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Mark Waters
Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Mark Harmon
Writing Credits:
Heather Hach, Leslie Dixon

A mother and daughter find their personalities switched and have to live each other's lives on one strange Friday.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 3/27/2018

• None


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-Panasonic DMP-BDT220P Blu-Ray Player
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Freaky Friday [Blu-Ray] (2003)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 12, 2023)

In some ways, 1977’s Freaky Friday seemed like an odd film to remake. The original became a decent little success but remained memorable mainly for those of us who were kids at the time.

Heck, I always liked to joke that Jodie Foster won her first Oscar not for 1988’s The Accused but instead as a belated honor for her work in Friday!

However, a big-screen remake seemed unlikely just because the film had already been remade – literally and figuratively. A TV version aired back in 1995.

In addition, the “different body” genre featured in Friday got been reworked many times. This became true especially in the late 1980s, when we got three flicks - 18 Again, Vice Versa and Big - on the screens within three months of each other in 1988.

Nonetheless, the folks at Disney decided Friday was ripe for a redo, so they produced this new version in 2003. Apparently, this was a good idea, at least commercially. Friday emerged as a small but firm hit.

With a gross of $109 million, Friday didn’t rival Disney’s biggest 2003 efforts - Finding Nemo and Pirates of the Caribbean - but for an unhyped and quiet little reworking of an old kid’s movie, it did quite well.

Did the flick also succeed artistically? Yeah, pretty much.

While no one will mistake Friday for brilliant cinema, it updates the old story with a smart, amusing and likable new telling.

15-year-old Anna (Lindsay Lohan) lives with her psychologist mother Dr. Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) and irritating younger brother Harry (Ryan Malgarini). Both Anna and Tess bicker over the usual parent/daughter issues and experience one particularly bad day.

Among other things, Anna makes a fool of herself in front of Jake (Chad Michael Murray), the boy she likes who doesn’t seem to know she’s alive. Tess runs into stress with her upcoming wedding to Ryan (Mark Harmon) while she balances her practice.

After a major blow-up between mom and daughter, Ryan takes the family out for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. They fight there too and both state the other one has it easiest.

The mother of the owner (Lucille Soong) sees their bickering and gives them each a special fortune cookie. This causes Tess and Anna to switch bodies, a bizarre occurrence with major ramifications.

I don’t think anyone expected more than a cheap and gimmicky rehash of an old flick from the new Friday. However, director Mark Waters and company managed to make an old dog seem pretty fresh and entertaining.

A lot of this stems from its tone, which presents some broad comedy but nonetheless creates a fairly realistic world. None of the characters comes across as terrifically true to life, and the various problems get mutated into a somewhat cartoony fashion at times.

Nonetheless, they remain acceptably believable. The various tensions among family members receive concise treatment that rings true despite the comedic elements.

Much of the film’s success results from the talents of the actors. I never truly believed Lohan as Curtis or vice versa, as they didn’t quite get down each others’ mannerisms and patterns.

In some ways, their performances felt more like “generic uptight mom” or “wild daughter” and didn’t seem to result from real attempts to emulate each other.

Nonetheless, they both sparkle in their parts and make the somewhat trite characters more likable and engaging. Curtis does especially well when she needs to play Anna.

Many of the movie’s laughs come from her no holds barred portrayal, as she really gets into the swing of things. It’s a loose and lively performance that makes the movie substantially better than it might have been.

I also feel pleased that the movie totally avoids any form of crass or vulgar humor. Such topics easily could receive attention here, but Friday skirts them altogether.

Yeah, there’s one gag in which Anna as Tess alludes to the firmness of the former’s butt, and another in which she autographs a guy’s posterior, but these moments seem cute and lack the crudeness other films might indulge. The movie takes the high road and appears stronger for it.

As I mentioned earlier, nothing revolutionary occurs in this new Freaky Friday. It’s the same basic plot as the original and its imitators and the same form of “getting to know each other better” tale we’ve seen hundreds of times in the past.

Despite those issues, the movie manages to offer a very entertaining and charm piece. In no way, shape or form do I fall into the flick’s target audience, but I still really enjoyed Friday.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus F

Freaky Friday appears in both an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray disc. This was a pretty good reflection of the source.

Overall sharpness worked fine, though not without exceptions, as some softness crept into the occasional wider shot or interior. In general, though, the image felt fairly well-defined.

No signs of moiré effects or jagged edges occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain seemed light but natural, and no print flaws materialized.

Colors went with a reasonably broad palette – albeit one that leaned toward amber a fair amount of the time. While the hues leaned a little brown, they usually offered fairly peppy tones.

Black levels appeared nicely dense and deep, while low-light shots offered good clarity and definition. Ultimately, Friday consistently remained more than watchable.

While much of Freaky Friday’s DTS-HD 5.1 mix sounded good, it lacked the scope to earn a high grade, as the soundfield remained somewhat limited through most of the movie. Elements remained largely anchored in the front speakers.

Music managed to get decent reinforcement from the rear, especially when Anna’s band played. In addition, the two brief earthquake sequences kicked the surrounds to life in a small way.

Otherwise, however, the fronts dominated. They offered good localization and movement, though. The forward speakers presented a fairly natural soundfield, but it still wasn’t terribly involving.

Audio quality worked fine. Dialogue always sounded natural and distinctive, and I noticed no issues connected to edginess or intelligibility.

Effects stayed minor for the most part, as other than the earthquakes and Jake’s motorcycle, I recall little that made an impression. Nonetheless, the various elements sounded accurate and life-like.

Music fared well. From the score to the many pop/rock songs, these all seemed vivid and lively, with clear highs and nice bass.

Across the board, low-end response was firm and rich. Overall, Friday lost points due to its lack of ambition, but it sounded good enough to earn a “B”.

How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? The DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix came with a soundscape similar to that of the lossy DVD but quality felt warmer and fuller.

Visuals showed the expected upgrades, as the Blu-ray boasted superior delineation, colors and blacks. This turned into an obvious upgrade.

Although the DVD came with a smattering of bonus materials, the Blu-ray drops all of them.

With Pirates of the Caribbean and Freaky Friday in 2003, Disney turned potentially miserable movies into genuinely entertaining experiences. Friday proves likable and winning, as it maintains a charming piece that also adds a surprising number of solid laughs. The Blu-ray boasts solid picture and appropriate audio but it lacks bonus materials. The absence of supplements disappoints but the movie works and the Blu-ray replicates it well.

To rate this film visit the DVD review of FREAKY FRIDAY

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