Freaky Friday (1976)

“As a dad you’re terrific. As a husband, you’re more like a traffic cop! ” – Annabel

Number of Times Seen – At least 5 times (TV and cable in the 80’s and 25 Dec 2018)

Brief Synopsis – A mother and her teenage daughter each make a wish that they had the easy life of the other but when it miraculously happens neither gets what they expected.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing for the very first time as a kid not long after reading the novel it was based on.

The premise is quite good and the idea of having kids and adults each trying to get a better understanding of the other’s life works well.

Unfortunately, the novel presents things much better than they are able to here and this film feels a bit too weird because of it.

Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster both do a nice job here in the dual roles and each of them are equally able to embody both the adult and teenager personalities quite well.

The story is presented in a very “live-action Disney” fashion which means that it’s much more kid friendly than adult friendly and that actually takes away from the impact that this film can have because things seem more silly than poignant.

The way things are presented don’t age well enough but certain aspects of the plot still ring true about parent-teenage relationship even after more than 40 years.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that worked much better as a novel than as a film. Harris and Foster are both great in the dual roles and each are able to embody both an adult and child personality. The story is very “live-action Disney” friendly and that takes away from the impact of the film because it gets too silly instead of poignant along the way.  The story doesn’t age well enough but certain aspects still do manage to ring true after more than 4 decades.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Actress Jodie Foster was offered the Princess Leia role in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) around the time that this movie was in development when George Lucas had wanted to make the character young and Foster had actually got the part when it was realized that Foster was still under contract to Disney. There may have been a way for Foster to get out of the contract but her mother decided to honor the contract and as such Foster contractually completed Freaky Friday (1976) for Disney in 1976. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)


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One thought on “Freaky Friday (1976)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1976 | MovieRob

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