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Customer Review

on 12 August 2004
Freaky Friday could probably been viewed as a sharp satire on modern society, a statement about mother-daughter relationships, or even a proclamation on the need for better communication. Whether it is or isn't hardly matters, because either way, Freaky Friday is probably one of the most delightful, entertaining comedies to come out in recent years. This is a snappy comedy that hits the mark again and again with its on-target observations about youth and middle-age.
Jamie Lee Curtis is on the top of her game, as Dr. Tess Coleman, a psychotherapist who is desperately trying to keep it together at home as she prepares for her upcoming marriage, while also battling the demands of her anxious patients. Tess's rebellious, puckish daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) is causing Tess no end of trouble. Anna won't get up for school in the morning, she plays loud music in the basement with her rock band, and she is constantly fighting with her younger brother, Harry (Ryan Malgarini). Anna thinks that her Mum is old fashioned and stodgy, a well-meaning control freak who just can't go with flow or understand the pressures that weigh upon her slender shoulders. Where mother and daughter really differ is in their views of Ryan (Mark Harmon), who is about to marry Tess.
Their disagreements erupt into a major mother-daughter shouting match one evening in the back of a Chinese restaurant. The restaurant owner's mother (Lucille Soong) sees what is going on and offers them some magical fortune cookies. The next morning - Freaky Friday - mother and daughter find themselves inhabiting each other's bodies. Since Tess's wedding is Saturday, they are under considerable pressure to switch back.
This is an imaginative story that really works well, and the laughs come thick and fast when both Anna and Tess "freak out" when they have to face the day trapped in each other's bodies. When Anna-as-Tess realizes that she now has the right to credit cards, she goes on a spending spree and jazzes herself up with some hip new clothes, ear piercings and a trendy new hairstyle. And she really savors the moments when Jake (Chad Michael Murray), the high school guy Anna has a crush on, finds himself attracted to her. Tess-as-Anna shocks her daughter's classmates with her new seriousness and puritanical habits, such as pulling down a friend's shirt because she is exposing too much midriff.
As the day goes on they develop a new understanding of each other's lives, and they learn to empathize with one another more effectively. The film's climax is at a rock and roll concert where Tess has to masquerade as a lead guitarist on the same evening as the wedding rehearsal and it's very funny. Freaky Friday is a wonderful film about the power of empathy, and the search for communication, with fine performances from everyone involved. Enjoy. Mike Leonard August 04.
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