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Freaky Friday (2003)

  Directed by: Mark S. Waters
Written by: Leslie Dixon, Mary Rodgers
Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan
Links: Freaky Friday on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD, Buy on Video, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy the Book
Genre: Comedy

This movie gets: 5.00 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 153rd of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Freaky Friday (2003) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Labyrinth (1986).

"F. Please see me after class regarding plagiarism." - a review by pearly

Freaky Friday is fun. But it all boils down to the feeling that there aren't any new ideas left in film-making, or that (more depressingly), the new ideas are not getting made, but the rehashed ones (remakes, sequels, ideas stolen (shamelessly) from other place) are getting done over and over and over. In this used-a-million-times plot, a mother and daughter have a curse placed on them and they switch bodies. To get back into their rightful bodies, they have to display selfless actions towards one another.

In the original Freaky Friday (1976), the role of the daughter was played by Jodie Foster, and initially, the producers wanted her to play the mother in this update. She declined, probably feeling that she was past something like this. Instead, Jamie Lee Curtis took the part, and did an okay job of it, but there's something slightly odd about her that I can't put my finger on. Her acting is fine, certainly nothing special, but she has this weird way about her that is only enhanced by having her as, to use a vaguely offensive phrase, mutton dressed as lamb.

As the other part of the terrible duo, you have Lindsay Lohan, previous star of a Disney remake in which she played twins: The Parent Trap (1998). Now that she's got two whacky remake performances under her belt, I'm sure she's going places. Big places.

The other annoying thing about Freaky Friday is that they made Annabell (the daughter) interested in "rock" music, and put her in a band as the lead guitarist, with influences like The Strokes (she doesn't like The White Stripes though, because "they don't even have a bassist!"). It's been done, people! And better! Firstly, if I wanted to see someone who can't really play a guitar pretending to do so, I'd go and watch School of Rock (2003), or even (another chicks-that-rawk film of recent times) Josie and the Pussycats (2001) for that matter.

Listen, Freaky Friday is not that bad. It's a pretty relaxed watch, and you could even come into it halfway and still enjoy it, without really knowing what happened at the start. I understand that the reason these sorts of things keep getting made is because there is constantly a new, young audience that haven't seen anything like it before. I'd just prefer to see a film that involved something even slightly new.

pearly gives this movie 4 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 23 Jan 2004

"Shallow but mainly fun" - a review by em_fiction

The first time I saw the ads, I was very reluctant to see this film. I could tell that it was the exact type of film I would rather avoid. Months later and not having heard anything too negative about the film, boredom forced me to tune in when my sister picked it up.

In this teenish family film (just bear with me and try to make some sense out of that), a remake of a 1976 film by the same title, psychiatrist and single mother Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) has the everyday chore of juggling her responsibilities as a doctor, fiancée and parent. Unfortunately, her teenage daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) lives in an entire different generation which causes catastrophic dysfunction in their relationship. Like most teens, Anna has the standard problems at school, loves to do something her mother hates (playing rock music in this case) and of course, who can forget the formulaic love interest. So anyway, after an incident involving Chinese fortune cookies, they wake up the following Friday to realise that they have literally switched bodies. And of course, they freak out.

During the first fifteen minutes or so, or during the introductory bits before the big 'switch', I found myself drowning in the exact kind of cliché that I was expecting (and dreading). As soon as 'it' happened, the film finally started to move along and some interesting elements were actually beginning to develop.

The whole body switch premise saved Freaky Friday from being another family film flop. Seeing how the two protagonists manage to get themselves out of dilemmas with such a disadvantage kept the film rolling and also made up for a lot of the substance that it was lacking. It occasionally got a little tedious and towards the end, the sentiment and emotion got a little out of hand, but on the plus side, both Jamie Lee and Lindsay Lohan pull off their performances well, especially for a wacky concept like this where the acting obviously needs to be skilful.

Another film which I found a lot more satisfying with the same body switching premise is an Australian film by the name of Dating the Enemy (1996). In that film, Guy Pearce and Claudia Karvan were the leads condemned to switcheroo, and it's really worth checking out for those who find (or found) Freaky Friday a little too shallow or immature. The film (Freaky Friday) is mainly fun, and coming in with zero expectation I probably found myself more satisfied than I should've been.

em_fiction gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Sat 10 Jan 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 5.00
Lowest rating: 4 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 6 (by em_fiction)
Rating Percentage

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