Directed by Mark Waters, starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Harold Gould, Chad Michael Murray, Stephen Tobolowsky and Mark Harmon.
This remake of Mary Rodgers' classic novel offers a certain sentimentality that, dressed up with humour, side-steps an awkward feeling of dejá-vu or indeed tiredness. It's a typical struggle between teenager and un-cool mother, potentially a tedious re-run of so many other coming-of-age films. But 'Freaky Friday' avoids that pitfall. Although not an original idea, this lacks little in terms of entertainment value.
Anna (Lohan) is 15-years-old, doesn't care about school and would sacrifice anything for her rock band PinkSlip. To her mother, Dr Tess Coleman (Curtis), the life Anna leads is far removed from reality. From the outset the pair clash on every matter conceivable but it is only when Anna prioritises her band's show over her mother's wedding rehearsal that the trouble really starts.
Deep down Anna is not very pleased that Tess has decided to remarry so soon after her father's death. So she decides that her mother's fiancé Ryan (Harmon) is not deserving of a chance to prove himself. After putting up with her mood swings for so long, Tess finally snaps when Anna announces that she is not going to attend the family dinner on the eve of the wedding. After an almighty row at a Chinese restaurant, fate intervenes when the landlady plays a cruel trick to teach them both a lesson.
Inside the identical fortune cookies she presents them with is a riddle that conjures up a ferocious spell on the stroke of midnight, catapulting Anna into her mother's body and Tess into the teenager's flesh. Forced to live each other's lives until they can reverse the spell, they discover a previously unimaginable awareness of the others' feelings. Getting to this point is where the fun lies. Their journeys are filled with blunders and pranks as they try to convince everyone of the part they are playing - Anna acting as a psychologist for the day, while her mother dates the Romeo of the school.
Jamie Lee Curtis is hilarious as a teenager pretending to be an adult, depicting Anna's mannerisms with a clueless awkwardness which is particularly funny in the rock concert scenes. The only fault with their antics is the fact that their voices remain the same despite their body change.
From tame beginnings 'Freaky Friday' builds into a funny little package, as you cringe for a grown woman trying her utmost to fit into a teenager's world. A surprising treat.