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Movie review: Curtis carries familiar premise

Movie Review "Freaky Friday" Century 10 PG 96 minutes 2 stars Out of four stars With a storyline so old that your grandmother can tell you what's going to happen next, "Freaky Friday" is actually a decent effort. The movie's cuteness can charm th...

Movie Review

"Freaky Friday"

Century 10

PG

96 minutes

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2 stars

Out of four stars

With a storyline so old that your grandmother can tell you what's going to happen next, "Freaky Friday" is actually a decent effort.

The movie's cuteness can charm this film into the hearts of audiences even if they're kicking and screaming the entire way.

The family-comedy stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Dr. Tess Coleman, a busy therapist who is raising two children, and Lindsay Lohan as her angst-ridden daughter, Anna.

After reading Chinese fortune cookies, they magically switch bodies.

When you have a cookie-cutter plot such as this, it's difficult to not think ahead to when the story will retreat to family sitcoms status.

However, those sitcoms did not have Curtis in their back pocket. She plays the role of the fussy, systematic mother well.

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When her character does the eventual switch with Anna, Curtis plays like a middle-aged free spirit to capture the vibe of her teen daughter. She acts out teen anxiety and lack of direction better than Lohan herself.

Before the switch, Lohan shows her limited acting range by continually screeching "you're ruining my life."

With everyday predicaments such as Tess' needy therapy patients and Anna's encounters with teenage crush Jake (Chad Michael Murray), the switch is amusing.

Further complicating matters (otherwise known as cluttering sub-plots) is Anna's refusal to accept Tess' new fiancé, Ryan (Mark Harmon), as her father to be. It's this dilemma that forces Anna to focus on something other than her school yard crushes or her pop-punk band Pinkslip.

"Freaky Friday" is a remake of a 1976 Jodie Foster film of the same name. It was also made into a 1995 Shelly Long TV movie.

Lohan is notable for starring in remakes of Disney family comedies, such as the "The Parent Trap." She looks uncomfortable acting as the Avril-esque adolescent and comes across cozy as the poised mother after the switch.

In seeing this film, the questions "What does this mean?" or "What just happened?" were echoed often during a recent preview. The film tangles a web with the numerous sub-plots and issues.

For family fun, however, "Freaky Friday" has the right pieces to complete the puzzle, it just gets wrapped up in exactly how to arrange them.

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Curtis saves the film from straight-to-video doom, but in the end, the clutter bogs "Freaky Friday" down.

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