The only way we can truly understand someone else is to walk in their shoes.
In 1976, the movie Freaky Friday was released. In 2003, the reboot hit theaters. When a mother and her teenage daughter switch bodies (Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster in 1976 and Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan in 2003) for a day, the only way to return to normal is to see the world as the other sees it.
I like the unique appeal of both films. Besides the comedy of misunderstanding, the narrative comes from a genuine conflict that the mother has no idea what her daughter is going through and visa versa.
There are two types of child stars. There are the child stars, who despite their pasts, grow up to be healthy, well adjusted adults and have long, successful careers. Then there are the ones who end up in the newspaper tabloids. These former child stars are known more for their nightly activities and their day trips to court more than their latest movie.
The latter is the subject of this flashback Friday post.
Hollywood is all about remakes. One cannot go to the movie theaters without seeing at least one trailer for a movie that is being remade. In 1998, Lindsay Lohan burst into Hollywood with remake of the 1960’s movie, The Parent Trap. Like Hayley Mills in the original 1961 movie, Lohan played identical twins whose divorced parents (Dennis Quaid and the late Natasha Richardson) split the girls up as infants. They unknowingly send their daughters to the same summer camp. When the girls realize that they are sisters, they hatch a plan to bring their parents back together.
The British are known for their stiff upper lip and strong adherence to tradition. But what happens when an American teenager, convinced that a British politician is her father, forces herself into his life?
Daphne (Amanda Bynes) was raised in New York City by her single wedding singer mother, Libby (Kelly Preston). Daphne has been told stories about her father, but has never met him. Without telling her mother, Daphne travels to England to meet her father, Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth). Henry has aristocratic lineage, but has given up to the title to run for Parliament. All is well in Henry’s world, until the American teenaged daughter he never knew he had crashes into his world and could possibly ruin his election.
These movies are so good. Lindsay Lohan and Amanda Bynes are naturally gifted performers. Sadly, we talk of their careers in past tense instead of present tense.
Most of the iconic high school/teen movies are from the 1980’s or 1990’s. Mean Girls, premiering in 2004, is one of the few movies of recent memory that I think deserves to be included on the list of iconic teen movies.
Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) has been home schooled for most of her life. Now she is going to public school for the first time. She settles in socially initially with Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franseze). Then the Plastics, the most popular girls in school come calling. Regina George (Rachel McAdams) is the leader of the trio with Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert) and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried) following right behind her. Trouble starts when Cady falls for Aaron Samuels (Jonathan Bennett), Regina’s ex boyfriend.
Lindsay Lohan is brilliant in this movie. It should have been the start of a long and beautiful career. Instead it is one of her best movies, which is now ten years old. Rachel McAdams was perfectly cast as Regina, queen bee in the social hierarchy that is high school. Despite the fact that it is a movie, it is so true to the high school experience. Adding to the greatness of this movie are the SNL alumni playing some of the adult characters.