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Overall Rating

Awesome: 32.94%
Worth A Look58.82%
Average: 5.88%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 2.35%

5 reviews, 55 user ratings

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Freaky Friday (2003)
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by EricDSnider

"What a pleasant surprise!"
4 stars

The notes I took during “Freaky Friday” begin sarcastically and gradually become softer, and are thus an accurate depiction of my feelings toward the film. It is not a movie for me, a grown man; it is for mothers and their teenage daughters. Yet I ultimately found much to like about its sincerity and warmth, not to mention its agreeable central performances.

It commences like a typical not-for-grown-men comedy, along the lines of “What a Girl Wants” or “The Lizzie McGuire Movie,” following the hectic lives of the WASP-ish Coleman family of Los Angeles. The mother, Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis), a successful but harried psychologist, is getting married this weekend to a nice, understanding fellow named Ryan (Mark Harmon). Her 15-year-old daughter, Annabell (Lindsay Lohan), has the ups-and-downs normally associated with a person in her demographic group: friend trouble, boy trouble and mom trouble, all crammed into one day. I jotted, mockingly, “For poor Anna, it’s just one thing after another! Detention TWICE in one day!”

Tess and Annabell don’t get along, of course, and Annabell delivers the obligatory “you’re ruining my life” speech at least once. Neither appreciates the difficulty of the other’s life, Tess not having walked in a teenage girl’s shoes in a couple decades, and Annabell having no desire to know what it’s like being a grownup.

Then, while dining in a Chinese restaurant, they are approached by an inscrutible, possibly malevolent, old Chinese woman. She gives them fortune cookies with a weird message, and the next morning, they awaken to find themselves in each other’s bodies. (This old Chinese woman MUST be stopped, and her powers harnessed for good.)

This is the third time Disney has made this film, after the 1976 theatrical version starring Barbara Harris and a young Jodie Foster, and a 1995 made-for-TV incarnation with Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffmann, neither of whom has been heard from much since. The new version, directed by Mark S. Waters (”Head over Heels”), benefits from an updated script by Leslie Dixon (”Pay It Forward,” “Mrs. Doubtfire”) and Heather Hach. It seems to know what real life is like, and though it strains credibility with some of its coincidence-based plot developments -- good thing the band performance is next door to the wedding rehearsal dinner! -- it generally does an admirable job keeping things down to earth.

Key in this is Jamie Lee Curtis, a wonderfully charismatic and likable comic actress who is equally convincing as a 40-ish mom and as a 15-year-old girl trapped in her body. She seems to be having a marvelous time, and her enthusiasm is infectious. Her interaction with Lindsay Lohan (who already did a Disney remake once, starring in 1998’s “The Parent Trap”) is surprising: Their performances and the dialogue written for them are true-to-life and honest, which greatly increases its chances of being funny. Lohan is no slouch playing a repressed mom in a girl’s body, either.

There is additional comedy in Annabell’s obnoxious little brother Harry (Ryan Malgarini) and her doddering old grandfather (Harold Gould).

The point, of course, is that Tess and Annabell come to see things from each other’s point of view and to appreciate one another’s strengths. It’s hokey, yes, but the preview audience I saw it with was full of mothers and daughters who adored it. Their passion is hard to argue with, and despite the film’s oversimplification and occasional lapses of logic, one can’t help being charmed by its genuinely sweet, good-hearted approach.

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originally posted: 08/07/03 04:41:59
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User Comments

9/14/17 morris campbell fun imo 4 stars
8/02/14 roger Jamie Lee Curtis enjoys it much more than the audience 3 stars
9/22/11 Millie Maelstrom If world were fair, Lindsay Lohan would be winning Oscars & Jodie Foster in&out of rehab. 5 stars
11/28/08 Shaun Wallner Interesting Movie! 4 stars
10/17/07 Beau It was really enjoyable, much better remake and great cast to top it off!! nice work!! 5 stars
11/16/06 David Pollastrini Lindsay Lohan is hot! 5 stars
10/05/06 Stanley Thai A very good remake. You don't get that a lot these days. 4 stars
4/02/06 JRE not bad 3 stars
2/09/06 cathy it is so fabulous! i love it! 5 stars
12/24/05 moolataafongoriannshonternon leviosaton ttly awesome 5 stars
6/30/05 John Ay Entertaining 3 stars
6/27/05 dan awesome, lindsay is so hot 5 stars
6/05/05 Charlene Javier Excellent! Lindsay and Jamie rocks! 5 stars
6/04/05 Mike Jozic Surprisingly competent remake. Lohan & Curtis do a great job. 4 stars
6/03/05 Christy Schultz Way funny 4 stars
6/03/05 deadwiz Fun family film, plus its got lindsay lohan in it. That helps. 4 stars
5/23/05 Jim Decent fluff, picks up steam as it goes along 4 stars
5/13/05 Jennifer Regan This movie is hilarious! 4 stars
9/20/04 Valerie This movie is great, much better than the original. 5 stars
8/01/04 valerie hart gr8 family fun and a gr8 startin performance by lohan !!! 5 stars
6/25/04 Arse Poet Not as bad as I predicted. Not a great movie, but not bad, considering it's a kiddie film. 4 stars
5/07/04 Ross Great movie. I love J. Curtis 5 stars
2/20/04 aubrey i loved Chad Michael Murray, he's so damn hot 4 stars
2/19/04 KingNeutron Both actresses were excellent. JLC is still Teh Hottay! :) 5 stars
2/08/04 Nicola Hutton Exerlent 5 stars
1/24/04 JohnnyXXX a movie that you can watch over and over again 5 stars
1/23/04 Chloe Brody Both mother and daughter were cast brilliantly! 4 stars
1/15/04 Betty White Very likable, well-acted Disney comedy. 5 stars
1/06/04 monica a good family film 4 stars
1/06/04 Natasha Theobald I can't believe how funny and enjoyable this was. 4 stars
1/04/04 ari it was cute, a great mother/daughter bonding film 3 stars
1/01/04 Phil M. Aficionado I suggest you read Sott Weinberg's review; I. too. found it enjoyable, at about 3.6 stars 4 stars
1/01/04 ROY L. CAIN,JR. Too preachy and stiff. Stick with the Jodie Foster version. 3 stars
12/30/03 Chris A great addition to the disney collection if perhaps alittle too raunchy. 4 stars
11/23/03 smartmusician Better than what I expected 4 stars
10/15/03 here a good film 4 stars
10/11/03 Joana This movie was da bomb 5 stars
10/08/03 courtney h. i loved the movie and i love her@ 5 stars
10/05/03 ERIN SO COOL 5 stars
9/25/03 tina I absolutely loved it. Way better than what I thought it would be 4 stars
9/13/03 Bill Better than the original for music, acting, script, dialogue... 4 stars
9/11/03 Dottie Hubbard I thought it was a hoot! A real 'fun' movie that is thoroughly entertaining. 5 stars
9/08/03 lindsen It was greeeeeaaaatttt! i loved it sooooo much! i hope i get to buy it! 5 stars
8/30/03 jada better than expected, actors really good 4 stars
8/29/03 SPH I loved it, my kids loved it!! 5 stars
8/28/03 Joey OH MY GOD 1 stars
8/16/03 MEEE great film 5 stars
8/16/03 Kyle Smith Great Movie! 5 stars
8/16/03 bigfan lindsey lohan is so hot 5 stars
8/12/03 maigne interesting 5 stars
8/11/03 Jenn a great mother-daughter movie, kept me laughing the whole way through! 5 stars
8/10/03 Red a great film 5 stars
8/09/03 Beth Maxey Pleasantly surprised, helped me look at things from 15yr old daughter's view. Well done! 5 stars
8/07/03 Redpajammas I thought this was a very cute movie; kept me laughing from beginning to end! 5 stars
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  06-Aug-2003 (PG)
  DVD: 16-Dec-2003



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