2003-08-29 / Columnists

MovieScope By Robert Snyder ‘Freaky Friday’ – Curtis Cuts Loose

MovieScope By Robert Snyder ‘Freaky Friday’ – Curtis Cuts Loose

MovieScope By Robert Snyder
‘Freaky Friday’ – Curtis Cuts Loose


ROBERT SNYDERROBERT SNYDER

After decades of alternating between "Halloween" horror victim and
second banana to robotic actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, actress Jamie Lee Curits is finally freed from her VoiceStream duties long enough to appear in a fully flesh-out film star role.

In the Disney remake, "Freaky Friday," Curtis’s character Tess Coleman magically and unwillingly does a body-trade with her teenage daughter, Anna (Lindsay Lohan), which results in a classic comedy performance. Following an opening 20 minutes of generation-gap conflict, Tess and Anna awake after being bewitched by the elder member of a Chinese restaurant family to find that the body-switch has begun. Looking into a mirror, Anna-inside-Tess screams, "I’m like the crypt keeper!" Meanwhile, the new teenage Tess wrecks revenge on her mom with an orgy of credit card spending, a grudged-up makeover and wild Volvo driving. While teen Tess can’t stomach a kiss from Mom’s fiancé, Ryan (Mark Harmon), she does succumb to the charms of high school heartthrob Jake (Chad Michael Murray), who seems to see past the crypt keeper to the Anna soul within.

Based on the Mary Rodgers’ novel and the 1977 Jodie Foster-Barbara Harris film, "Freaky Friday is expertly directed by Mark Waters. While Waters doesn’t let logistics interfere with the fun, the acting makes the movie connect and cook. It’s a mystery to me how Curtis and Lohan kept in character during the filming. I can just see the director saying, "Now, Ms. Curtis, in this scene, you’re playing Anna as Tess. No I’m mistaken. You’re playing Tess as Tess.

As for you, Ms. Lohan…"

But, Curtis holds it together and handles the comic confusion wonderfully... as does Lohan. Particularly, uproarious is a scene where Anna-in-Tess promotes her psychoanalyst mother’s new book, "Through the Looking Glass: Senescence in Retrograde" on TV. Though she is completely clueless as to what the
book’s about, the new Tess encourages the public to unlock their libidos and rock.

Glancing at the television, uptight Tess-turned-Anna is horrified to see her mother’s body writhing over the outstretched arms of the audience
members…mosh-pit style.

If you want to forget about blackouts and bad times, check out "Freaky Friday." It’s more than a remake... it cuts Curtis loose.


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