Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Freaky Friday (2003) - 8 stars out of 10

Freaky Friday (2003) - 8 stars out of 10

Disney really knows how to do family movies.  “Freaky Friday” is filled with comedy, strong family themes, and excellent acting that make this movie just as entertaining for the adults as it is for kids.  Maybe it is because I watched this film within 24 hours of “Good Burger” (and its painfully annoying humor), but it truly helped me to appreciate Disney’s ability to cater to the entire family.  While family films often go unnoticed by the critics, Jamie Lee Curtis’s portrayal of a teenager is Oscar-worthy.  She is so convincing that, in the moments that I forced myself to acknowledge that she was acting, I was blown away by her attention to body language, facial expressions, and vocal inflection.  Lindsay Lohan does the same, though I think that it’s easier for a kid to mimic an adult than vice-versa.  Of course, this is helped along by a well-written script that spins the perspective of the adult and kid worlds.  The Disney casting team did a great job of assembling a strong group of actors that turn this fiction into reality, which is no small task in a comedy with supernatural circumstances.  Even the sequence with Mr. Bates is perfect because Stephen Tobolowsky plays the character so well.  There are some really nice moments of sentimentality like the little brother’s letter and the toast, not to mention a pretty wicked guitar solo.  The comedy is constant from the Chinese restaurant owners to Evan (the paranoid patient) and the ironic circumstances that each main character encounters during the switch.  Jake is one of the funniest running gags ever.  I was losing it toward the end when he kept popping up.  I have long-resisted this film because I assumed that it was cheesy and kiddish, but there is a lot of legitimacy in the acting throughout this film.  I cannot wait to share “Freaky Friday” on family movie night someday.

[Pictured: Jamie Lee Curtis' performance is genius]

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