Freaky Friday (2003)
Lohan Acts Grown Up
When it comes to Disney remaking their own children's movies I have not always been a fan but I was pleasantly surprised having watched the 2003 remake of "Freaky Friday". Whilst no longer in the target audience for this sort of movie I can appreciate the rehash of the old movie to make it more appealing to a younger crowd who would find the original dated whilst it still maintains the heart of the movie as a mother and daughter learn to appreciate how difficult their lives are after switching bodies. That doesn't mean I enjoyed this 2003 version of "Freaky Friday" more than the cutesy original with Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris but this update works with Jamie Lee Curtis making it entertaining for grown ups as she gets to act like a teenager.
Whilst they may be mother and daughter Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis - Halloween Resurrection) and Anna Coleman (Lindsay Lohan - The Parent Trap) are very different people and don't understand each other with each thinking the other has it easy. But after being handed a couple of fortune cookies in a Chinese restaurant that is all about to change as they wake up the next day having magically switched bodies. Now Tess in Anna's body gets to see how stressful being a teenager is especially with a teacher who picks on her whilst Anna in Tess's body realises that being a grown up comes with more issues than she realises especially as Tess is due to be married again to the patient Ryan (Mark Harmon).
The best thing about this 2003 version of "Freaky Friday" is that they didn't just copy what had been done before in the original and better known version of the movie. Instead they took the basis of the story, the switching of bodies so a mother and daughter get a deeper understanding of each other and filled it with a whole variety of new elements. And to be honest whilst a lot of these elements end up cliche and corny such as Anna being in a rock bank there is some cleverness none more so that when Tess in Anna's body realises her school teacher is unfairly marking her down because of an issue between him and Tess from their High School years. It is the occasional moment of clever humour which makes this remake of "Freaky Friday" work for adults as well as young teenagers who will enjoy all the more obvious elements of Anna being in her mum's body and being mean to her little brother or going wild with the credit cards to have a radical makeover.
In a way that split also comes when it comes to the actors and characters because the humour of Lindsay Lohan acting like her stiff mother will probably amuse the younger crowd who like Lohan. And it sort of works with Lohan having some fun with being all grown up and responsible in a teenager's body. But for adults it is Jamie Lee Curtis who makes the movie as she gets to behave like a moany teenager who falls for her daughter's friend Jake. Some of it is purely cringe worthy but when ever Curtis goes "Aargh mum!" it is priceless and you get a sense that Curtis had fun trying to act like a modern teenager.
And that to be honest is about it, oh this remake of "Freaky Friday" is typically less than subtle when it comes to the moralistic aspect of the story as Tess and Anna suddenly become selfless and appreciate each others difficulties but then it is what you expect. And whilst some of it borders on the painfully cringe worthy especially when it comes to the rock band scenes I am sure younger audiences probably enjoy that.
What this all boils down to is the 2003 remake of "Freaky Friday" is a pleasant surprise and a lot better than I was expecting. It is not as good as the original "Freaky Friday" but thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan it is still good fun.
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