Freaky Friday (2003)

freaky friday IMDb

I know that Freaky Friday was aimed at Lindsay Lohan’s peer group, but let’s be real– this movie is all about Jamie Lee Curtis. Even before Lohan went off the deep end and it became tough to watch her movies I always thought this was Curtis’ film. She steals every scene she’s in, which is saying something, because Lohan is no slouch here.

Freaky Friday is a remake of the 1976 movie of the same name, in which a mother and daughter switch bodies for one day. It’s the sort of simple and wacky premise that is Disney’s bread and butter. It’s also the sort of plot that can be remade every few decades and still be relatable, because becoming your mother will continue to be every teenage girl’s worst nightmare until the end of time. (Word of advice young ladies– you can’t escape this fate. Just lean into it.)

Obviously Jamie Lee Curtis is excellent, but Lindsay Lohan pulls her weight. The two on screen together is magical, but they’re just as good in solo scenes. With any other stars this could have been an ordinary remake, but Curtis and Lohan make it something special. The rest of the cast (which features Mark Harmon and Chad Michael Murray) are good, but they aren’t given much to do. This is all about Curtis and Lohan, which isn’t a bad thing.

The movie itself is wholesome family fun, with just enough edge and nostalgia to entertain adults as well. I laugh every time I watch Freaky Friday, it’s just that enjoyable.

Rating: B+

Oh what might have been… That’s the reoccurring theme whenever I watch a movie like this starring Lindsay Lohan. Her performance in this, and the teen classic Mean Girls, give a hint of the kind of talent that was locked inside of her. If only she could use that talent, rather than party it up with a weird assortment of drugs and alcohol.

Freaky Friday is a remake of the 70s Disney movie where a daughter (Lohan) and mother (Jamie Lee Curtis) swap bodies after receiving a fortune cookie at their local Chinese restaurant so they can appreciate everything the other has to go through on a daily basis. Complicating things further if the fact that Jamie Lee Curtis is meant to be getting married the next day. Both girls must keep the other’s body functioning enough so that when they switch back, their lives are not completely ruined.

This is an enjoyable film, mostly due to Lohan and Curtis’s performance. Each actress is having a lot of fun in this role imitating each other. What makes the movie work so well is these two ladies are able to make you believe they are being inhabited by another person. Lohan is great as the middle aged woman trapped in a teenager’s body. She shows great comedic timing and is able to play both roles (punk rock teenager and uptight mother) really well. Jamie Lee Curtis is the same, but I kind of expect that of her. I’ve been impressed with her in the past (True Lies, Trading Places) so it is not as much of a surprise that she is really good in this film. Lohan is the real surprise here, her performance is really good, and it is a shame she hasn’t used her talent more regularly lately. The supporting cast is ok, NCIS star Mark Harmon plays Jamie Lee Curtis’s husband to be, which I imagine would be quite awkward for them. I read that they have been best friends for years so filming the romantic scenes would have been somewhat weird, I think. As much as I like my friends, I don’t want to be filmed making out with them.

Freaky Friday is good, clean, wholesome fun. The film is carried well by Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. Their performances make this a really entertaining time, and elevate what could have potentially been just a kids film to something the whole family can enjoy.

Rating: B

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