The cast of FREAKY FRIDAY, Walt Disney’s remake of a novel by Mary Rodgers, seems to be having a really good time. This doesn’t always filter down to the audience, but FREAKY FRIDAY nevertheless provides plenty of hilarity, energy, and entertainment to delight all but the most blasé of moviegoers.
In the familiar story adapted from Mary Rodgers well-known novel, Lindsay Lohan of 1998’s THE PARENT TRAP plays 15-year-old Anna Coleman, who’s not getting along with her mother, Tess. A professional psychologist and widow, Tess is preoccupied with her plans to get remarried and with her book that’s just come out. Anna is upset that her mother doesn’t support her musical aspirations, and Tess is disappointed to learn that one of Anna’s teacher, Mr. Bates, with whom Anna also doesn’t get along, gave her detention twice in one day. Things come to a head when Anna and her rock band get a chance to audition the same night as her mother’s rehearsal dinner.
That Thursday evening, during dinner with Tess and her fiancé at a Chinese restaurant, the mother of the restaurant owner notices Anna and Tess arguing. She gives them two special fortune cookies, and the next morning, Tess and Anna wake up inside the other’s body. Scrambling to cover each other’s hectic schedule, they search for a way to switch back before the wedding on Saturday.
Jamie Lee Curtis, who has a teenage daughter herself in real life, clearly relishes her role as Tess. She gives an inspired performance. Lindsay Lohan also seems to enjoy Anna, especially when the mother is trapped in Anna’s body. Most of the enjoyment in watching the movie comes from their spirited performances. The movie also features two original, catchy pop rock songs that Lindsay and her band members, including Christina Vidal, sing with gusto. Lindsay and Jamie Lee also get to play a couple brief, nicely done guitar solos. Many movies like this that feature original songs have lackluster music, but that’s not the case with FREAKY FRIDAY.
Of course, the problem with the FREAKY FRIDAY concept is that it relies upon a false religious notion that souls can switch bodies. Christian theology teaches, however, that this is impossible. Also, in this version of the story, a magical fortune cookie is the culprit behind the curse. On the other hand, the only way that the curse can be broken is by an act of selfless love that both Tess and Anna must perform. The movie supports this redemptive aspect by having a few morally uplifting, touching scenes between Tess, Anna, Tess’s fiance, and Anna’s brother.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children for this FREAKY FRIDAY because of its occult fortune cookie gimmick and a significant amount of light foul language. There is also an important scene where one character advises people to let go of their feelings, which can lead to negative consequences if one carried out such a Romantic philosophy in real life.
Please address your comments to:
Michael Eisner, Chairman/CEO
Buena Vista Distribution Co.
(Walt Disney Pictures, Caravan, Hollywood, Miramax, & Touchstone Pictures)
Dick Cook, Chairman
Walt Disney Pictures
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521
Phone: (818) 560-1000
SUMMARY: FREAKY FRIDAY stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan as a mother and teenage daughter who find themselves trapped in each other’s body. Only an act of selfless love can bring them back. MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for older children because of the movie’s occult fortune cookie gimmick and light foul language, which are mitigated by some redemptive and morally uplifting elements.
(C, B, O, FR, Ro, LL, V, N, A, M) Light redemptive worldview with moral elements where selfless love overcomes occult magic as well as false religious notion that souls can switch bodies, and romantic element where one character teaches people to let go with their feelings; two light obscenities and 14 light exclamatory profanities; some comical slapstick violence such as people smacking into one another, girl deliberately hits another girl’s head with volleyball, and sibling rivalry leads to off-screen fighting; no sex but teenagers kiss; image of woman in skimpy underwear from behind; alcohol use; no smoking; and, lying, rebellious children, teenage girl deliberately gets another girl into trouble, and teacher harasses student because of grudge against her mother.