Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 2003. Casual Friday Productions, Gunn Films, Walt Disney Pictures. Screenplay by Heather Hach, Leslie Dixon, based on the novel by Mary Rodgers. Cinematography by Oliver Wood. Produced by Andrew Gunn. Music by Rolfe Kent. Production Design by Cary White. Costume Design by Genevieve Tyrrell. Film Editing by Bruce Green. Golden Globe Awards 2003.
Surprisingly terrific adaptation of the comedy that originally starred Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris. Jamie Lee Curtis plays an overworked therapist and mother who is about to get married to her boyfriend (Mark Harmon), despite the emotional objections of her difficult teenaged daughter (Lindsay Lohan). The two fight about various mother-daughter conflict issues until two magical fortune cookies consumed at a Chinese restaurant swap their personalities and they are now living in each other’s bodies. Lohan gets to find out if her mother’s life is as perfect as she thinks it is, while Curtis faces her daughter’s high school pressures and finds out the nature of her rebelliousness. Lots of comedy is brought out of the clever premise, but the most impressive part of the film is how much more attention is paid to character than you would expect from this kind of film. Curtis is a marvel as a fifteen year-old caught in a forty year-old’s body, while Lohan does a delightful job of becoming a suddenly-prissy teenager. You’ll never get over how much you’ll enjoy this movie, even though its false note of using Asian stereotypes straight out of old racist Charlie Chan movies does make for some serious eye-rolling.