Saturday, March 21, 2009

Freaky Friday

Freaky Friday; Fantasy comedy, USA, 1995; D: Melanie Maybon, S: Shelley Long, Gaby Hoffmann, Catlin Adams, Alan Rosenberg, Sandra Bernhard, Drew Carey, Carol Kane

Ellen Andrews is innovative in design of new clothes but pretty lax in handling her neglected daughter Annabelle. On Friday the 13th, Ellen's lover Bill gives her a gift, a mysterious Chinese talisman that causes a miracle - Ellen and Annabell switch bodies. Since nobody noticed that, they try to keep it a secret: Ellen feels wonderful as a 14-year old girl, yet everyone mocks her in school and she is terrible at basketball, while Annabelle enjoys as a grown up woman, but has obligations selling her fashion design to rich Frieda, which she visits on rollerskates. She manages to persuade her. Finally, Ellen and Annabelle switch back to their normal bodies.

Fantasy children's comedy "Freaky Friday" has been adapted and remade numerous times, and this TV version offers a solid fun and should probably please everyone, yet it still remained a typical mild Disney film. The idea that a mother and a daughter switch their bodies and see how it is to be in their skin has charm even in this 1oth film version, but the beginning of the film is slow and has no balance. The main jokes, which were derived from the exploitation of the quirky basic concept, mostly are composed out of the fact that a 14-year old girl would say such lines like: "Just because your generation suffered, now you want that the next one suffers too!", while she also smokes cigarettes and asks boys if they kissed her. Even the grown up Shelley Long copes well while acting a teenager, especially when she ironically accuses both "herself" and Annabelle: "I'm equally as guilty as my daughter!" It's a solid film that doesn't try to be something more, while Sandra Bernhard has a small appearance towards the end as the spoiled rich Frieda, but she got weaker gags (she gives just a few cents as a tip).



david robinson said...

This film is almost impossible to get hold of and thats a shame because its so good. Shelley Long is at her wackiest in this film and she is so well supported by Gaby Hoffman and Bill Rosenberg and others. It did however leave me with 2 questions. Is that really Gaby Hoffman diving off the high diving board and swimming and if it is she is really an excellent diver and swimmer. Secondly is that really Shelley Long roller blading because again if it is she is excellent at it. What with a beautifdul singing voice and other talents she is a really gifted person. I hope Disney releases this film on DVD.

Marin Mandir said...

It's a solid children's film that gains greatly thanks to the fun performance by Shelley Long.

I didn't know it was that rare to get a hold off. Seen it on local TV, and who knows if it will ever get shown again so quickly.

david robinson said...

I live in the UK and a great many of the films you get in the USA we never get. I have been trying to get this film Susie Q and Irreconcilable Differences on dvd and no success. I,ve always found that when Shelley Long works with children she is at her best ie Troop Beverley Hills and most enjoyable to watch. If you see any of the above 3 films for sale on an American site I would really appreciate if you would let me know.