Flashback Review: Freaky Friday (2003)

In 1976, Disney released a live action film called “Freaky Friday” with Jodie Foster during her early years as a kid prior to winning two Oscars for The Accused & The Silence Of The Lambs. Freaky Friday earn positive reviews from critics and made enough cash at the box office. I’m gonna be honest with you fellow movie goers, the Jodie Foster version doesn’t hold up pretty well, if you’ve already seen it, go check out my full SPOILER review to know why.

Twenty Seven Years Later, a remake of the film starring Jamie Lee Curtis & Lindsay Lohan was released in 2003. (same year Finding Nemo came out) It received positive reviews from critics and movie goers alike. Plus, it made enough money at the box office. The film earned Lindsay an MTV Movie Award for “Best Breakthrough Performance.”

Recently, a musical remake (not making this up) of Freaky Friday aired on The Disney Channel in August as part of The Disney Channel’s original movie line up. In response to a remake of remake, I’ve decided to look back at the Lindsay Lohan version to see if it holds up well. By the way, I’m also spreading word of mouth for Jamie Lee Curtis’s upcoming Halloween film set after the events of the original (not the Rob Zombie remake) alongside Lindsay Lohan co-starring with Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley from Harry Potter) in a British television sitcom called “Sick Note.”

The following review doesn’t contain any crucial SPOILERS. If you haven’t seen this film, feel free to read this non-spoiler article.

Positive & Negative Elements

Positive: Jamie Lee Curtis & Lindsay Lohan both did a great job for their respective performances as mother and daughter impersonating each others characters trapped in the opposite body.

Fun Fact: Jodie Foster who starred in the original, was offered to portray the mother, but decided not to participate fearing that her reputation might overshadow the story. Maybe she wanted to give Lindsay a fresh clean start kinda like passing the torch beginning as a successful child star to earning mature roles in critically acclaimed films or television dramas. Sadly, this never happened due to Lindsay’s real life problems.

Other Cast Members such as Mark Harmon, (NCIS) Chad Michael Murray, (possibly related to Bill Murray) & character actor Stephen Tobolowsky, (Memento) all did a good job for their performances.

Funny Moments contains fish out of water elements that weren’t too stupid.

The remake shows us how a cohesive “Inciting Incident” with Tess & Anna swap bodies rather than saying they want to be the person for a day by literally transferring their minds into another body. A proper way for them to try to reverse the curse is mentioned if they want to return to their own body.

Setting for the film is updated in modern times instead of The 70’s were the original became an unintentional period piece.

Character Development involving both Tess & Anna as they must learn to adapt from a different perspective or in this case for Star Wars fans, “From a certain Point Of View.” Cue that Robot Chicken sketch with Obi-Wan singing a musical number to Luke.

The film poked fun at a famous singer. I’m giving this joke an Extra Point for making me laugh so hard. I’ll give you a clue, he/she was in one of the seasons of American Horror Story.

This is the second time Lindsay Lohan starred in a Disney remake. First it was The Parent Trap, Freaky Friday & Herbie: Fully Loaded.

Unlike the original, the main leads chemistry has expanded fleshing out their personalities. The mother and daughter relationship is considered the main highlight.

A book is titled, “Through The Looking Glass.” Seven Years Later, Tim Burton remade Alice In Wonderland. In 2016, Through The Looking Glass came out around the same time as The Jungle Book remake.

One character said, “SHUT UP!” Perhaps a possible in-joke to Anne Hathaway’s line from The Princess Diaries?

Without giving too much away, the last scene subverts the original film’s ending, indicating a sequel or spin-off will never happen.

Anna’s tactless driving predates Lindsay Lohan’s DUI. She’s gone from root beer to vodka.

Lindsay Lohan did her own singing and guitar skills.

Christopher Guest (This Is Spinal Tap, also Jamie’s real life husband) makes a brief appearance.

Both Tess & Anna have a back story as a possible reason why they never get along.

Negative: Product Placement featuring certain brands like Coca-Cola, Sony, McDonald’s, Snapple, Apple, Powerade, Sprite, Ritz & Motorola.

A premature romance happened between two characters. In the real world, it’ll take a week or two to get to know each other until a relationship is official. Disney has a habit for pairing an early romance since Snow White.

The Final Verdict: B, FOR BIGGER & BETTER!

I have to admit, Freaky Friday is one of the remakes superior to the original. The chemistry with Lindsay Lohan & Jamie Lee Curtis’ characters was the main highlight. Time period doesn’t seem dated at all. The Inciting Incident fully explains how both character swap bodies along with other positive elements listed. If you haven’t seen this movie or want to introduce your kids to this remake, I highly recommended it.

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