucas Cruikshank) to locate his longtime crush, Judy (Pixie Lott), after her family moves away from the house next door. Fred's journey is filled with unexpected twists and turns, but his resolve to find her and tell her how he feels keeps him trekking along. Once they're face to face, however, he discovers that his feelings might not be reciprocated, so he hatches a plan to change his downtrodden social status.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

If you've never heard of Fred Figglehorn, you're not alone -- but chances are your tweens and teens have. Cruikshank first garnered Internet fame with short episodes on YouTube centered on the suspenders-wearing oddball he created. If your kids have seen the shorts, then they won't be surprised by Fred's irritating voice, hyperactivity, and juvenile tantrums -- but newcomers might be put off by the over-the-top star.

And parents will have plenty of axes to grind beyond Fred's annoying persona. Not only does the movie glorify Fred's disturbing obsession with unsuspecting Judy (he tracks her movements and admits to watching her in her house through his bedroom window), it's also got lots of substitute cursing. Plus, kids bully one another in the physical, psychological, and cyber senses, and Fred's attempts to win popularity illuminate the fragile nature of relationships among tweens and teens. In short, the movie makes light of some serious issues faced by this impressionable age group, and its messages fly in the face of responsible behavior. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about relationships. What makes a relationship "healthy" or "unhealthy"? What should you do if your interest in someone isn't reciprocated? What are your family's rules about dating?

  • Tweens: Did you find this movie funny? What did you think of the characters? Did you like Fred before watching this movie? How did you first hear about him?

  • What instances of bullying did you see in the movie? Have you ever seen similar situations in real life? What can kids do to avoid this kind of thing?

Movie details

DVD release date:October 5, 2010
Cast:Jennette McCurdy, Lucas Cruikshank, Pixie Lott
Director:Clay Weiner
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Fred: The Movie was written by

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Parent of a 7 year old Written bybtgoss October 3, 2010

Another example of the horrible Nickelodeon programming. Avoid at all costs.

This movie is awful. Pure and simple. But if you have managed to keep your children from knowing who Luis Cruikshank is, and his awful little alter ego Fred Figglehorn, this movie will lead them into further discovery. Fred Figglehorn is the dysfunctional character created by Cruikshank. Fred, in his previous YouTube videos is a 6 year old boy. Living in a trailer with his Grandmother. His Father is in prison for murder, and his Mother is an habitual substance abuser. This obviously twisted view of the "real world" may be explained by Cruikshank's home schooling. Who knows. What is obvious is that the character of Fred has no positive traits. While children need to be exposed to the dark side of reality from time to time, exposure to such an obviously twisted world view is not good. Unless you home school your children because the world is filled with drunks and murderers. Then this is the show for you.
Parent of a 7 year old Written byconcernedparent75 September 19, 2010
Nick is CLEARLY not trying to appeal to any audience under 13 with this awful movie. We had to turn it off within the first 20 minutes after Fred repeatedly used the word "Gammit"; in place of "the D word" (like younger kids can't figure THAT out) The mother is an awful role model, as well. Seriously, why even air this movie during prime time and why market it to death during shows that ARE appropriate for the younger aged kiddos?? Horrible decision from a parenting point of view, Nick. Horrible.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 8 year old Written byJUST A MOM September 20, 2010
I am sad that Nick can rate this movie "G". Let's see - spin the bottle, drunk mom who is passed out, throwing up, making out in a closet, gammit, bully scenes, next level with girls, naked man on the toilet, etc... Are you kidding me? I have a 7 and 9 year old, Our country disappoints me every day. What's next?
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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