Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Music video 'What I Like Most About
You' by Lillix; Music video 'Me Vs. The World' by Halo Friendlies;
Bloopers; Deleted scenes; Alternate endings; Backstage pass with
THE family movie gets another saccharine overload in Freaky Friday,
an overly sweet remake of the 1976 film, which starred Barbara
Harris and a young Jodie Foster.
The squabbling mother and daughter in question this time, however,
are Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan, who suddenly find themselves
inhabiting each others bodies, after a particularly freaky
But while it is certainly humorous in places, the movie struggles
to escape the feel of one of those mundane, mid-afternoon US TV
sitcoms that crop up every now and again, in which everything
feels contrived and almost every joke is obvious.
Curtis portrays hard-working mother, Dr Tess Coleman, who seldom
sees eye-to-eye with her hip, 15-year-old daughter, Anna (Lohan)
over anything from dress sense and hair styles to music and men.
When their bickering eventually gets out of control, during a
harmless outing to a Chinese restaurant, one of its patrons tampers
with a fortune cookie and brings about the transformation, so
that when the two women awake the following morning, they find
themselves trapped in each others bodies until they can
resolve their differences.
Hence, mom gets packed off to school, to excel in
class and repel the advances of her daughters motorbike-riding
love interest, while daughter is left to cope with the good doctors
patients, while staving off the amorous intentions of her soon-to-be
step-father (Mark Harmon), whom she doesnt particularly
get on with anyway.
Given its PG-rating, Freaky Friday sets its stall out as an old-fashioned,
traditional family comedy from the outset and attracted strong
Box Office when it opened in America during the Summer season.
Yet its charms are largely restricted to innocent teenagers,
or worldly-wise mothers, who may find some common ground in its
timeless look at the nature of such relationships, while proving
irksome to anyone else they may take along.
Performance-wise, Curtis appears to be having fun letting herself
go, particularly when called upon to rock out during
the latter stages, while Lohman provides an appealing, and not
too pretentious, teenager. Harmon, too, rises above the obvious
genre cliches to appear quite likeable throughout.
The inevitably slushy finale, in which mother and daughter come
to understand each others feelings and frustrations, is
also quite nicely played, without tugging at the heart-strings
too much, while the odd moment is likely to stir something more
than just a smile.
Its just that, while Freaky Friday will, no doubt, appeal
to its target audience, the contrived nature of much of its early
work, coupled with the fact that its simply not as funny
as it thinks it is, consistently threatens to mar what fun there
is. Harmless, then, but tedious to boot!