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Mom, daughter switch bodies; freak out

Arthur J Pais | August 07, 2003 16:38 IST

Every summer, a small film from nowhere lands in the midst of the mega-budget, action-filled movies and yawn-producing sequels, and goes on to be a sleeper hit. This is simply because the film provides something the audiences have been craving for.

A still from Freaky FridayFreaky Friday, the comedy from Disney, could just be that film this summer. It may not open to record-breaking numbers, but it will not disappear in five or six weeks.

While, at times, the film is cloyingly sweet, even preachy, it still has enough funny moments and sentiment to appeal to the young and old.

Issues like parental control, children's rebellious nature, distrust of new relationships and search for the real self are timeless.

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You might feel Freaky Friday examines them superficially. You may also readily admit this film is one of those guilty pleasures you have been sucked into right from the start. Or let us say a few minutes later when the bodies are exchanged.

A remake of the 1977 Disney hit of the same name, Freaky Friday is about a mother and daughter who magically switch bodies, going through each other's skin and causing many hilarious and enlightening moments.

With a very funny performance by Jamie Lee Curtis and an endearing one by Lindsay Lohan (who was impressive playing twins in the Disney remake of Parent Trap), the film offers plenty of fun across the board, especially for mothers and daughters.

Curtis is particularly terrific while enacting the awkward and giddy teenager with sex and music on her mind while being trapped in a much older body. The actress, whose movies include the hits like A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies and The Tailor Of Panama, apparently had lots of fun changing her personality from that of a stressed out single mother to that of an exuberant teenager for this film.

The film also gets some of its irony from the fact that the mother here is a psychiatrist.

A still from Freaky FridayTess Coleman (Curtis) and teenager daughter Anna (Lohan) seem to disagree on every issue. Anna is convinced her mother is a control freak who will ruin her life. Tess thinks Anna is selfish, ungrateful and ungraceful.

Life at home is unbearable as kid brother (Ryan Malgarini) loves teasing and humiliating Anna. Tess is preparing to wed her boyfriend (Mark Harmon) but helping her mother is the last thing Anna wants to do.

The body switch occurs when the owner of a restaurant passes on identical fortune cookies to Tess and Anna.

Anna cannot believe her middle-aged avatar and Tess isn't comfortable with her new self.

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As Tess and Anna try to make sense of the bizarre happening, they also realise they have to deal with their friends and boyfriends. Watch out for a raft of hilarious situations, especially when the 'new' Tess handles her patients.

Amidst crazy misunderstandings, the two women get to evaluate the other person: Tess begins seeing Anna's complaints against her in a new light while Anna begins questioning her perceptions of Tess.

Director Mark Waters is relatively new to this kind of a film. He debuted with The House Of Yes, a dark arthouse comedy which was a success. One can only respect his versatility with this movie.

 

CREDITS
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Mark Harmon, Ryan Malgarini
Direction: Mark Waters
Released by: Buena Vista
Rating: PG
Running time: 97 minutes



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