Film Reviews:

Freaky Friday

(?, US, 2003)

If I hadn't been on a long-haul flight to Japan, there's little chance I'd have ever considered sitting through this Disney remake of a 70s Disney original. Yet I have to confess that this was far better than I expected. That is largely due to an excellent and well-cast ensemble, particularly the three leads: Jamie Lee Curtis as the fuddy duddy mum, Mark Harmon as the confused step father and NAME as the rebellious teenager daughter.

The plot hinges on Lee Curtis and NAME's character's switching bodies after visiting a Chinese restaurant and making a frivolous wish after eating a fortune cookie. What follows is a series of awkward set pieces in which mother and daughter struggle to come to terms with their new appearances. Caught in the middle is an increasingly confused Harmon who wonders why his fiancee is avoiding his kisses as their wedding day approaches and his step daughter has suddenly become more mature in her attitude.

Crucially both Lee Curtis and newcomer NAME are up to the performance demands of the script. Not only that, they both positively relish the change of character and it's the subtleties of both performances that strike you in spite of the broad comedy demanded by the body switching device. Surely some credit for this impressive range of acting must go to director NAME who could have easily delivered a perfunctory, one-level piece of family fluff. 6/10

Rob Dyer

See other lightweight body swap films including:

Vice Versa
etc. etc.

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