Freaky Friday

  • Directors: Mark Waters
  • Producers: Andrew Gunn, Mario Iscovich, Ann Marie Sanderlin
  • Writers: Mary Rodgers, Heather Hach, Leslie Dixon
  • Genres: Comedy, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Chad Michael Murray, Mark Harmon, Ryan Malgarini, Harold Gould

Anna Coleman (Lindsay Lohan) is a common teenager who constantly rebels against her stodgy mother Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) and annoying younger brother Harry (Ryan Malgarini). Sources of irritation include a rock band Anna’s in, which her mother dislikes, and Tess’s upcoming wedding to a man named Ryan (Mark Harmon), which Anna is emotionally not ready for. Also contributing to Anna’s irritation is her enemy, Stacey Hinkhouse, the “insane pyscho freak” who never seems to stop torturing her, and Anna’s English teacher, Mr. Bates, who gives her an F on every assignment, no matter how hard she tries. Her love interest is Jake (Chad Michael Murray). When the family, along with Ryan and Anna’s grandfather (Harold Gould), eat out in a Chinese restaurant, Anna and Tess quickly start into a fight again: Anna wishes to participate with the rest of her band in a talent show, however the show is the same night as Tess’s wedding rehearsal. Hearing the argument, an elderly Chinese woman offers Anna and Tess both fortune cookies. Upon opening them, there is a short earthquake which only the pair feel. The next day, Tess wakes up and discovers that she is in Anna’s body. Likewise, Anna is in her mother’s body. Confused, they decide to go back to the restaurant at lunch to find out what happened. Since Anna has an important test and Tess must go to work (as a psychologist, some of the patients are dependent on her), the two are forced into each others roles. At school, Tess is given a bad grade from Mr. Bates and realizes that he had asked her when they were younger to a dance, which she refused and now he was taking it out on Anna. Tess confronts Mr. Bates in front of both of Anna’s friends, humiliating him.

At the wedding the next day, Anna’s band performs and Anna gets a chance to dance with (and kiss) Jake. Pei-Pei’s mother notices Harry and his grandfather fighting and offers them fortune cookies…which Pei-Pei manages, via tackle, to retrieve before they are opened.

Hairspray

  • Directors: Adam Shankman
  • Producers: Adam Shankman, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, Bob Shaye, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Toby Emmerich
  • Writers: John Waters, Thomas Meehan, Leslie Dixon, Mark O Donnell
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, James Marsden, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney, Taylor Parks, Jerry Stiller, Paul Dooley

May 3, 1962. Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky), a cheerful, rotund high school student living in Baltimore, Maryland steps out of her apartment (“Good Morning Baltimore”), only to endure a day’s worth of school so she and her best friend Penny Pingleton (Amanda Bynes) can race home to view their favorite TV show, The Corny Collins Show. The program, a teen dance show, is broadcast from Baltimore’s station WYZT on weekday afternoons (“The Nicest Kids in Town”).

The teenagers featured on the show attend Tracy and Penny’s school, among them the arrogant and wealthy Amber Von Tussle (Brittany Snow) and her boyfriend Link Larkin (Zac Efron), the lead male dancer on the show. Amber’s mother, Velma (Michelle Pfeiffer) manages station WYZT and goes out of her way to make sure that Amber is prominently featured and that The Corny Collins Show remains a racially segregated program. Corny Collins (James Marsden) and all of his “Council Members” are white; black kids are only allowed on The Corny Collins Show on “Negro Day”, held the last Tuesday of each month and hosted by local R&B radio disc jockey Motormouth Maybelle (Queen Latifah), who also owns her own record shop on North Avenue.

Against all expectations, Little Inez receives the most votes and wins the pageant, officially integrating The Corny Collins Show. A perturbed Velma loudly declares her frustration, informing her daughter of the tally-switching scheme. Unknown to Velma, Edna and Wilbur have turned a camera on her, and Velma’s outburst is broadcast on the air, causing her to be fired from the program. Meanwhile, The Corny Collins Show set explodes into a celebration as Tracy and Link cement their love with a kiss (“You Can’t Stop the Beat”).

Mrs Doubtfire

  • Directors: Chris Columbus
  • Producers:
  • Writers: Anne Fine, Randi Mayem Singer, Leslie Dixon
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Family
  • Actors: Robin Williams, Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein

Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) is an out-of-work . Miranda (Sally Field) has reached the end of her patience with their marriage due to his irresponsibility. Since Daniel has no steady source of income (as Miranda was the main breadwinner of the family), Miranda gets primary custody of their three children (fourteen-year-old Lydia, twelve-year-old Chris and five-year-old Natalie) and Daniel has visitation rights limited to Saturday evenings. The news is crushing to Daniel, who adores his children.

When Daniel learns Miranda intends to place an advertisement for a housekeeper, he requests to pick them up from school and spend time with them. The children are receptive, but Miranda nixes the idea. Daniel sabotages the ad Miranda wrote, changing the phone number, so that he is the only applicant. He calls Miranda several times, disguising his voice while pretending to be various unsuitable applicants. He finally presents the perfect applicant: a 60-year-old widow from England with years of experience, giving the name “Mrs. Doubtfire” after reading the news headline “Police Doubt Fire Was Accidental”. With the cosmetics skills of his brother (Harvey Fierstein), a makeup artist, his brother’s partner, and his own acting talent, Daniel goes to the Hillard residence as Euphegenia Doubtfire. He uses his knowledge of his family’s passions, bringing up storytelling to his youngest daughter Natalie and soccer to Chris, and so is quickly offered the job. As Mrs. Doubtfire, Daniel is able to see his children every day, giving him the opportunity to be the firm father figure that he wasn’t formerly. He initially has the children doing chores and homework, but still finds time to join them in their favorite activities, including reading stories, soccer, and bike rides. The difference shows in the children, and Miranda remarks that something about Mrs. Doubtfire is very familiar.

In family court, Daniel acts as his own attorney and confesses his need to be with his children, but the judge, although feeling sympathy for Daniel and realizing his need to be with his children, finds Daniel’s behavior somewhat disturbing, and custody is awarded solely to Miranda, which only grieves her even more. Furthermore, Daniel’s visitation rights are further restricted, as the judge only allows him to see his children with supervision from a court liaison. Miranda and the children all miss Daniel very badly, and one day they see Aunt Euphegenia’s House, a new children’s TV show starring Daniel as Mrs. Doubtfire. This evidence leads Miranda to renegotiate the terms of custody with Daniel and establish a joint custody arrangement. Miranda will not seek a housekeeper/caretaker while she is at work in the afternoons, instead arranging for the children to spend that time with Daniel. The film concludes with Daniel picking up his kids, and Miranda smiling while watching an episode of Aunt Euphegenia’s House, featuring advice to children of divorced parents, saying that no matter what type of family living arrangement children have, love will maintain the bond.