There’s little doubt which of Disney’s Freaky Fridays your kids will want to watch: the lickety-split 2003 version (PG, 97 mins.) with Lindsay Lohan rocking at the House of Blues and the teen love hunk (Chad Michael Murray) mangling ”…Baby One More Time.” And any self-respecting baby boomer will go for the pokey but endearing 1976 original (G, 98 mins.), with a metal-mouthed young Jodie Foster waterskiing in rear projection and the teen love nerd (Marc McClure) played by the kid who was Jimmy Olsen in the 1978 Superman.
So which mother-daughter body-switch comedy is better? You could say the one without the stupid Asian fortune-cookie stereotypes (the original), or the one with the superior performance by the actress playing the daughter (sorry, Jodie, even you admit, in the recently shot bonus interview, that this wasn’t your finest period). Better to let the Hot Mom Factor decide. Jamie Lee Curtis is a comic wonder in the remake, reinventing her career as she channels her inner teen, but it’s Barbara Harris who gives her character — a suburban mom pitching Little League in a flaming red pantsuit — a woozy carnal kick that won over legions of adolescent male fans. The ‘03 version doesn’t have the silly chase finale; the ‘76 version has John Astin as Dad, eyes gleaming a la Gomez Addams, in place of dull Mark Harmon. Oh, heck, buy one for each generation in your house — and then run back and forth between TV sets. 1976: B 2003: B+