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Freaky Friday

The MPAA rated Freaky Friday (2003) PG for mild thematic elements and some language.

Walking in someone else’s sneakers or high heels may be the best way to understand them, but for most of us it’s easier said than done. However, that opportunity is exactly what’s about to happen to Dr. Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her 15-year-old, Anna (Lindsay Lohan).

Although Tess has a career in counseling as a psychologist, mother and daughter are utterly unable to communicate with each other. Living a busy lifestyle that leaves little time for anything more than perfunctory interactions, their relationship is tenuous. Despite her best parental intentions, Tess can’t understand Anna’s repeated trips to the detention office, her involvement in a garage band or her bad attitude about the counselor’s upcoming marriage to Ryan (Mark Harmon). On the other hand, Anna can’t appreciate her widowed mom’s overabundance of cell phones, pagers, and obsession with work, or her desire to bring a new man into the house.

With the wedding only days away, their argument finally boils over in a Chinese eatery. Hearing their quarrel, the elderly mother of the perky restaurateur gives the two combatants identical fortune cookies that cause an amazing alteration. The next morning, they find themselves in each other’s bodies

Now Tess has to deal with high school bullies, put up with a little brother’s (Ryan Malgarini) jabs and take a big math test. She also gets a first-hand chance to check out Jake (Chad Michael Murray), her daughter’s new love interest and to try her hand at playing electric guitar with the Pink Slip band members (Christina Vidal, Haley Hudson, Chris Carlberg, Danny Rubin). Meanwhile Anna has to lend a listening ear to her mother’s patients and play loving fiancée to a man she can hardly tolerate.

But their biggest challenge is figuring out how to get their own bodies back before the ceremony takes place.

Updated from the 1976 version starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris, this new millennium mom is totally career oriented--no funny fiascos doing the laundry here. There are also other changes to the script. Repeated terms of Deity, a few mild sexual comments, an autographed buttock and some mild thematic issues are concerns parents won’t likely remember from the original.

However, Lohan and Curtis do a good enough job of pulling off this Freaky Friday remake. Despite the increased pace of our lifestyle, or perhaps because of it, the art of communication between parents and teens can be just as problematic as it was 30 years ago.

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