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<I>Freaky Friday</I> Helmer Picky About Extras

11 Oct, 2003 By: Fred Topel

When Freaky Friday hit it big at the box office, it justified a special edition DVD from Buena Vista Home Entertainment.

However, director Mark S. Waters didn't want to overload the family comedy with a pretentious amount of extras. He decided against an audio commentary, but did opt for bloopers, two alternate endings and a single deleted scene. There is only one deleted scene included because that's the only scene he took out of the movie.

“Everything that we shot is in the movie because I have a very short attention span,” Waters said. “I get bored easily even when I'm reading screenplays, so I streamline the screenplay before we shoot it even.”

The one scene that was shot but unused involved Anabell's (Lindsay Lohan) high school rival, Stacey Hinkhouse (Julie Gonzalo). When Anabell switches bodies with her mother (Jamie Lee Curtis), Mom tries to patch things up with Hinkhouse, but even she finds the girl to be a vicious adversary. In the film, Anabell gets her revenge by ruining an important test of Hinkhouse's, but the first cut of the film involved one more retaliation.

“I thought that maybe Stacey Hinkhouse's comeuppance wouldn't be adequate,” Waters said. “So, I actually shot a scene where Lindsay Lohan is walking away from school and Stacey comes and taunts her. Lindsay tries to walk away and then Stacey says, ‘Loser' and she turns around and coldcocks her and knocks her to the ground. Then walks away with a smile on her face. I thought, ‘OK, just in case I need to go there, I'll have this.' It's a little 10-second scene. And then I saw the movie and said, ‘Yeah, it's too harsh. It's fine that she screws with the test. Let's leave it at that.' It's the only cut scene in the movie.”

The bloopers will be shown music video style, with all the flubs and mess-ups set to music. The alternate endings include two extensions of the finale. Freaky Friday ends with Anabell's brother Harry and his grandfather being given the magic fortune cookies that cause body-switching. In the film, Chinese restaurateur Pei Pei stops them from eating the cookies. But Waters tried two other approaches.

“The first version of the ending was that Harry and Grandpa actually opened the cookies,” he said. “And you cut to a wide shot of the wedding and there's another huge earthquake and you cut to black, as if it's just starting over again. Then [we decided], OK, we don't want to go down that road just because that's giving too much away. Then I tried the vague ending of just having them open the cookies and then you cut to black right then, so you don't know what really happens. But then the opportunity arose and the idea came up of, let's just have Pei Pei come in there. And frankly, I felt like the end of the movie needed a bigger comedy punch, so it seemed obvious. It was just funny to have Pei Pei do a rolling body block and get those cookies.”

One extra that Waters thought would be too much was a director's commentary.

“This is the kind of movie that I felt like a commentary would be pretentious,” he said.

“Let's let the movie speak for itself. It's not like I made Fight Club here. The themes of the movie are well-articulated within the movie. I don't need to talk about them outside of it. ‘This is about people walking in each others' shoes.' Duh.”

Freaky Friday streets Dec. 16 (prebook Oct. 21). In addition to the bloopers, alternate endings and deleted scenes, the disc includes music videos and other extras.

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