(directed by Mark Waters, screenplay by Heather Hach & Leslie Dixon, novel by Mary Rodgers; 2003)
Single mother, therapist and author, Dr Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) doesn't understand her fifteen-year-old daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan). When they have a rather public argument, a witch decides to meddle and they wake up the next morning inhabiting each others' bodies.
Where Freaky Friday succeeds is in the performance of the two leads. Curtis is clearly having a ball showing off her fabulous physical acting as the teenager trapped in an aging body. Lohan isn't quite as stellar, but she's sufficiently convincing that the viewer never loses sight of which character she's meant to be.
Where it fails is the plot: there are few surprises and little tension. Though there were one or two good jokes scattered in among, there were also some irritating running gags, and I found the film as a whole surprisingly unfunny. As expected from a Disney production, the viewer is treated to a heavy dose of moralising, with a triple shot of schmaltz thrown in at the end for good measure.
30 December 2003