Picks and Pans Review: Freaky Friday
In a festive though rather forced remake of the 1976 Disney film, Shelley Long plays a harried, working divorcee who magically switches bodies with her sullen, 13-year-old daughter (Gaby Hoffmann). Before the day is out, Long finds herself Rollerblading to a crucial business lunch, while Hoffman is leading an indignant class revolt against dissecting frogs in biology. The experience, of course, teaches them both newfound respect for each other.
The script signals how thoroughly modernized it is by making the mom more stressed-out than a bridge cable and by having everyone under the age of 30 at some point express themselves by rapping. Watching Long flounce around as a petulant adolescent is often excruciating. But the body-swapping concept still has charm. (Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster starred in the original. Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage headed up an enjoyable guy version of the premise in 1988's Vice Versa.)
Alan Rosenberg (Cybill) and Taylor Negron costar. Sandra Bernhard and Drew Carey have small but spirited supporting roles. Melanie Mayron (thirtysomething) directed and also gave herself a cameo as a waitress. At least she doesn't announce the specials of the day in rapper style.