“My time is now!” — Fred Figglehorn
No quote was ever truer than this one. After making millions of people laugh out loud (or cringe from the high-pitched voice), Internet sensation Fred has made it to the small screen in his first ever Nicklelodeon movie.
Fred Figglehorn (Lucas Cruikshank) is a typical 15-year-old with an incredibly high-pitched voice and a set of similar shirts in his drawer. He likes to sing and dance, which Fred feels are his top talents. Fred is also incredibly obsessed with fellow classmate and next door neighbor Judy (Pixie Lot), whom he follows ever day after school and claims (falsely) is his girlfriend. Standing in his way is another neighbor, Kevin (Jake Weary), who undermines Fred’s confidence at every turn.
One day in music class Fred sees Kevin and Judy singing a duet of “Love Will Keep Us Together,” and firmly believes that Judy was upset at Kevin’s horrible performance. In order to save her, Fred decides to march over to her house and invite her over to sing with him; that way she can harmonize with a talented partner. After a confrontation with Kevin, Fred finally makes it to Judy’s, only to find out that she has moved, setting him off on a cross-city journey to rescue her.
One has to hand it to Cruikshank. In the world of YouTube, where anyone can be a “star,” he managed to create a truly unique character. Aging Fred from six to 15 is a bit jarring at first, but Cruikshank manages to keep all his quirks intact: the screaming, the inflated sense of ego, as well as the crippling anxiety. We truly believe Cruikshank is Fred, and for that matter Derf (an alter ego of sorts), and forget that he is an actor playing a role.
The translation from Internet to TV is a bit rough, but there are some moments of genuine wit. For instance, one minute Fred is throwing a tantrum, the next he is cleaning up the mess he made, and a clever reference to the movie Taken leads Fred to believe Judy has been kidnapped. There are also a few sly in-jokes poking fun at Fred’s popularity, as well as YouTube, and even a couple of nods to Fred’s voice. However, no movie aimed at teens would be possible without a few gross-out moments, which Fred: The Movie has sprinkled throughout, though they are relatively tame compared to other stuff out there.
The rest of the cast does a fine job as well, with John Cena and Jennette McCurdy (iCarly) clearly having fun in their roles, although they remain undeveloped. Which, when you think about it, is the point. This is Fred’s movie, and although it’s fun to meet the characters he often talks about, it was a wise move to still keep them at a distance.
Expectations were high, and although I wouldn’t call this a classic, Fred: The Movie had enough funny moments (not to mention a nicely done sappy ending) to keep me entertained, and unlike some Saturday Night Live Sketches turned into movies, did not wear out its welcome. I’m actually hoping for a sequel.
On a side note, the DVD of Fred: The Movie will be released October 5, and will feature a never before seen Fred video, a behind the scenes look at the making of Fred: The Movie, and a documentary chronicling Fred’s rise to fame.