Freaky Friday, or Just Freaky?

Ashtyn Britt
abritt@lc.edu

 

Growing up, watching Disney Channel Original Movies was as easy as breathing to me. There have been many over the years that left a special place in my heart, but 2003’s Freaky Friday starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis was a masterpiece in the eyes of my six-year-old self. I admit when I heard that there would be a remake this year, I was a bit less than enthusiastic. I hadn’t been enjoying anything Disney Channel has had to offer in a while, which makes sense since I outgrew their main demographic. However, I was outright shocked when I heard that this new Freaky Friday would be a musical.

So, as a fan of musicals, I looked into the movie. For the most part, it wasn’t that bad. The acting was surprisingly more well-done than I expected, the singing chops from Cozi Zuehlsdorff as daughter Ellie, and Heidi Blickenstaff as mother Katherine, are astoundingly great! The plot, for the most part, wasn’t even that horrible for a Disney Channel Original Movie, and the songs were even a little catchy. I had the song “I Got This” on a mental loop after hearing it for the first time. The diverse cast of various bodies and people of color also won this movie extra points, specifically because it was simply a part of their universe, rather than making a huge point out of the various types of people existing. They were just there, and playing their characters, which is how you should write diverse characters. I had expected to be later writing this review to give this movie two pleasant thumbs up. Then, everything went rather horribly wrong.

What ruined it was the very weird song, “Oh, Biology”. It’s from the perspective of Katherine, the mother, who is feeling weirdly attracted to her daughter’s crush when they’re supposed to be focusing on dissecting a frog in Biology class. The song tries to make it sound like intellectually speaking she has no desire for the sixteen-year-old boy, but her daughter’s teenage body and hormones still react when around him. Not surprisingly, the Daughter-in-Mom’s body does not have any attraction to the mother’s fiance though. No other version of Freaky Friday that I remember ever had the Mom-in-Daughter also having feelings for the boy. In every other version, it’s the Daughter-in-Mom who still has feelings for the crush and sometimes the crush feels an odd attraction to her as well.

While this is admittedly uncomfortable as well, at least it makes sense for the daughter in her mom’s body to still like the boy she liked before. With the Mom singing of her confused emotions is just… disgusting. In my eyes, it turned a decently-fine, if not somewhat good, movie into something rather sickening. I would like to hope that the point wasn’t to come across in such a perverse way, but it was a very poor choice and gave a very wrong message! It still gives me the creeps having to think about it too much.

I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone specifically because of the inclusion of this weird scene and suggest that should anyone around you decide they want to see the classic story of a mother and daughter changing places- stick with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis. After seeing the 2018 version, I watched the 2003 version to get the icky-feelings out of my system, and the 2003 version was done way better. Heck, even the versions from 1976 or 1995 are way better! Any way you slice it, when it comes to classics, stay to the real classics.

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