He says, she says
“Freaky Friday is a flailing, flaccid film
“Freaky Friday” is like Cheetos – artificially flavored fluff.
Like Cheetos, once you start it, you can’t stop. But when you get to the end, you feel a little ill.
Now I say all of this with one overarching caveat – if I was a 12-year-old girl I would have loved this movie. It had all those predictable scenes you would expect a young girl to giggle or squeal over. It also pulled all those strings you would expect a preteen to feel deeply connected to.
In that sense, “Freaky Friday” was fun.
But I am not a 12-year-old girl, and neither are all the poor parents who will be subject to its inanity while carting their 12-year-old girls to go see it.
The movie’s beginning is atrocious. It is mindless drivel drawn from the incredibly boring stereotyped roles of the you-just-don’t-understand-me teenager and the mean, I-care-but-I’m-too-busy-with-myself parent.
ague semblance of redemption for the actors and movie creators.
I admit I laughed in more than one place. Jamie Lee Curtis, who plays the older of the duo, seemed to have fun during parts of it and, that was apparent enough for the rest of us to chuckle along with her. Lindsay Lohan, her co-star, appeared far less experienced and convincing, but didn’t make me groan every time she was on screen, like some of her fellow cast members did.
Still, every plot advance is predictable and most of the movie seemed stale. Of course, that might be because it is yet another remake bubbling up out of the absolute dearth of creativity that is Hollywood. (This movie was originally a book by Mary Rodgers and then a 1977 flick with Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster as the displaced mother and daughter.)
If you have one, you can take your 12-year-old to see “Freaky Friday,” and you both will be sufficiently entertained. You probably won’t be upset enough to demand two hours of your life back.
But you probably won’t walk away feeling inspired by the quality of the current crop of children’s entertainment either. This was another of those movies that elicits the standard comment: “They don’t make them like they used to.”
Aidan Leonard can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 229, or
For what it is, “Friday’ not bad
I always hated Cheetos, and I didn’t have great expectations for “Freaky Friday,” either.
I figured the movie would be a retread aimed at people who somehow missed the first two installments (1977 and a mid-1990s made-for-television version) of “Freaky Friday.”
I was a 12-year-old girl when I saw the first one (just for the record, it was a RERUN; I wasn’t 12 in 1977), and I didn’t giggle so much as I cringed at the thought of my mom hanging out with my friends – the secrets she’d discover …
I couldn’t imagine being entertained by a third go-around of mother-daughter-angst-turned-sweet. But “Freaky Friday” pleasantly surprised me.
Aidan thought the movie was stereotypical (true), but at least the 2003 version shows how far women have come.
This time, when mother and daughter switch bodies, the daughter doesn’t have to do laundry, pick up dry cleaning and cook (thoughts which also horrified me as a child – the first time I used a dishwasher, I flooded the kitchen floor with suds. Who knew regular dishwashing liquid expanded). In the new millennium, the mother is a prominent psychologist with a book to promote and fragile patients to coddle.
On the other hand, the only details updated in the teenagers’ lives are the clothes, slang and one or two body piercings. Anna’s supposed teenage rebellion is a parent’s dream-
come-true: no drugs, no sex – just clean-cut rock ‘n’ roll. Remember, it’s a Walt Disney movie. Even the questionable biker turns out to have an after-school job and impeccable morals.
Like every Disney movie, the plot is predictable, but that doesn’t prevent it from being fun while it lasts. Disney keeps the remake fresh through a combination of elements. First, the idea of switching bodies is intriguing. Second, the premise walking in someone’s shoes (literally) portrays the action of compassion. Third, this version offers a better explanation of the switcheroo (though it, of course, still involves magic). And last – and probably most important – the principal actresses, Lindsay Lohen and Jamie Lee Curtis, don’t overdramatize their roles.
And, a quick teaser at the end pokes fun at body switching remakes. It brings a groan, followed by a sigh of relief. Not at all like eating Cheetos.
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