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Movies with Lindsay Lohan
(Directed by Mark Waters) Exclaim.ca
By Ashley Anderson, August 07, 2003
If Disney is the magic kingdom, then three times is a charm for Freaky Friday, Mary Rodgers novel thrice adapted into films of the same name by Disney.
In 1976, four years after the novels original publication date, Barbara Harris played the frustrated mom and Jodie Foster her equally perturbed daughter, who magically switch bodies and learn what its like in the others shoes. It was followed up by the 1995 made-for-TV remake, this time with Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffman.
And while both of those films garnered moderate praise, my moneys on the 2003 version for the best reviews. Directed by Mark Waters (Head Over Heels, The House of Yes), in this version its a charmed fortune cookie that forces the switch. And with the rapidly approaching nuptials of psychologist mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) and the crucial band demo and boy problems of the stellar guitar-playing daughter (Lindsay Lohan), time is of the essence.
What makes this movie work more than anything else is the combined performances of both Curtis and Lohan. Lohan is a dual role alum, having played opposite herself for the 1998 remake of the twin-swapping Parent Trap. She has an earnestness and believability that differentiate her from obvious comparisons to fellow G-rated movie stars like Amanda Bynes and Hilary Duff. And if there was one star that rose slightly higher to the occasion, it would have to be Jamie Lee Curtis. A pretty cool mom in real life, who better to play a precocious, rebellious teenager trapped in a womans body?
Aside from Curtis and Lohan, Mark Harmon is cute but forgettable as Curtiss fiancÚ, pretty boy Chad Murray (Gilmore Girls, Dawsons Creek) is slightly endearing, vaguely irritating as Lohans love interest, and Rosalind Chaos acting ability (Joy Luck Club) is an undervalued commodity here in her painfully stereotyped Chinese restaurant owner role.
Freaky Friday is a really funny, sweetly sentimental movie with a kickin pop punk soundtrack. And a little sugar now and then never hurt anyone.
'Freaky Friday': Surprising, but good
by Cara Shatzman
Freaky Friday did not seem like the type of movie I would run out and wait three hours in line to see. I did not plan to see it at all, in fact. The posters were weird and the trailers even worse. Yet, the movie was surprisingly good.
This is the second Disney remake since the 1977 original starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris and it seems like an old and uncreative idea. The script writers (Heather Hach and Leslie Dixon) did not jazz up the tired body-switching theme. It was the actresses that saved this film. Without Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan I doubt it would have been worth seeing this movie.
Lohan as Anna Coleman does a better job playing the stuffy adult than the rebellious teen. Curtis as Tess Coleman does an even better job playing the rock-obsessed teen.
There are a few rough spots that make the movie drag, but it is the more upbeat and funny scenes that I remember. The movie is optimistic and keeps a good pace that never lets you catch on when its dragging. What really made it worth while is the obvious fun the actresses had with the movie. They took the bland script and added their own flair to it, bringing it too life and beyond most expectations. The scenes that would appear to be bland, such as the scene where Curtis playing Anna-as-Tess has to act as a professional psychiatrist, turn out to be surprisingly well done and entertaining. Curtis rolls her eyes perfectly and responds to the patients in a manner that makes her seem like a 15-year-old. In one instant, Lohan as Tess-being-Anna has to perform at a rock concert and does it in such an uncool way that any teen would be embarrassed.
Freaky Friday is not for everyone, with its cute and corny ways, but its a good family film for the summer, considering no one is shot or blown up. The acting is worth it. Even the scenes with the brother/son Harry (Ryan Malgarini) and the crazy grandfather (Harold Gould) are memorable. There are plenty of laughs, no matter how cheesy or flat-out slapstick. There are serious moments expected in all Disney movies that bring everyone back together, but these are a lot more touching than I thought Disney was capable of.
Cara Shatzman is a junior at Santa Fe High School.