Freaky Cookie Makes for a Freaky Friday

Aug. 17, 2003, midnight | By Adedeji Ogunfolu | 18 years, 5 months ago

The definition of empathy is taken to a new level

Disney breaks away from Bambi cuddling and tackles family issues with a twist with its latest release. Freaky Friday, directed by Mark Waters, is a comedy about how Dr. Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her rebellious teenage daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) switch bodies for a day to experience life from the other's perspective. Their conflicting personalities represent the dissimilar existence of mothers and daughters everywhere.

The movie begins with Dr. Coleman waking up at the crack of dawn so that she can tackle the tasks at hand for that day. She is of the quintessential workingwoman of modern society. The successful psychologist is the mother of two kids and is about to marry again. Between counseling extremely emotionally unstable patients, planning her wedding, and publishing her new book, Tess doesn't let her hectic life faze her.

Anna, on the other hand, is the rambunctious girl next door. From the get go, when you see her long red hair that is splashed with wild blond streaks and the radical clothing that adorns her rock girl figure, you will infer her role will be the overpowering dramatic teen of this film. Her day consists of being in detention more than 3 times, battling with her school rival, Stasi, and arguing with her English teacher, Mr. Bates. After completing another reckless school day, she comes home to bicker with her mischievous little brother. Anna's discontented demeanor is only worsened by the prospect of having another father. The only scrap of that happiness that she gets from her day is playing in a rock band with her friends and wooing her crush Jake (Chad Michael Murray).

The freakiness commences when the family goes to eat dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Anna's band has the opportunity to play a gig at a hot local club called the House of Blues, and she takes this time to ask her mother if she can play in the concert. Her mom forbids it, pointing out that Anna's presence is mandatory at the wedding rehearsal. They continue their argument in a more secluded section of the restaurant, when in the middle the quarrel, a nosy waitress sees the two fighting and gives each of them a special fortune cookie. The two open the fortune cookie and read the fortune simultaneously, and shortly after an earthquake follows. When they run to check on their family, they find out that they are the only two who felt the rumble. They go home suspicious, but try to forget the bizarre occurrence and go to sleep. The next morning they wake up, and to their shock, Dr. Coleman and Anna are in each other's bodies.

The two believe that living in each other's bodies will be a cinch, but they soon come to realize that life as another is not as simple as they thought. All of a sudden, Anna is dealing with the stress of managing an office and attending to nagging patients. She sees that being calm cool and collective is not the easiest thing in the world to do. Dr. Tess is also given a rude awakening when she deals with Anna's hectic and unbearable school life, and she better understands her daughter's hot and fiery temper. For the two be to be swapped back to their regular form, they must make the fortune in the cookie come true, or else they will be switched forever.

There are many good aspects of this movie. For one, funny scenes are sprinkled throughout the film, and the audience never gets bored. The crazy plot detours that lie in wait every minute will leave the audience waiting for more. A good example of this is when the two are just starting to experience life from the other's point of view. They take every opportunity to make fun of each other, with Anna saying that she looks like the crypt creeper and Dr. Tess making fun of her daughter's angst driven attitude. This is also an eye-catching film because of the many subplots that appear in the right places, so that the audience is not worried about the outcome of the chaotic situation.

All things considered, two areas in this motion picture are flawed. For example, Jake is still interested in Anna even when she is in her mother's body. We see that Jake is heavily interested in her personality, but when he gets so fanatical with Anna that he stand outside of her home and sings his own rendition of "Hit Me Baby One More Time," it gets a bit too freaky for my liking.

The final kink in this film is the acting by the two main characters. In the beginning of the movie, the main characters set a standard for how their character was to behave. The problem is when the two actresses exchange personalities, Lindsay Lohan exaggerated the mother's character to much, and Jamie Lee Curtis did not do a good enough job of overstressing Anna's volatile and unpredictable attitude. Their portrayals of each other were convincing, but not as credible as they could have been.

Taking a walk in each other's shoes gives the two main characters a better understanding of the life that the other has to lead. At the end of the extraordinary experience, they develop a tighter bond and an indestructible relationship.

Freaky Friday is rated PG and is now playing.

Tags: print

Adedeji Ogunfolu. Adedeji Ogunfolu is now a senior. Besides working dilligently on the Silver Chips Online staff, he is an extremely enthusiastic musician. He is not ashamed to tell people that he has been to band camp, but he prefers to call it orchestra camp. He has … More »

Show comments


No comments.

Please ensure that all comments are mature and responsible; they will go through moderation.