There are no big surprises in this movie. After all, this
is the second Freaky Friday remake by Disney since
the first one was released in 1976. This version is predictable
but engaging, and updated for the new millennium where mom
Tess (Curtis) is a busy psychoanalyst and daughter
Anna (Lohan) is a music-loving guitar player. Tess
doesn’t understand why Anna is so independent and rebellious.
Anna doesn’t understand why Tess is so preoccupied by work.
Both suffer the inability to figuratively step in each others’
shoes until magic fortune cookies force them to, literally.
The set-up for the action is ripe for hilarity. Not only
is Tess about to marry and Anna about to play in her biggest
gig to date, the two of them are so different in personality
and habits that an exchange of bodies causes quite a lot of
Jamie Lee Curtis has a grand time acting like teen stuck
in a woman’s body. She gets all the fun scenes when she switches
from straight-laced Tess to the youthful and hip Anna-inhabited
Tess, one of them being a head-to-toe makeover with newly
discovered credit cards. She also spouts slang, wildly drives
a car by herself, and becomes all giddy when Anna’s bad boy
crush Jake (Murray) rides up in his motorcycle.
As the Tess-inhabited Anna, Lindsay Lohan has less to work
with. Her character tries over and over to maintain authority
only to realize she has no credibility because of her appearance.
At school, overbearing teachers and exams are realities once
again. Later, Lohan does have some goofy scenes as well when
Tess begins to lighten up and realize that she is in a teen’s
body after all.
The switched duo’s friends and relatives are understandably
confused. Harry (Malgarini), the younger brother, can
tell something is wrong when his sister calls him “honey”
and his usually supportive mother starts teasing him. Anna’s
friends wonder why her enthusiasm for their garage band PinkSlip
has suddenly waned. Ryan (Harmon), Tess’s fiancé, is
the most perplexed as his future wife begins to avoid his
kisses and pursue new, wilder interests the day before matrimony.
For a movie about people trying to understand what goes on
underneath the surface, there are a few stereotypes that could
have been avoided. Tess’s patients are shown as jittery, paranoid,
and vapid. The hostess at the Chinese restaurant where the
fateful fortune cookies are received is given bad English
and an accent.
Overall, the movie does a great job at what it’s trying to
do. It has remade an old favorite to fit the current environment,
told a wholesome story in a fun and entertaining way, and
it succeeds at being cute and sweet. This is a great movie
for girls and their moms, and I highly recommend this movie
to that particular demographic. It sends a good overall message
and contains no iffy content.
However, I would be hesitant to recommend this movie to anyone
else. This isn’t one of those movies aimed at children that
equally entertains adults, such as Finding Nemo or
other Pixar inventions. There are no inside jokes that go
over the young’uns’ heads but amuse the older folks. This
is just pure kid’s entertainment through and through.