Opinion | ‘Freak Friday’ Remake Remains a Must-See Disney Movie
remakes are dangerous. For numerous reasons. For example, when some brilliant mind of the great Hollywood film industry decides to create a reinterpretation of a classic, it is almost undeniable to admit that he will put his own perspective, or even make some considerable and justifiable “adjustments” to make it more contemporary. At the end of the day, the product that is delivered to us is more like a simulacrum, an empty shell, than a necessity for the entertainment world, losing the essence of the original and becoming yet another disposable work. And it’s so terrifying that the remake in ‘Freaky Friday’released in 2003, not only worked in almost all of its instances, but in several of them it proved superior to the 1976 original.
Mark Waters hadn’t done much in his few years as a filmmaker – his only film remembered for the wrong reasons, ‘Five Eves and an Adam’, in fact became a critical and public failure and put his promising name in the industry in check. What was the surprise when he decided to readapt the work of Mary Rodgers to the big screen, perhaps simply because the book fell into his hands, or perhaps because the distance played by Jodie Foster had aged badly. In any case, he managed to “save himself”, so to speak, and seems to have thought of each of the pieces of this audiovisual puzzle to create magic – and such magic is mainly due to the names that are part of the narrative.
The main plot revolves around two personalities at the same time contradictory and strong: Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis diving into the world of comedy), an author, psychologist and entrepreneur with an undeniable empire, and her daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohanthe darling of Walt Disney Studios), a high school teenager who worries about her individuality and her rock band. Just by looking at this premise, it is almost automatic to think about what happens: these protagonists fight for their voice and for an understanding that will never actually exist, since the perspective of each one of them is the correct one, and the other is the wrong. Right at the beginning of the first act, we see the matriarch’s proactivity in managing her house, her imminent marriage to the heartthrob Ryan (Mark Harmon) and his highly successful career; All of this contrasts with Anna’s laziness and rebelliousness, which go through countless ups and downs until we reach the infamous peak.
Tess and Anna have an almost oppressive relationship, on one side or the other. The teenager does not understand that the mother has the right to be happy and to move on even with the accidental death of her ex-husband, and the mother, in turn, does not understand the daughter’s need for self-expression and to find a place in the dangerous world. from school. All these discussions get more heated inside an oriental restaurant of paramount importance for the unfolding of events – including a mystical transition of bodies that comes as a way to help them.
Yes, that’s right: with the arrival of the second act, Tess and Anna switch bodies and find themselves in the dilemma of how to reverse a situation that, until the day before, would be impossible. And with the arrival of marriage and bands, it’s almost ridiculous to think that they have less than 48 hours to understand what happened and fix the situation – without realizing, a priori, that the answer is closer than they think. Since the problems gained an unspeakable force from this clash of personalities, they must share a necessary empathy, understanding the other side and achieving an evolution that both did not share.
The film could eventually fall back on the original’s problems and lean too heavily on drama; however, Waters, together with screenwriter Heather Hachfollowed a formula very accessible to the constructions of blockbusters Hollywoodists who seek to balance the numerous genres, starting with a pure comedy until it merges with drama and its aspects – including the coming-of-age. The existing antagonists are not personified villains, so to speak, but rather face a new perspective and know how to deal with the problems and difficulties that each one goes through: Anna, for example, in her mother’s body, must deal with a busy professional life that consumes her, while Tess realizes how misunderstood her daughter’s daily life is.
Perhaps one of the great positive points of the work has been revamping conventional exits already used in a very welcome modernization that is reinforced even by the supporting characters. All events are also reaffirmed by the very well thought out photography by Oliver Woodwhich is concerned with creating two different cosmos for the protagonists and then uniting them in a cohesive and coherent amalgamation with the arc of redemption and repentance of each of them.
‘Crazy Friday’, as already said, was a surprise; even though we always take a step back in relation to remakesthis onslaught showed that we cannot judge a film by the story it decides to present, but how it presents it and in what way it proves necessary for a new audience – and even for a new narrative perspective.
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