Disney classic only gets better with age
By Jessica Berget, Assistant Editor
Jamie Lee Curtis’ physical comedy while acting as a 15-year-old punky rebellious teenage girl in a 40-year-old’s body is a spectacle to behold.
Very seldom are there quality movies I genuinely forget about—but Freaky Friday (2003) was one of those movies. The irreverent comedy as well as the wholesome and loving family moments make this the perfect movie to watch with friends or family and guarantee to make you laugh and think about how much you love your mom (or your daughter).
A stern but loving mother, Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) has difficulty reaching her rebellious teenage daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan), and both wish that the other would understand them better. Tess works hard at being a psychologist and becoming a newly published author and all the while she is about to get married to another man years after the death of Anna’s father. Anna plays guitar in her punk band Pink Slip hoping to make it big while trying to gain the affection of the motorcycle-riding teenage heartthrob Jake (Chad Michael Murray), avoid her bully Stacey Hinkhouse, and deal with the difficulties of a typical high schooler’s life.
After the two have a spat in a Chinese restaurant, the owner of the restaurant gives them a magic fortune cookie which make them go into each other’s bodies. After the two wake up the next morning and realize what had happened, they do everything to try to fix it before Tess’ wedding and Anna’s punk music audition (even going so far as running full speed into each other, which obviously doesn’t work). Hilarity ensues as the two try to live in each other’s bodies while trying to appear normal to their friends and family and attempting to not let on that they have no idea what they’re doing. Case in point: Anna (in Tess’ body) does an interview for Tess’ new book. Having no idea what the book is about, she goes on about the importance of screaming how you feel which effectively turns into her crowd surfing the audience. Meanwhile, Tess (in Anna’s body) tells off Anna’s English teacher for failing because Tess rejected him when in high school.
The movie has some surprisingly hilarious scenes and dialogue that I forgot about until rewatching. Jamie Lee Curtis’ physical comedy while acting as a 15-year-old punky rebellious teenage girl in a 40-year-old’s body is a spectacle to behold. And who can forget her quintessential line when they first change bodies: “UGGHHH, I’m like the Crypt Keeper!” Lindsay Lohan’s impression of a hard-ass psychologist mother borders on adorable and is a great balance to Curtis’ wacky and hilarious demeanor which makes the relationship between the two characters all the more lovable and relatable. Each of the side characters have their charm and the camaraderie between Anna’s younger brother Harry and Grandpa is cute and goofy. However, Curtis as Anna in Tess’ body steals the scene every single time.
Another great element to the movie: the fashion! The 2000s punk rock outfits really make you wish you kept your fingerless gloves and chokers. The soundtrack also hits the nail on the head of the wholesome family feel and the song “Take Me Away” played by Anna’s band Pink Slip perfectly encapsulates the movie and will never leave your head once you hear it.
What really gives this movie its standing though is its heart. The hilarious first half of the film ends on a sweet and loving note when Tess plays guitar for Anna’s band during the big audition and Anna gives a moving speech at Tess’ wedding reception. After they reconcile their differences and realize they love each other, they finally switch back.
I wouldn’t even call this a movie; it’s a gift and a sophisticated film that should be regarded highly as a classic among the likes of Casablanca and Citizen Cane (although I would still much rather watch Freaky Friday). If you are revisiting some of the old family Disney films, make this one the top of your list.