Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Say Hello to Your Friends!

The Baby-Sitters Club 
Director: Melanie Mayron
Cast: Schuyler Fisk, Rachael Leigh Cook, Larissa Oleynik, Bre Blair, Marla Sokoloff, Ellen Burstyn
Released: August 18, 1995




When I was in elementary and middle school, I was obsessed with the Baby-Sitters Club. I had the books. I had the videos. I had the calendars. I had the day planner. I had the board game. I had BSC postcards. I had the Chain Letter and Secret Santa thing-ies (if you're a BSC fan, then you know what I'm talking about!) I was first introduced to them when I was eight and my aunt gave me a few books for my birthday. While I don't remember which book was the last one I read (I think somewhere in the 60s), I will always remember "Dawn and the Impossible Three" was the first one I read. Don't ask me why the fifth book in the series was the first one I read; I must not have been given "Kristy's Great Idea" for that birthday. I actually started reading the Little Sisters series, the spin off series with Kristy's stepsister, Karen Brewer, first because she was closer to my age at the time, but within a few months I was reading about the much more mature lives of the 13-year-old members of the Baby-Sitters Club. I remember I always had to go to my mom and ask her to read any entries Claudia wrote because I could never read her awful cursive handwriting. I once wrote a BSC fanfic and I had a lot of fun writing her letters because all you do is just spell everything atrociously. Here are a few examples from my fic:


Dear Mom, Dad, and Janine,
I am haveing the best time in NY! Alredy we have bean to the Nashural Hestory Moozeum and Times Schware! There are lots of grate shops in Times Scware! There was one that suld lots of chaclite!
Love, Claudia


Daer Ashley,
Oh my Lurd! Yoo our nefer going too baliv wut I did! I haf a chilly noo look. Yoo well bee sow saprized wen yoo see me! I mett a guy frum Awstrayleea. He wus really meen too me. He thut I as dume! Who rood!

Yore freind,
Claudia

P.S. NYS is grate! 

Haha, I remember once reading a BSC/CSI fanfic crossover and Stacey is found dead in the first chapter and Gil Grissom says, "Don't tell mom....the baby-sitter's dead." That STILL makes me laugh when I think about it. I am so easily amused. 

I remember going to Waldenbooks every month when a new book was churned out and spending part of my allowance on it. When the Super Specials came out, it felt like Christmas. The Super Specials were...wait for it...super special! Like I mentioned above, I'm not sure which book was the last one I read. I probably stopped reading when I turned fourteen since I was then older than the girls. I know I stopped reading before Abby was introduced (why did they need a new baby-sitter anyway? They had plenty of members!), before Mallory was shipped off to boarding school, and before Dawn moved to California permanently. God, remember how obnoxious Dawn was about California? ("Everyone in California is blonde and tanned!" Everyone in California hates junk food and only eats health food like tofu and rice cakes!" "The sun is always shining in California!" "I hate winters in Connecticut..it's so cold." God, shut up Dawn. (In my fanfic, I had Dawn wear a shirt that said "We got more bounce in California than all y'all combined" because YOU KNOW she would totally wear a shirt like that!))

video


About five years before the movie came out, they had the Baby-Sitters Club TV show. You might remember the theme song: "Say hello to your friends! Baby-Sitters Club!" I believe they aired on HBO, a channel I didn't get it, but luckily I was able to own all the episodes (13!) on video. I remember I used to act them out with my friend and her younger sister. Yes, we would watch them so many times we had them all memorized and could act them out. True, they were only about 25 minutes, and true, the dialogue was pretty easy to learn. Now I'm sure you're probably wondering: how did you act out the episodes if there were only three of you and there are seven main characters, not to mention all the ancillary characters like their charges and the parents and random people like Zach Braff and Grandma Gilmore (yes, imagine my surprise when I found out Kelly Bishop was in an episode!) Well, we would strategically choose which characters we would be. For instance, the first episode involves around a Mary Anne and Logan plot with a girl, Marcie, who is trying to steal Logan away from Mary Anne. (Why didn't they just have that actress play Cokie Mason? Duh. Marcie is a character we never meet from the books...) Anyway, one of us would play Mary Anne, one would play Logan, and one would play Marcie and then we would divvy up the other characters and just make sure if two characters had a major scene together, then one person wasn't playing both those characters. There's a scene where the girls are in the park and throwing popcorn and catching it in their mouths and we actually would have real popcorn and do that...that's how dedicated to our craft we were! 

Probably my favorite episode was "Stacey's Big Break" when Stacey becomes a model (huh?), but then decides it's too much for her and is missing too many important things and Kristy tells her, "Anybody can be rich and famous...but not everyone can be a member of the Baby-Sitters Club!" and she and Stacey high-five each other, like that's suppose to make Stacey feel better. Also, not everybody can be rich and famous so that doesn't make any sense. Speaking of things that don't make sense...the girls are helping their chargers put on a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and Charlotte Johansson (I'm pretty much writing this assuming you know the names I'm mentioning because I'm assuming you're only reading this if you're a BSC fanatic too!) is playing Snow White, but needs help with her lines and she and Stacey make up a memory tactic where Stacey will cluck her tongue and Charlotte will automatically remember her lines. Huh? How is that suppose to help with her lines. Wouldn't it be more practical if Stacey started saying the beginning of the line? But during the production, Stacey clucks her tongue when Charlotte forgets her line, but then remembers it! WTF?

The episodes are up on Hulu and I encourage everyone to check out these masterpieces and you can also imagine three young girls acting these out!

It's always fun to ask, Which BSC member are you? I feel like I'm a mixture of a few. Physically, I'm the most like Mallory as I'm a redhead and she's the only redhead member. I also could relate to her, because as a pre-teen, I also hated the way I looked...I had the curly red hair, the freckles, the glasses, the braces...Mal, I FEEL YOUR PAIN! It was awful! Looking like that is the worst! I hated being a redhead until I was 17 and saw Titanic. Luckily, I got to leave that awkward stage of my life, but somewhere Mallory Pike is still eleven-years-old because Ann M. Martin kept her characters in this weird time paradox where they never age. I also probably have the most in common with Mallory interests-wise, because I like to read and write (though I did not draw like she did) and once upon a time I was into horses (even took horseback riding lessons which I think she does at one point). The member I'm most like internally is Mary Anne because we're both shy and hate being the center of attention. She's a total cat person and I love my kitty. I'm not as patient as her, and probably not as sensitive as her either, but I can pretty much cry over anything like she does. The main difference between us is she had a boyfriend at 13 (who the eff has a steady boyfriend when they're freaking 13...a crush maybe, but a steady boyfriend? The hell?) and she was raised by a strict father because her mother died. Speaking of which, the member whose family life is most like mine is Claudia. I can relate to her with having an older sibling that is better than you at everything.

Okay, so I've talked about my history with the BSC, BSC fanfiction, the TV show, the members I'm most like, what am I forgetting....oh yeah, the movie! See, I have so much history with this fandom it took me awhile to get here.

I didn't see the movie in the theater because by that time I was 14 and much too mature for the BSC! I did eventually see it on video. I think this is only the second or third time I've seen the movie, so obviously I didn't see it hundreds of times like I did with the TV episodes. I think this is the reason why I always picture the actresses from the TV show as the girls in the club. Most of the actresses in the movie are much more well known than the TV actresses (who are a bunch of people you never heard of...though I once saw the girl who played Jessi on an episode of Clarissa Explains it All...haha, remember that show?) and they are actually the age of the characters. The TV show actresses look to be around 14 - 16, maybe even older. I remember being SHOCKED at how young Mallory and Jessi looked, they honestly look like they should have been baby-sitting charges, not the sitters, but then again, they were only eleven which seems ridiculously young for a baby-sitter. I will go through each member and I've put them in order from most important to the story to least important.

1. Kristy Thomas (played by Schuyler Fisk aka Sissy Spacek's daughter) - It makes sense that Kristy is the main character and narrator of the movie because she IS the club President, after all. She has the great idea (of course) of having a daycare at the Schafer/Spier residence during the summer for the kids they sit for. However, her main storyline is about her estranged father coming to Stoneybrook to visit her (and ONLY her, not any of his biological sons). The whole thing is really shady. I thought this was an interesting plot development because in the books we know that Kristy's biological dad walked out on his family when she was young (well, she's young now...but probably when she was five) and she, according to the books, has never heard from him...until now. I have no idea if he ever makes an appearance in the books after the movie came out (and I have no idea if the events in the movie are even mentioned in any of the book that came out after the movie. Like, did Mary Anne ever say to her, "Hey, Kristy, remember that one summer [the 8th one they spent as 13-year-olds!] when your dad came to Stoneybrook?"). So, like I said, it's totally shady because her dad doesn't want her Kristy telling her mom that he's in town. He doesn't want her telling ANYONE. Uh... However, she does tell Mary Anne who does keep the secret. There's this scene where they see Kristy get into her dad's car and Stacey thinks she's dating an older man. Seriously, Stacey? I thought Claudia was suppose to be the dumb one. Anyway, while the girls are a little concerned that their 13-year-old friend is getting into the car of a 40 something man, they're not concerned enough to tell her mom. Also, why did nobody come to the conclusion that he was her biological father. Duh. It's much more plausible (and not as creepy) than thinking she's dating a much older man. Eww. But to be fair, her dad has never made an appearance in her life until now, so I can kind of understand why they wouldn't automatically think that. Oh, wait. I said she was 13, but she's actually 12 in this. :::rolls eyes::: They only do this because Kristy's dad wants to do something special for her birthday and they mention she is turning 13. Aurgh. It's so stupid. I always hated that Ann M. Martin didn't let the girls age at all. Seriously, being 14 isn't that much difference than 13. She could of at least aged them a freaking year! I know she aged them from 12-13, but she could have also aged them at least another year. But, I disgress...  Anyway, guess who doesn't show up to meet Kristy at the carnival? Yep, her dad has left town and Kristy finally confesses to her mom what happened. There's also this weird scene where Kristy wears a dress that her dad gave her to play baseball with him. First of all, Kristy would never wear a dress, especially to play baseball, and this should give her a clue of how crappy her dad is because he should know this about his daughter.  


Stacey would never
wear this outfit!

2. Stacey McGill (played by Bre Blair) - When we are first introduced to Stacey, we see her hailing a taxicab...in small town Stoneybrook to show us what a city girl she is. Uh....pretty sure there are no taxis in Stoneybrook! That was...weird. Anyway, a Stacey storyline wouldn't be complete without her falling in "luv". She has a sitting job for Rosie Wilder and her cousin Luca who is from....somewhere in Europe. It turns out Luca is seventeen and Stacey is smitten with him. He was suppose to leave, but decides to stay when he sees Stacey. Keep in mind he doesn't know how old she is (I think she tells him she's 15 or 16). Um, if I were Rosie's mom, I would NOT pay Stacey because what's the point of her being there if Luca is already there? Duh. Also, they pretty much go on a date (they go out for ice cream) with a seven-year-old. It's so weird. At one point Rosie even asks Luca if he's going to kiss Stacey and they just laugh it off. When Stacey tells the other how old Luca is, Kristy says, "That's ancient!", which kinda is if you're 13! There's a really "dramatic" moment where Stacey faints when she's taking a hike with Luka because she didn't eat enough and she confesses she has diabetes. Luka learns the truth about Stacey (heh, see what I did there? Only true BSC fanatics will get that) when they go to a "teen club" in NYC and she's not old enough. Haha, Stacey, you're not even old enough to get into a "teen club". He is aghast when he finds out how she is. ("You're THIRTEEN?") However, it turns weird when he continues to pursue her and her mom encourages her to go for it. Uh, excuse me, Maureen, but you do know that a seventeen-year-old boy is trying to creep on your 13-year-old daughter? Stacey and Luca share a kiss (so wrong) and Stacey reminds him that she will soon be fourteen. So what, Stacey? A fourteen-year-old with an eighteen-year-old is not any better than a thirteen-year-old with a seventeen-year-old. And let's not forget, Stacey, you NEVER age! Bre Blair is 37, but Stacey McGill will always remain 13. 

3. Mary Anne Spier (played by Rachael Leigh Cook) Fun fact: this was RLC's first movie. We know this movie takes place after the book where Mary Anne gets her haircut because she has short hair in this movie (although I think it's actually cut shorter in the books). Like I mentioned in the Kristy blurb, she's the one who keeps Kristy's secret for her and the other members get mad at her. She even tells Kristy it's difficult for her to keep her secret because she "tells Dawn everything, but Logan even more." This makes no sense...what is more than everything? Also, I always assumed she was closer to Dawn than she was with Logan since, you know, they were STEPSISTERS and lived together. Of course Dawn does move back to California, but this is before that happens. Anyway.... there's also a subplot where Cokie Mason (played by Mia Sokoloff) is trying to steal Mary Anne's boyfriend, Logan (played by Austin "Last Action Hero" O'Brien). She asks him to attend a Smashing Pumpkins concert with her and while he doesn't say yes, he also doesn't say no. There's this really inappropriate song playing where the lyrics are "Let's get busy"every time Cokie approaches Logan. She is really obsessed with trying to mess with the BSC  (it's really pathetic), but theay are always one step ahead of her, and gets really mad when one of her friends tells her that they seem cool.  


4. Dawn Schafer (played by Larissa Oleynik) Dawn actually doesn't come across as self-righteous or irritating like she does in the books or the TV show. Like I mentioned, the BSC is having a summer daycare for the kids they sit for and it's in Dawn's backyard. An older woman lives next door (Ellen Burstyn....I was surprised as you are when I saw her name in the credits) and she is (rightfully) annoyed by all the children who are throwing things over the fence. She warns Dawn that if it happens again, she will call the police and have their organization closed down. But she and Dawn bond over...something (probably flowers). Also, there's another subplot where Alan Gray is helping the girls watch the kids and he has a crush on Dawn and asks her to the movies. Uh...I thought it was Kristy who he had the crush on? I don't remember this being a storyline in the book. But I guess it is kinda cute.

5. Claudia Kishi - (played by Tricia Joe) Claudi's main (and only!) storyline is the same storyline she has in one of the TV episodes and I know it also happened in a few of her books: she's failing a subject and if she doesn't pass the next test coming, she will have to quit the BSC! Oh no! Seriously, how many times has that been a storyline for Claudia? The BSC help her by making up a song for her test and it helps her and she passes. Yawn. There were some nice touches to her character where we saw her artwork or we would see her pulling out junk food from a hiding place in her room. I was SOOO disappointed in the way she was styled. First of all, she always just wore her hair down. She never wore it in a side ponytail which she does a LOT on the cover of the books; she never wore any crazy headbands or barrettes in her hair; and she never braided it or did anything fun with it. She just wore it down with NO hair accessories. It was so boring! That's not Claudia! Even though she may wear a shirt with a wild print, her clothes are very disappoint too. Let me give you an example of what a usual Claudia Kishi original consists of (thanks to this great website):
-Purple capris with suspenders
- Plaid purple shirt with a matching hat
-White tight with clocks on them

-Lobster earrings (I have lobster earrings!)
-hightop sneakers

In my fanfic I had her wear orange day-glo parachute pants with an orange vest with black trim, an orange scrunchie in her hair and orange rubber boots. My story took place in New York and she got inspiration from a traffic cone. Claudia is always the most fun member to write in BSC fanfics because of her atrocious writing and outrageous outfits. 

So there's also this subplot where the girls are thinking of buying a greenhouse to hold their meetings. I wasn't quite sure what was going on because I was confused. Why would they want to uproot their meeting place from Claudia's house (where she has her own private phone line...hence the reason why they hold them there!) to some random greenhouse? This makes no sense! They would have to get a whole new phone number and that would be a pain having to tell all their clients. Instead, they let Ellen Burstyn (I didn't care to remember her character's name) have it for ...something. 

6. Mallory Pike (played by Stacy Linn Ramsower) and Jessi Ramsey (played by Zelda Harris) - the two 11-year-old members are tied for last place because they're just...there. Seriously, does anybody care about these two? I have never met a BSC fanatic who said one of these were their favorite member. (My favorite? Stacey when I was younger, but now, I would say Claudia). We get a line from Mallory where she says she's working on a novel and we hear Kristy narrate how Jessi loves to dance. Other than those throwaway character traits, they're just really immature. Jessi tells Dawn that she heard that Alan likes her and Mal says, "Does he like her or like like her?" and they both giggle. Seriously, girls, how old are we? Oh, right. Eleven. Then there's a scene where Stacey tells everyone how much money they made the first day at the camp and Jessi says, "We almost have enough to buy a car!" (I don't remember the amount, but I'm pretty sure it was nowhere enough to buy a car) and Mal replies, "And in five years we can drive it." Uh, no. Because you will remain eleven forever!

If you're a fan of these books, I highly recommend the podcast The Baby-Sitters Club Club.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

My visit to Washington


I made this video after visiting Washington state. I'm only posting it here since Facebook won't let me post it! 

video

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Oregon Trail to Treasure

The Goonies
Director: Richard Donner
Cast: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Martha Plimpton, Joe Pantoliano, Anne Ramsey
Released: June 7, 1985


Hey, you guys! Goonies never say die! Down here it's our time; it's our time down here! I love this movie so much! It is THE quintessential children's film from the '80s (although there are certain things that aren't quite appropriate for children, but we'll get to those later!), but, to my knowledge, no other movie captured the awesomeness of being a child in the '80s like this one does. Now, this was a little before my time and I didn't see it theaters as I would have been much too young. I actually don't even remember when I first saw it, but it has been awhile since I last saw it (about 15 years) and I was worried that I might not like it since I'm a little older and more mature. But, nope! I loved it! I was laughing so much. Sure, it has its flaws and there are a lot of things that just don't make any sense at all, and sure, I may have had my nostalgia glasses on, but this movie is AWESOME! (Damn, those glasses just won't come off!) Without this movie, we would not have the likes of Super 8 or Stranger Things, which both defintely have elements of The Goonies. It probably shouldn't surprise you that Steven Spielberg was an executive producer on this. I have even told people about this movie who had never seen it and they watched it and they loved it!

This movie is about a group of kids (leader Mikey,  smart-ass Mouth, clumsy Chunk, and innovative Data) who call themselves "The Goonies" and they live in the coastal town of Astoria, Oregon. They live in an area called the Goon Docks, hence their nickname. The movie is set on what is going to be their last weekend together as their homes are being foreclosed and the property will be used to build a golf course and a new country club. (To be honest, I was never clear on whether it was all their homes or just a few of them). A treasure map is found in Mikey's attic and they use it to see if they can find the treasure and save their homes. The four young boys are joined by Mikey's older brother, Brand as well as Brand's crush, Andy, and her friend, Stef. While trying to find the treasure, they run into the criminal Fratelli family who are after them to shut them up about what they saw. And thus the adventure of a lifetime begins!

I thought it would be fun to rank the Goonies in order of my own personal preference. I'll start with my least favorite and work my way up to my favorite:

7.  Andy (played by Kerri Green)
"This isn't like my mother's Steinway!"


Andy is the only "Goonie" I don't like. And I put "Goonie" in quotes because she tells Mikey she's not even a Goonie. She's just there to be the "girl". She's a cheerleader, she wears a short skirt, she has all the boys lusting after her (Brand, Mikey, and Troy all have crushes on her). She's also the one to freak out the most when they're lost in the cave and realize there may not be a way out. Look, I don't blame her for freaking out...I would probably freak out too, but my god, she's SOOOO annoying! And the way she freaks out is a little disturbing. Let me back up and explain: When we first meet Andy she is riding with Troy in his convertible. Troy is the hotshot jerk athlete (and his dad is the one trying to take all the homes away, so that way you know the entire family is evil). I'm not sure if Troy and Andy are dating, but I'm guessing they are because she's wearing his letter jacket with his name on it and there's a scene where Troy's friends are asking him if he's "made it" with Andy yet and he says no, but he plans to soon. But if they're dating, then why does Brand tell the others that he has a date with Andy? Maybe she's keeping her options open? She seems like one of those girls who always has to have a boyfriend and can't do anything without a man. Ugh! So when she's freaking out, she keeps blabbing on about how she should have let Troy look up her skirt (when she was in his car, he was adjusting his rearview mirror so he could get a better look) and maybe she wouldn't be stuck in this cave as she tells Brand that's the reason she ditched Troy and joined the others. So she's pretty much admitting she would have rather been sexually violated than be in a cave (where there are ways to get out...she was being a little overdramatic). She also keeps going on about what a beautiful body she has and she doesn't want to die before she gets "fat and ugly". Ugh, shut up!

Oh, and it gets worse with her! With every opportunity, she tries to make out with Brand. Now Brand likes her, but even he gets annoyed with her constant goo-goo eyes and always trying to make a pass at him. Once they are safe, and they are no longer being chased by the Fratellis or they are no longer in harm's way, he has no problem kissing her, but there are times she's trying to kiss him that are just not the right time and this happens about three times during the film. There's a scene when they're taking a bathroom break so she and Steph are separated from the rest of the guys and she starts wailing, "Brand! Brand!" in her annoying "help me, I'm just a helpless girl who needs a big strong man" voice. (CAN.NOT.STAND.HER!) Brand tells his brother to see what she's harping about and when he goes over to her, Andy, with her eyes closed, grabs Mikey, thinking he's Brand, and kisses him. My first thought was, How dumb is this girl? Does she not realize that the person she's kissing is the same heigh as her and therefore is not obviously Brand. They do address this when Andy tells Steph to "be careful" because she thinks there's a hole in the area and that "Brand" was standing in it. Okay, I'm glad they thought of something for that, but I still feel like she would have been able to tell she was kissing a twelve-year-old and not a sixteen-year-old. She does tell Stef that it was "weird" (but she still seemed to like it...we got a future cougar on our hands!) and she's confused because she didn't know that Brand wore braces. I mean, really, how stupid is she? Later, when she's kissing Brand she asks him where his braces went (this girl is really so stupid) and that's when she realizes she was making out with a twelve-year-old...because that's what every high school girl dreams of. God, I hate Andy so much. She sucks.

Okay, okay, okay, I will admit she does have one good scene where she is actually helpful in getting the Goonies out of trouble. There's a scene where they have to play certain notes on a piano made out of bones. If the wrong not is hit too many times, a part of the floor falls away and eventually they will all plummet to their death, but each time a right note is struck, a door will open a little at a time. She hits the wrong note quite a few times and with each one exclaims, "This isn't like my mother's Steinway!" or "I'm not Liberace, you know!" Or "I can't tell if it's a B flat or an A sharp!" To which Mikey replies with, "If you hit the wrong note, we'll all be flat!" I just love the look his brother gives him when he says that. But Andy does come through and plays enough right notes that they are able to open the locked door and escape from the Fratellis who are after them at that point.

6.  Brand (played by Josh Brolin)
"I'm gonna hit so you hard that when you wake up, your clothes will be out of style!"


Brand is Mikey's older brother who failed his driver's test, is always exercising, and has a crush on Andy. His taste in girls is terrible, but I guess you can't blame the guy. Albeit annoying, Andy is a pretty and popular cheerleader and always want to make out with him. What sixteen-year-old boy wouldn't like that? He thinks the idea of going after the treasure is dumb, so Mikey and the other Goonies use the spring-y thing (the thing he's holding in the gif) to tie him to the chair and make their escape. Brand was in charge of watching his younger brother and making sure he doesn't go out in the rain so he doesn't get sick. His mom tells him that if his little brother goes out, then he'll (Brand) will be in some serious you-know-what. Brand says, "Sh*t, Mom." His mom tells him not to cuss, but yes, that's what she means. This scene doesn't make any sense because literally seconds after that happens, she sees a mess of chips on the floor and says, "What is that? What is THAT?" Mouth and Chunk think she's referring to the broken statue (I'll get to that later!) and Chunk says, "Oh, sh*t, what?" Mrs. Walsh doesn't even blink that Chunk just cussed and tells the boys she wants the mess cleaned up. I don't know if she was so enraged by the mess that she didn't hear Chunk cuss or if she only dislikes it when her own kids cuss? It was weird.

I love the scene where Troy's dad and this other guy come to the house to remind them about the foreclosure and Troy's dad says, "Is your Mommy home?" and Brand replies with, "No, she's at the market buying Pampers for all us kids." These kids are all twelve and older...why is he asking about their "Mommy"? It's so weird. But that line made me laugh.

Brand goes after the younger boys by stealing Data's little sister's bike (Data and his family live next door) and telling her he "owes her one" (because Mouth let the air out of Brand's bike tires ("Now it's his flattest thing in the world!")) and is seen riding a little girl's bike with training wheels and a flowered basket by Troy, Andy, and Stef in Troy's car. Troy grabs Brand and starts driving really fast and lets go as Brand flies off a cliff. Um, I'm pretty sure Troy just attempted MURDER and anyone who just rode their bike off a cliff would DIE. But we never see how Brand managed to survive it as the next time we see him, he is with Mikey and the others. I honestly have no idea how he even knew where Mikey was, but whatever.

5. Stef (played by Martha Plimpton)
"I feel like I'm baby-sitting, except I'm not getting paid."


Stef is Andy's friend and while she has even less to do than both Andy and Brand, I put her ahead of them because she does have one of my favorite lines in the whole movie which is the one I chose for her quote. That line cracks me up and I've even used it in my real life a couple of times. (Because, really, haven't we all felt at one point or another like we were baby-sitting, but not getting paid?) I also laugh at the scene when the kids have just discovered the pirate ship and she and Mouth (who hate each other) are hugging each other and exclaiming, "Oh my God!" Then she realizes who she's hugging and says, "Oh, God!" in disgust as she pushes him away. That was hilarious. I had forgotten that there was a little crush subplot between Mouth and Stef and that was the reason they hated each other...because they secretly liked each other. This was a little weird because even though Martha Plimpton is only a year older than Corey Feldman in real life, in the movie, she is suppose to be part of the high school group and Mouth is part of the younger group, so why would she like the a young boy? Is she another cougar in the works? At the end of the movie, she tells him, "You know, your voice is kind of nice when your mouth isn't ruining it" after he thanks her for saving his life and he replies, "You know, your looks are kind of pretty when your face isn't ruining it!" OMG, nice line there, kid. Yes, he does say he's just joking, but ouch!

This movie has many Scooby-Doo elements to it and Stef is definitely the Velma of the group (we all know Andy is the Daphne!) just for the mere fact that she is wearing glasses when we first meet her and ends up losing them once they are in the cave and Mikey steps on them and breaks them. ("You broke my glasses!) However, her eyesight must not be that BAD because she seems to see just fine for the rest of their journey.

4. Mikey (played by Sean Astin)
"Goonies never say die!"


Before he was a Notre Dame college football player or a hobbit, thirteen-year-old Sean Astin played Mikey, the asthmatic unofficial leader of the Goonies. It's his idea to find the treasure when all the boys go up to the attic and they're looking through all the "reject" stuff Mr. Walsh, who is the curator at the Astoria museum brought home, because apparently he's allowed to keep it in his attic? Don't ask me how that works. They find a map of the Astoria coastline behind a painting and realize it leads to treasure that was stolen by the pirate One-Eyed Willy. Mikey tells them the story that his dad told him about the infamous pirate and how the British armada was after him and he got trapped in a cave with his men. They set booby traps so nobody could get the treasure and Willy killed all his men so they couldn't escape with the treasure, although apparently one man did escape and thus that's how people know about the treasure and why there's a map. If there was a way to escape, I'm not sure why Willy didn't just sail away with the treasure, but whatever. The way he was telling it, I was sure Sean Astin was reading off of cue cards because for a while he just stares up at something, but I guess Richard Donner told him this story and just had him tell the story based on memory.

It's also Mikey's idea for them to keep going when they're all about to get out of the cave via the well. He gives them that speech where he says, "Down here it's our time! It's our time down here! Up there, it's their time! But down here it's our time!  Don't you see? Don't you get it? The next time we see sky, it will be over another town. The next time we take a test, it will be in another school." I may not have gotten that exactly right, but you get the gist of it. I have to tell you a true story: I remember seeing The Two Towers in theaters and I believe that's the movie where Samwise gives Frodo that speech about...something. I don't remember exactly, but it was a nice, uplifting speech. Anyway, when I first saw that, all I could think of was this speech Sean Astin gives in the Goonies and I kept imagining that he was saying, "It's our time down here! Down here it's our time!"

You have to give L'il Samwise credit, because without him they would have never had their adventure. He's the one who discovers the map that leads to treasure in the attic and he finds the doubloon where he's able to line up the rock, lighthouse, and restaurant and he's the one who first "meets" One-Eyed Willy.

3. Mouth aka Clark (played by Corey Feldman)
"This was my dream, my wish, and it didn't come true. So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back."


This kid is such a little sh*t stirrer and never shuts up, hence his nickname of "Mouth". He is an evil little child, but he is hilarious. I get the feeling the others don't like him very much, but they let him be part of their group. We know Stef doesn't care for him and he makes poor Chunk, the chubby kid do the Truffle Shuffle which is a dance where he has to lift his shirt and shake his belly, which Mikey doesn't think is very funny.

Mouth's main attribution to the group is that he is fluent in Spanish, so he is able to decode many of the messages/instructions that are written in Spanish as they make their way to the treasure. This is first set up when Brand and Mikey's mom comes home with an older woman named Rosalita who is going to help them pack because Mrs. Walsh broke her arm and needs help. This really makes no sense because a)They are suppose to move the next day and they are just now packing their house? and b)Why didn't Mrs. Walsh just hire a moving company instead of an older woman? Anyway, since Rosalita doesn't speak any English, Mouth ever so kindly offers to translate for Mrs. Walsh since he knows Spanish. Every time they go to a different room and Mrs. Walsh gives the instructions, Mouth tells her something outrageous and everything is so not appropriate for a children't movie! I am shocked at what they were able to get away with for a children's film in the '80s! I guess it was a much different time back then! In the first room, he tells her that the heroin goes in one drawer, the cocaine goes in another drawer, and the marijuana goes in the last drawer and to make sure to not get the drugs mixed up. When Mrs. Walsh tells Rosalita not to go in the attic, Mouth tells her not to go up there because that's where Mr. Walsh keeps his sexual torture devices. And finally, when Mrs. Walsh is telling her about the broom closet, Mouth tells her that's where she'll be kept without any food or water if she does a bad job. It's so messed up! Mrs. Walsh thanks him and tells him how nice it was for him to translate and he replies with a sweet smile and says, "Nice is my middle name!" Mrs. Walsh also tells Rosalita she wants the house clean before they tear it down, which makes no sense at all...why would someone care about their house being cleaned if it's going to get torn down anyway?

When we are first introduced to Mouth, he comes into the Walsh home ready for the last weekend they will be spending together before they are all separated. He is disappointed they won't be able to do anything fun since Brand flunked his driver's test and they won't have a car and now they won't be "cruising the coast, sniffing some lace, downing some brews." Why is a twelve-year-old talking about drugs and alcohol? Oh, never mind, it is Corey Feldman, after all. Funny how that worked out.

One of my favorite Mouth moments is when clumsy Chunk knocks over this statue of a naked man (I think it's suppose to be a replica of Michaelangelo's David and the genitals break off. Both Mikey and Brand are freaking out like it shattered into a million pieces instead of one piece just broke off and it would be pretty easy to glue back on. Brand screams "YOU IDIOT!" and Mikey is also upset and tells him, "That's my mom favorite piece!" In reply, Mouth says, "You wouldn't be here if it wasn't" and that just made me laugh...not just what he said, but the way he says it. Both Mikey and Brand yell at him to "SHUT UP!", but I'm on Mouth's side here. I think he had every right to make that stupid crack and honestly I would have done the same thing. Mikey was totally asking for it. First of all, why is he sharing the fact that the penis on the naked male statue is his mom's favorite "part". Who says that? And why does he even know that in the first place? Did his mom tell him that? Is she sexually crazed or something? It's so weird!


Not surprisingly, Mouth's mouth often gets him into trouble. It also almost gets his tongue sliced off! When the four young boys go into the restaurant (that's closed for the season) that lines up with the doubloon, what they don't know is that it's the hideout for the Fratelli family which consists of Mama Fratelli (Anne Ramsey) and her sons Francis (Joe Pantoliano) and Jake (Robert Davi). There's a third son called Sloth that they keep locked in chains downstairs, but we'll get to him later. That enough is to say the Fratellis are horrible people, but Mama and Francis have also broken Jake out of jail and have killed two feds along the way. The fact that they are counterfeiting money seems to be the least offensive thing do.

Mama Fratelli offers the boys water (nasty unclean water!) and asks if they want anything else. The three other boys don't want anything, but Mouth, being Mouth, starts talking in an Italian accent and asks for a bunch of Italian dishes. This prompts Mama to grab him by the face, force his tongue out and tells the kids the only thing they serve is tongue and process to take out a pocket knife and open it up very close to Mouth's face. Now while I don't remember seeing this for the first time, I have no doubt I was covering my mouth with my hand like the three other boys do! And this isn't the only time that Mama Fratelli will threaten to cut off a kid's body part!

I loved the scene when they're all on the water slide (oh, man, how fun did that look?) and when they're coming out of the chute (which was a pretty high drop into the water), Mouth yells, "Ohhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhh*tttttttt!" They must say the s-word at least twenty times in this movie and I'm not exaggerating! And this is a PG movie! I think nowadays you can only get away with using that word once in a PG-rated movie.





2. Data (played by Jonathan Ke Quan)
"That's what I said! Booby trap!"


Data is the Inspector Gadget of the group with all his nifty inventions. Some of them work and some of them don't. Some of them even save his life like the Pinchers of Power (or is it Peril...I'm not quite sure) which is a pair of those plastic clattering teeth attached to a spring coil that he uses to grab hold onto a rock as he's falling hundreds of feet down a pit and the teeth grab the rock right before he is about to get spiked. Don't ask me how that manages to hold a ninety pound kid (well, maybe he's more like eighty pounds because he does say he is the smallest of the group at one point, but still...), but this is a movie and there are many ridiculous things in it. He uses his "slick shoes" to deter the Fratelli brothers who are after them at this point. They're crossing a log over water and Data squirts oil that is in the bottom of his shoes onto the log, thus making it slippery and the two brothers slip on it and land on their groins very painfully. This movie was like a precursor to Home Alone what with all the booby traps that are set (some by Data, some by One-Eyed Willy) and Chris Columbus, who directed Home Alone wrote this movie. Data also uses the Pinchers to grab Francis in the groin and he has a boxing glove attached to a spring so when he opens his trench coat, it knocks out Jake, but the second time he tries to use it, it malfunctions and he ends up punching himself instead.

Data lives next door to Mikey and uses a zipline to enter the Walsh home. Because of their proximity, he appears to be Mikey's closest friend and they have their arms around each other as they're skipping to the restaurant. It's really quite adorable.

There's a running gag throughout the movie where Data will incorrectly say "boody trap" and one of the kids, usually Mikey, will correct him and he's reply with, "That's what I said! Booby trap!" Data also refers to himself in the third person.

Even though the actor is originally from Vietnam, I think Data was suppose to be Chinese because at one point, Mikey says they're going so deep into the cave that they might end up in China and Data says, "Ooh, maybe I can visit one of my aunts!"

I mentioned that there are some booby traps set by the famed pirate, One-Eyed Willy. This guy really did not want anyone finding his treasure! I already mentioned the piano made out of bones that Andy plays to open a door. The kids always seem to set off all the booby traps and just narrowly miss getting killed. One that is set off has these huge boulders falling to the ground, about five in a row. Apparently, another set of these was set off as that's how Chester Copperpot, the guy who got the closest to getting to the treasure, was killed. We see a skeleton comically posed under a huge boulder. I mean, I don't know if it was suppose to be funny, but I sure laughed. The only part sticking out from under the rock was the upper body and the head and the rest of the skeleton was crushed underneath the boulder.


1. Chunk aka Lawrence (played by Jeff Cohen)
"Gee, Mister, you're even hungrier than I am!"


Chunk is the chubby, klutzy, scaredy-cat, pathological liar kid who has a much different adventure than the other kids because he gets separated from them. I laughed so hard when we are first introduced to him where he's in a pizza parlor and sees a police chase and excitedly runs up to the window to watch it and smashes his pizza AND his milkshake against the glass (I'm not sure why!), but as you see from the above gif, it gives a very amusing result! This is the first use of the s-word when Chunk exclaims, "Ah, sh*t!" after he ruins his lunch. He has a ridiculous sense of smell. When they're in the basement of the restaurant, he can smell the ice cream in a sealed refrigerator. He is so excited to have all these different flavors of ice cream that he doesn't even notice the DEAD GUY with a bullet through his head that's also in the fridge. ("IT'S A STIFF!") He is a fed the Fratellis killed and Chunk ends up getting stuck in the fridge with him while the other Goonies make their escape. I loved when the corpse is falling onto him and he tells it to, "Stay! Stay!" The other Goonies have escaped down through the firepit, but after Brand and Mikey notice Chunk is missing (glad they didn't make it too far before they realized someone was missing!), they go back up and tell Chunk to run and find the police because they are in "serious sh*t". By this time, it is dark when Chunk goes outside and he keeps telling himself, "I'm not afraid of the dark. I like the dark, I love the dark. But I hate nature! I HATE nature!" He runs out in front of a car and screams, "STOP! I'M JUST A KID!" which cracked me up. When a car does stop, he tells the driver he needs to be taken to the police because he found the hide out of the Fratellis, these disgusting people and that he can describe all three of them. A light comes on and of course it's Jake with Francis in the passenger seat and they grab Chunk and throw him in the back...where there's another dead body. That's some pretty scary stuff right there.

They bring Chunk back to the restaurant and threaten to put his hand in a blender if he doesn't spill the beans and tell them where the other kids are. In a matter of seconds, Chunk gives them all up (I can't blame the kid; I would do the same) and tells them they're down the fireplace, but they don't believe them. Lucky for Chunk, right when they have his hand in the blender and are about to turn it on, this is when the Goonies have come across a bunch of bats that have been let loose when Brand moves a big rock blocking a part of the cave. After we see a bunch of (obviously) fake plastic bats dangling in front of the kids, they all fly up through the fireplace and that's when the Fratellis realize there's a tunnel leading down somewhere.

They throw Chunk in with Sloth, the third Fratelli son. He's this super jacked guy who has a deformed face. It's like his skull didn't quite form properly and he had a droopy face because his eyes don't match up and he has about four teeth. We later learn that his mom may have dropped him "more than one time" when he was a baby, hence his deformity. He's quite scary when you first see him, especially since he screams at Chunk, but then you realize he's just a gentle giant who just wants some chocolate. ("Choc-o-late? Choc-o-late!") I'm pretty sure when I first saw this, I thought they actually found someone who looked like that. No, they used make up to make the actor look like that. Sloth was played by John Matuszak who was a football player for the Oakland Raiders (and Sloth wears a Raiders t-shirt). After Chunk gives Sloth a Baby Ruth candy bar ("Ruth! Ruth! Ruth! Baby Ruth!") they have an unbreakable bond. ("Sloth love Chunk!") Sloth even breaks his chains to retrieve the candy bar that Chunk threw at his head. They start heading after the Fratellis who are now heading after the other Goonies.

Chunk does call the police and tries to tell them about the Fratellis, but the officer doesn't believe him because Chunk has pranked called the police before by telling them that 50 Iranian terrorists took over all the Sizzler steak houses in the city (how many Sizzler restaurant are in Astoria anyway?) and about the creatures that multiply when water is thrown on them, which was obviously a reference to Gremlins which Chris Columbus wrote (remember, he wrote this film) AND Corey Feldman was in as well. At the beginning of the film, the others don't believe Chunk when he tells them about the police chase he just saw. This is because he has lied about Michael Jackson using his bathroom, that he saved a bunch of old people from a nursing home fire, and that he once ate his weight in Godfather's pizza. He admits that MJ didn't use his bathroom...but his sister did! Hmm, I wonder it it was Janet or LaToya?

When the Fratellis have captured the Goonies on the pirate ship, Chunk and Sloth save the day. This is where we get the famous "Heyyyyy youuuuuu guyyyssssssss!" line from Sloth. The scene below I clipped from YouTube, was something I (and I swear to God I'm not even lying) laughed AND cried at the same time. And no, I'm not talking about I was laughing so hard because it was funny, no I was laughing at this scene because it was absurd, but I was also crying, because it was so heartwarmingly sweet.  Just watch:


It was just so sweet, BUT, on the other hand, absolutely ridiculous that Chunk would just have this grown man, who obviously has special needs,  live with his family without getting his parents' permission first. So that's why I was crying and laughing at the same time.

I don't know how exactly how long the kids were in the cave; I know it was overnight for sure because it's daylight when they get out, but everyone is there to greet them on the beach: their parents, the police, the MEDIA. They act as though these kids have been stuck in the cave for WEEKS. Oh, and even Troy's father shows up to have Mr. Walsh sign the foreclosure papers. However, Rosalita, who is also there discovers Mikey's marble bag in his jacket (she has his jacket for some reason). The kids had gathered a ton of treasure on the pirate ship, but Mama Fratelli made them all hand it over. However, she missed the marble bag that Mikey had dumped out his marbles and filled with jewels. Rosalita announces the bag of jewels (why didn't she just keep quiet and keep the jewels for herself? She has no loyalty to this family, plus that Mouth kid was a little jerk to her!) and Mr. Walsh rips up the papers even though he has no idea how much these (cheap-looking) jewels are worth. And we will never know because the movie ends with the kids and Sloth watching the pirate ship sailing away (I guess the ghost of One-Eyed Willy is at the helm?) and there was never a sequel.


There are so many things about this movie that don't make any sense:
-What were 17th century pirates doing in the Pacific Northwest?
-If they had found that secret tunnel that Willy and his men built, then what were those very modern pipes doing in there?
-Why are there water slides in this secret tunnel...pretty sure water slides didn't exist in the 17th century!
-How come Mouth was able to enter the house without activating that Rube Goldberg contraption and this was before Chunk arrived and they made him do the Truffle Shuffle before they let him in...and he could have easily unlatched the gate! (Is he just a little dim?)
-Why did the museum let Mr. Walsh keep all that historical stuff in his attic? If they had actually went through all this stuff, they would have found the map that led them to some valuable treasure.
-If nobody was allowed in the attic, then why are those glass orbs with the "laser beams" seemingly plugged in all the time? (I don't know what they're called, but you know what I'm talking about, right?)
-Why did nobody go after the ship at the end? Um, hello, it was filled with rubies, diamonds, gold, silver, coins, you name it!

But even despite all those problems, I still love it. Those nostalgia glasses will never come off! If you are also a fan of The Goonies, I hope you thought this review was, ahem, good enough!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Trading Places

Freaky Friday (1976)
Director: Gary Nelson
Cast: Jodie Foster, Barbara Harris, John Astin
Released: December 17, 1976



Freaky Friday (2003)
Director: Mark Waters:
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mark Harmon, Chad Michael Murray 
Released: August 6, 2003



I'm not sure what is considered to be the better movie between these two Freaky Friday films (and actually there is a third, from doing research I found out there is a Freaky Friday TV movie starring Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffmann that came out in 1995, but I doubt that one is even in the conversation), but I think the remake is far more superior. I had never seen the original until just recently and this was the third time I've seen the remake. I had a lot more fun watching the remake and while the original had it's fun moments, I was mostly bored during it. Also, there were a few moments that made me cringe because it's sooooo outdated and gets a tiny offensive at times, but that's not the (main) reason why I prefer the remake. The remake just makes so much more sense in a plot that is absurd, but at least they try to keep it as realistic as possible. 

As far as body-switching movies go, this is one of the more popular. You probably all know the premise: a mother and her teenage daughter switch bodies for a full day (which, as you may have guessed, is on a Friday!) They are total opposites and don't get along, but after living as the other for a day, they learn to appreciate each other more. A very young Jodie Foster is 13-year-old Annabel and Barbara Harris is her mother, Ellen Andrews, in the original. Lindsay Lohan is 15-year-old Anna and Jamie Lee Curtis is her mother, Tess Coleman in the remake. 

Before the big switch, we see how mother and daughter don't get along. Annabel is a tomboy who bitches about how uptight her mom is (and she's right, her mom IS uptight....Anna really has no reason to complain about her mother!) saying how she's not allowed to do this or that. She whines to her friends that her mom is always pushing her around or telling her what to do. Ellen tells her husband, Bill (John Astin) that Annabel doesn't have a clue about her life. They both think the other has it easier. They take a little more time establishing the relationship between mother and daughter in the remake as it actually starts on Thursday and the original starts that Friday morning. While Ellen is a housewife (of course she is), Tess is a psychologist who has recently written a book about communication although she can't seem to get through to her daughter. She is busy with her upcoming wedding to her fiance, Ryan (Mark Harmon) which Anna isn't happy about since her dad died three years ago. Anna is in a band with her friends and they have the opportunity to play at a Battle of the Bands gig, but it just so happens to be the next day which is night of the rehearsal dinner and her mom says no. 

I'm going to touch on similar plot lines/characters from each movie:

The switch: As I already mentioned, the body swapping happens much sooner in the original. And it's really stupid and doesn't make any sense how it's done. While Annabel is at the ice cream parlor with her friends before school (who goes to an ice cream parlor before school?) bitching about her mom to her friends and while Ellen is at home doing the dishes and bitching about her daughter to her husband, they both simultaneously say, "I wish I could switch places with her...for just one day." We get a terrible special effects graphic (I know, I know, it WAS the '70s) where they switch bodies. Oh, sure, we get the initial surprise that they're in each other bodies, but neither really seemed that concerned about it. Case in point: Ellen in her daughter's body calls home and her husband answers. She keeps calling him "Bill" and Bill, thinking it's his daughter, is angry that Annabel keeps calling him by his first name. I thought for sure she was going to ask to speak to her "mom", but no, all she does is ask if "Mom" is acting funny and Bill confirms this. They won't see each other again until the end of the movie which is really odd. You think they would immediately meet up and see what's going on. Once they realized that they said the same thing at the same time, then all they have to do is say something to un-switch them (which is what eventually happens). 

At least in the remake, they have a reason for why they switch and they actually try to figure out how to get their own bodies back. And it's a lot funnier. They don't switch bodies right away. Thursday night the whole family goes out to eat at a Chinese restaurant and the owner sees them bickering. The daughter tells her mother not to meddle, but the woman each gives Tess and Anna a fortune cookie and we see them reading the fortune at the same time and there's an earthquake that only the two of them can feel. It's not until when they're both in bed and the clock turns to midnight when they turn into each other and wake up to find themselves in each other's bodies. We get some of the same moments in the original like seeing Jamie Lee Curtis and hearing Lindsay Lohan's voiceover thoughts and vice versa and when they're feeling their new body parts and thinking, "That's not mine!" 

Since they're both in the same location when this happens, they are able to try to figure out what happened. Anna suggests that they go see a doctor, but her mom says they can't do that because nobody would believe them. Thank you, movie. This is something the original did not get right at all. Both Ellen and Annabel tell people that they are their mother/daughter. Ellen in her daughter's body tells Ellen's friends that she is Mrs. Andrews and they all just laugh and say, "This is a fun game! Let's pretend to be each other's mothers!" Annabel in her mother's daughter tells the boy she has a crush on she is actually Ellen and of course he doesn't believe her either. Why are they even trying to tell others the truth? There is no way they can prove it! It's so stupid! I'm glad the remake realized how stupid it is and never once do they tell anyone what's actually going on. Now, of course they don't do the best job of trying to get through the day as each other as we have Tess in her daughter's body acting very motherly to Anna's friends and we have Anna in her mother's body talking like a teenager when she tells her mother's fiancee, "Could, you like, chill for one sec?" 

Tess and Anna at least try to figure out what happened and try to switch back. Sure, it doesn't really work when they run into each other at full speed, thinking they can unswap bodies that way, but at least they try something. Can't say the same for the original where they literally don't do anything to try to switch back. They visit the Chinese restaurant where they learn that the only way to reverse the "spell" is to show a selfless act of love for the other. So at least there's a reason why they switched bodies and a way for them to switch back. 

The husband/fiance: As you may have guessed, the daughter being in her mother's body might be a little awkward around her dad/ mother's fiance. The remake handles it much better. When Ryan tries to kiss who he believes is his fiancee, Anna quickly backs away or tells him she's getting sick or makes ups some excuse not to kiss him. Now, the husband never tries to kiss his wife in the '76 movie, but Annabel as her mother calls him "Daddy" a couple times and he asks her why she's calling him that, but you can tell he likes it and it's soooooooo creepy. So creepy! It's supposed to be played for laughs, but no. It's creepy as all hell. Even though Anna doesn't like her stepdad at first, he is a good person and she will come around to accepting him into their family. Bill, on the other hand, well, he's kind of a jerk. He calls his wife (actually his daughter) and asks her to make a dinner for 25 people that might. Anna thinks he's great as a father, but terrible as a husband. When Ellen in her daughter's body goes to visit Bill at his office, she is not happy to see his extremely attractive assistant who he's never mentioned before. 

The younger brother: The teenaged girls have a little brother who they can't stand. Harry is Anna's little brother and he's your typical annoying little brother where he provokes his older sister and you understand why she doesn't get along with him. The poor kid is confused because his "sister" is being super nice to him and his "mother" is being mean to him. Ben is Annabel's little brother and he's a "neat freak". Uh...in what world does a little kid keep his room clean and fold his clothes? I have never met a kid like that in my life. Granted, I don't know many kids, but my God...the remake got the younger brother much more realistically. Annabel can't stand her little brother because she's such a slob and he makes her look bad. Both girls, as their mothers, will learn that their brothers both look up to their sisters, confessing this to their mothers (who, of course, are actually their sisters). 

The crush: Both teenaged girls have a crush on a boy. Anna likes a boy at her school, Jake (Chad Michael Murray). And I get it He's very good-looking and super cool with his own motorcycle which he offers to give Anna a ride on, but she knows her mom will ground her for eternity if she did accept the ride, so she has to refuse. Annabel has a crush on her neighbor, Boris. I don't understand the appeal of him at all. He's more of a nerd, but he's not even a cute nerd. He has allergies and is always wiping his nose and he has this weird squeaky voice and in what world is he suppose to be hot or cute? Is this what 13-year-old girls in the '70s liked? I don't get it. He also seems like a huge ass. He totally disses Annabel to her mother (who is actually Annabel!) and he makes snide comments about the appearance of Annabel's messy room which Annabel (as her mother) tells him it's Ben's room and he proceeds to make fun of the kid for having "girly" items. So yeah, he's a real prince. The males in the original are just jerks. Even little Ben, who, despite being the most unrealistic child in the history of the universe doesn't really bother me UNTIL Annabel as her mother gets called to the school to have a meeting with her principal about herself and calls Boris to watch Ben and the oven where she's cooking a turkey for her dad's co-workers. She asks Boris if he can whip up a chocolate mousse and Ben says, "Isn't that sort of a sissy thing to do?" UH, WHAAAAT? No, you did NOT go there, movie! Wow. I was SHOCKED when I heard that. Holy crap. First of all, is it "sissy" because it's a dessert the guy has to make or just cooking in general is "sissy"? Also, little boy, isn't folding your clothes a "sissy" thing to do? F*** you, movie!


Anyway! Both Jake and Boris end up falling for the mothers, so of course that means they actually like the daughters. Jake and Anna as her mother bond over shared musical interests and Boris and Annabel as her mother bond over...I'm not really sure, actually. I guess Boris just think she's a hot housewife and that's why he wants to spend more time with her? In the end, when the teenaged girls are back in their own bodies, they begin to date their crushes. Still don't see the appeal of Boris. The actor who played him has a cameo in the remake and his name was also Boris.

The daughter as her mother: Both movies have amusing scenes with the daughters as their mothers (and vice versa, of course). Annabel quickly learns what a crappy life her mother leads just being a domesticated housewife. While doing laundry (and seriously, what 13-year-old doesn't know how to do laundry? You're f***ing 13, for God's sake!) Annabel stuffs EVERYTHING into the washing machine. This not only includes clothes, but very thick shaggy rugs and shoes. She pours a bunch of detergent (which is the powder kind and not liquid) into the machine and of course it goes haywire and starts spewing bubbles and clanking everywhere. While this is going on, all of her mother's scheduled appointments start showing up: the carpet cleaners, the window drapers, the neighbor who needs something, and the maid. I feel like I'm forgetting somebody. During this whole fiasco, the pet basset hound keeps getting passed around from person to person. I realize this is played for laughs (though it's not funny!), but why are they passing around the dog? Why does the dog need to be held? He's perfectly capable of walking around...just put him on the ground...it's so stupid! If somebody passed the dog to me (and he's a full grown basset hound, so he looks pretty heavy), I would just put it down. There's no reason for it to be held! UGH! 

Annabel ends up firing the maid which is something similar that happens in the remake when Anna fires her mother's caterer for the wedding. Since Annabel can't drive, she and Ben walk to the grocery store to get groceries for her dad's big dinner party. This is when she bonds with her brother and they play a game of baseball in the park with other kids. 

The first thing Anna does as her mother is go on a shopping spree and gives her conservative mother a more outrageous look. She cuts her hair and pierces the upper part of her ear...something that Anna always wanted (although when they switch bodies back, she's not going to have that anymore!) Both Anna and Tess realize they're going to have to spend the day as each other as Tess has patients at her practice and Anna has an important test at school. Tess tells Anna to not say anything to her patients except for, "How does that make you feel?" Anna, in her mother's body, follows this until she meets with a woman who confesses she went through her daughter's journal and Anna explodes on her.

Ryan surprises "Tess" with a television interview about her new book, which Anna has never read and has no idea what it's about. She wings the interview and ends up being a big hit. Jake sees this on TV and tells "Anna" how cool her mom is and this is the start of his infatuation with her. 

The mother as her daughter: Both mothers have to navigate through a day as their daughters. I didn't really think Annabel had it bad at school. You definitely feel more sympathetic towards the mother having to deal with all those chores and a male chauvinist husband. The reason why "Annabel" has a bad day at school is because her mother causes it. When they are taking a typing test (with typewriters!), she is confused why she can't type anything and it's because it's an electric typewriter and has to plug in it and turn it on. It won't work so the teacher tells her to find another one so she plugs in one that says "OUT OF ORDER" (can she not read?) and it causes a shortage of all the typewriters. Then we have a scene of her in history class where she's being a know it all in history class and getting all the answers right and is made fun of by her classmates. She's late to her photography class and opens the door to the dark room and turns on the lights. Obviously, if this were the real Annabel, she wouldn't make those mistakes. After school, there's a big field hockey game which Annabel is very good at, but her mother, not so much. She makes a goal for the other team. Does she not know that the goalie wearing the same color as her is ON HER SIDE? Is she colorblind? It's one thing not to be athletic, but my God, does she not know the basic structure of sports? While I was watching this, I was thinking, what is so horrible about Annabel's life? She has friends, she's good at sports, and, in that meeting that "Ellen" attends, she's very smart, but just needs to apply herself more. The reason "Annabel" has a horrible day is because it's her mother and she doesn't know what she's doing. It's not like Annabel has to do with bullies or bad grades or peer pressure.

Even though Anna is your typical bratty teenager, the movie does a good job of showing that she does have problems and this is evident to her mother when she goes to school as her daughter. For one thing, Anna is smart, but she has a teacher who keeps giving her bad grades and sending her to detention. We learn that this teacher knew Anna's mom back in high school and asked her to a dance, but she had a boyfriend and said no. Tess, as Anna confronts the teacher about this. There's also a girl who's really mean to Anna and we find out that they used to be friends (a long time ago), but had a falling out. Tess tries to make amends with her, but the friend tricks her and framers her for cheating on their big test. Tess gets back at her by finding the girl's test and sabotaging it. I thought that was a little out of character for her. I understand she's getting back at the girl for being mean to her daughter, but that was a little too much for her. And, of course, Anna is upset that her mother is getting remarried so soon.

I liked the moment when Tess and Anna are driving to the Chinese restaurant with Anna as her mother driving since she has the license and Tess as Anna eating fries because, now that she's in her daughter's fifteen year old body, she doesn't have to worry about gaining weight.  I liked how in that scene they were both taking advantage of their new ages. The remake doesn't do that.  

During the Battle of the Bands, obviously Tess has no idea what to do, so Anna has to hide behind the stage and play the real notes while Tess pretends to play. 

The un-switch: In the remake, Tess and Anna are returned to their own bodies after a heartfelt speech at the rehearsal dinner. There is another earthquake (which everyone seems to feel that time, although only Anna and Tess felt it the first time, but whatever) and they are back in their own bodies. They now have a new appreciation for the other and become closer.

In the original, there's some stupid water skiing competition which Annabel is involved. Ellen, as Annabel, tells her coach she can't do it, but he tricks her and she ends up on the skis. Annabel as her mother is driving in a car with Boris and Ben. They need to get the food to...somewhere because Bill has called his "wife" and demands to know where the food is. Because of her terrible driving (it IS a thirteen-year-old driving after all), she is pursued by the police. At the same time, both exclaim, "I wish I had my own body back!" But here's the kicker...instead of just switching minds like they do the first time it happens, this time they also physical switch bodies...wait, what?? This absolutely made no sense! So now Ellen, who was originally in her daughter's body on water skis is now in her own body but still on water skis ("Right body, wrong place!) and Annabel, who was originally in her mother's body driving the car is now in her own body driving the car. In the words of Regina George, "God movie, you are so stupid!" Oh, and Boris and Ben who are in the car with Mrs. Andrews? They're all like, "Where did you come from, Annabel?" and "Where did Mom go?" They're shocked for a second, but then it's like, whatever. No big deal a completely person is driving the car! 

While Ellen is still continuing her water skiing (and why doesn't she just let go? Like, duh!!!!), Annabel is trying to get to the lake to help her mom but is still being chased by the police. We get a chase which is supposed to be played for laughs, but uh, in real life would have killed dozens of people. They're in a Volkswagen and go across this very narrow bridge. People are on this bridge and in order to not get run over, they have to hang from the bridge from a very high overpass with traffic underneath. If they fall, they're dead. Then, once the people get back on the bridge, here come the police cars and this time the civilians have to duck under the cars as they are too wide too fit on the bridge and use the railing of the bridge to drive across. Then, we have Annabel driving erratically around a concrete wall and one of the police cars hits the wall head on, and instead of the driver and passenger being killed (from, you know, hitting a CONCRETE WALL HEAD ON!), the car just splits in half so one side of the car is on one side of the wall and the other half is on the other side. Oh, and then we end this ridiculous car chase with Annabel, her brother, and Ben ending up in the lake. Luckily, they don't drown because the top of the car is already down. Ugh, just so ridiculous. Annabel and her mother are reunited and they learn their lesson.

Both movies end in similar fashions with the younger brother and the dad (or, in the remake's case, the grandfather) looking like they're about to switch bodies, but it's just a close call!

Look, I'm not saying the remake is a perfect movie. It has its flaws too. But compared to the original, it is a masterpiece. The relationship between mother and daughter was fleshed out more, things made more sense, and it was also funnier and more enjoyable. Skip the original and watch the remake.