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Teen-aged wasteland

Nickey Hernandez

If fate suddenly transformed me from a bitter, Baby-booming bastard into the body of a hormonally driven high schooler, I’d enjoy myself to the hilt by doing every cheerleader with a daddy complex.But that not how things go down in &quotFreaky Friday,&quot a fairly lame generation gap comedy that has the once-hot Jamie Lee Curtis smelling like teen spirit.Curtis plays Tess Coleman, an overworked LA psychologist and mother to an annoying 15-year-old daughter. Naturally, Tess and her offspring Anna (Lindsay Lohan) don’t speak the same language. Instead, they bicker over the boys Anna wants to date, body piercing, and mom’s geriatric views on life.Clearly these two crazy kids need a miracle to bridge their gap.And so with the help of some bad Peking duck, a crazy old China woman and afortune cookie, mom and daughter change roles one magical night. Come daylight, Tess wakes up inside the body of her daughter, who bears a nice resemblance to Winona Ryder, minus the sticky fingers.Anna is transformed as well. Unfortunately, she gets the fuzzy end of the genetic lollypop by waking up inside her mom’s post menopausal physique.Shenanigans follow as Anna tries to handled her mom’s job at the shrink factory, while Tess heads to high school to fend off flirty boys, crazy teachers and Anna’s best pals, who plan to make it big as an all girl rock band.Things get tougher for all concerned given that the change takes place on the eve of Tess’s marriage, and on the night Anna’s band is set to perform at the House of Blues.All this makes it impossible for Tess and Anna to embrace their new roles with vigor. Anna, for example, has a crush on a high school stud with a fine chopper. But how’s she gonna straddle his hog in the body of a spinster?Tess, meantime, is too grown up and sophisticated to ride with boys. Instead, she spends her high school time spouting off like William F. Buckley.The premise for all this is very old hat. Tom Hanks nailed this kind of child-man game in &quotBig.&quot Curtis does a passing job acting like a spoiled teen, but the film is layered with too much sugar. Everyone is way too cute and kind and cuddly and wonderful for my taste.They even toss in a loveable, doddering old, senile grandfather, a fun-filled, younger brother and a perfect Stepdad-in-waiting, who never gets wise to the fact that the woman he’s about to marry has the personality of a 15-year-old.I might have really enjoyed this flick had things taken a taste turn toward the dark side. Why not have Tess (in Anna’s fetching bod) go nuts in the teen world? Trust me, she’d be the queen of the prom given her carnal knowledge.Unfortunately, they left the &quotfreak&quot out of &quotFreaky Friday.&quotWhat’s left is a comfy, Warren Hatch-approved sap song that let’s each generation learn valuable lessons about the other before everything ends happily every after.&quotFreaky Friday&quot is basically the kind of milquetoast, lightweight movie they force feed us on airline flights across the country. If this one comes on during my next airborne adventure, I’m heading for the exit without a parachute.Until next time, Mr. Hernandez has left the theater for cheerleading practice.Nickey Hernandez is a former private investigator who knows youth is wasted on the young.


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