Buena Vista/Buena Vista .
R4 . COLOR . 93 mins .
PG . PAL
So just how freaky is Freaky Friday?
Well, for starters, Jamie Lee Curtis was nominated for a 2004 Golden Globe Award for 'Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy'. How freaky is that? OK, granted, her performance is superb and she deserves that nomination.
Then, casting director Marci Liroff happens to discover Lindsay Lohan to play Curtis’ daughter, finding such awesome chemistry between the two, not to mention genetically – again, it’s pretty freaky...
Christina Vidal sung a cover of Take Me Away by Perth gals Lash in this film, which just so happens to sound exactly the same as the original (pardon the absence of one slight obscenity). Wow – way freaky... But there’s more of that bitch later on.
Freaky Friday is a remake of the classic Disney film starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris, which has successfully been sped up to 2003. The best way to describe this film is that it is a lot of fun. There’s music, comedy and fashion, all appropriately toned to today’s generation, as well as the rich and fuzzy Disney family moral.
Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan star as mother and daughter Dr. Tess Coleman and Anna Coleman. These two have the usual mother-teenage daughter relationship involving arguments, yelling, screaming, domineering, power plays and eventually the removal of a bedroom door – you know what its like. On the eve of Tess’s wedding rehearsal, a family dinner at the local Chinese restaurant ends with the usual way – mother and daughter arguing. But then the strange Chinese lady comes long, mumbling voodoo and presenting two immaculate fortune cookies. So, how do you shut up weird voodoo-mumbling Chinese ladies? Eat the cookies, of course! OK, no big deal – the usual bland cookie with a cryptic fortune inside – that sounds about right. Midnight hits and it’s now 00:00 Friday morning - definitely the freakiest Friday of their lives. There’s a slight problem, you see, Tess and Anna are stuck in each others’ bodies. Scared, confused, and still bickering, they both have to live in each others’ shoes – the only way to gain the ultimate understanding of someone else’s point of view. Sure, no one wants to be instantly 40ish, or back at school (God forbid!), and a teenage girl stuck in her mother’s body doesn’t want to get married to a greying man. So, a switch must be made to return to their original body, and it’s just as kooky as the mumbling Chinese lady, but illustrates a warm and healthy lesson.
Hey look mum, it's Michael Meyers!
The video for this 2003 film is presented in its original theatrical aspect of 1.85:1 and like most modern-day transfers, is anamorphically enhanced. Snugly fitting onto a single layer, the video quality is quite nice with a fresh and quality image throughout. Colours are bright and adequately saturated without getting a major case of the “wha look at me” syndrome, and blacks are mastered with strength and precision. The clarity this transfer offers is superb, masterfully displaying a clean and sharp image for the entire duration. Film artefacts and grain aren’t an issue at all, and the entire film is simply, like the film, a joyous pleasure to watch.
Not exactly the side of you mum that you want to see...
Two English Dolby Digital soundtracks have been included, providing options of either 5.1 or stereo. By default, the 5.1 track kicks in and is a reasonably nice effort. Dialogue comes clearly from the centre channel, with synch spot on for the entire film. Bass levels are high, giving the woofwoof enough energy to pounce air around the room. At least this does the dusting for you. Discrete effects from the front and rear channels are severely limited, however when they are used they are done so appropriately and effectively. The score, credited to Rolfe Kent, is touching and mood-building, providing a suitably toned feel to the film. The soundtrack is full of alternative rock tracks from both Anna’s time as well as Tess’. Now, as said earlier, Anna is in a band and their big garage single is a track called Take Me Away. Now a question for you – has anyone heard of the band Lash? They’re a Perth outfit who released this as their first single from their album The Beautiful and the Damned, however Christina Vidal has performed a cover of it for Freaky Friday. Lash can still be given some credit for their inclusion of the track Beauty Queen, but in the few times this reviewer has seen the film, he’s never been able to pick it out. Oh well... The remainder of the soundtrack is made up of tracks from a variety of eras including Simple Plan, American Hi-Fi, The Donnas and, of course, who can forget Cole Porter? Like a few young actors at the moment, Hilary Duff (The Lizzie McGuire Movie) and Alexa Vega (Spy Kids 2: The Island of Dreams) to name two, Lindsay Lohan gives it a go at singing, and actually does a pretty fine job for the grand finale track of Ultimate. Whenever one of them music tracks kicks it, you get force fed an enormous load of healthily mixed 5.1 goodness with a massive punch that really gets your living room rockin’.
In the extras department we have absolutely nothing. It’s a rental disc, so it would be freaky to have something to look at.
This facial expression was a mandatory casting requirement.
Freaky Friday has really had a freaky time since its mid-2003 release, being an impressive (and unpredicted) box office hit and being able to entertain audiences both young and old alike, as well as sweeping up a Golden Globe nomination. This film is definitely worth a rent for a family night of video entertainment, and quite honestly, worth a purchase when the time comes. Buena Vista’s transfer is a gem to watch, and the only thing letting this disc down is the lack of extras.