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Film / Freaky Friday (2003)

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A journey soon begins, its prize reflected in another's eyes. When what you see is what you lack, then selfless love will change you back.
The magic cookie's fortune
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This 2003 remake of Disney's own comedy Freaky Friday (1976) stars Lindsay Lohannote  as Anna Coleman, an aspiring teenage guitarist who doesn't get along with her mother, widowed psychologist Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis)—to say the least. The day before Tess is supposed to remarry, she and Anna switch bodies after a Chinese restaurant owner's mother hands them some magic fortune cookies. Hilarity Ensues, with the now-young mother struggling to survive high school again, and the now-old daughter trying to cluelessly deal with psychiatric duties. It eventually transpires that they switched bodies in order to learn An Aesop about the value of family and friendship. Also has Chad Michael Murray, as Anna's crush, Jake, and Mark Harmon, as Tess' fiance, Ryan.

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Tropes demonstrated in the film:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The original book and film were mostly just a plotless excuse for gags, with the body swap going completely unexplained. The remake not only gives an explanation, but also features a good deal of interaction between the swapped mother and daughter, who are both completely on their own in the original film (and the book didn't even feature any of the mother's story).
  • Adaptation Name Change: Compared to the original book and '70s movie:
    • Annabel Andrews —> Anna Coleman
    • Ellen Andrews —> Dr. Tess Coleman
    • Ben Andrews, Annabel's brother —> Harry Coleman, Anna's brother
    • Boris, Annabel's potential Love Interest —> Jake, Anna's potential Love Interest
  • An Aesop: Parents and their children should each walk a mile in the other's shoes before judging them. No one's life is as easy as it looks.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted. Tess' assumption when she learns Anna has a crush on Jake, an older student she knows nothing about other than the fact he often visits her in detention and rides a motorcycle, is that he has a rule-breaking attitude which attracts her daughter. However, Tess later learns that Jake's not really a bad boy; he works two jobs and helps Tess-in-Anna's-body finish a test she couldn't complete after getting detention. In fact, he's turned off when Tess-in-Anna's-body sabotages Stacy's test in revenge. After this, Tess then allows Anna to date Jake.
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  • Alliterative Title
  • All There in the Script: Maddie is the only member of the band besides Anna herself to be named onscreen. The others are Peg (the other female guitarist), Ethan (drummer), and Scott (bassist).
  • Almost Kiss: Anna in Tess' body invokes this whenever Ryan tries to kiss her.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Harry to Anna, very much so. But when Anna as Tess goes to Harry's parent-teacher conference, she finds out that he actually admires and looks up to her a great deal—but he doesn't want her to know, since he has too much fun fighting with her.
  • Artistic Title: After a Logo Joke in which the Walt Disney Pictures logo fades into parchment paper, the opening credits briefly resemble an old photo album.
  • Bad Vibrations: The earthquakes that occur once the body-switching spell is cast and later reversed. (The second earthquake is even larger than the first.)
  • Bald of Evil: Anna's English teacher, Mr. Bates.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Anna's childhood friend, Stacy Hinkhouse, who acts pleasant and nice to Tess but is horrible to Anna.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Anna's little brother and his friends.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Tess sees Anna as this, always complaining about her teacher and Stacey, getting in trouble and bad grades as well as wanting to go to an audition during Tess's rehearsal dinner. Tess later learns that Anna is not a bad kid and all her complaints were true.
  • Captain Obvious: Anna is a less than skilled psychologist.
    Patient: So I read your book, and it made me feel really depressed.
    Patient: ...Depressed.
  • Cassandra Truth: At first, Tess doesn't believe that Anna's teacher, Tess's former childhood friend, is exacting his revenge on Anna - until she finds out for herself, while in Anna's body.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Anna meets some while dealing with her mother's patients. Of special note are a paranoid man and an unintelligible woman.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Tess is a psychiatrist to mothers with teenage daughters but doesn't appear to understand Anna at all.
  • Comically Missing the Point: An angry Ryan confronts not-Tess with the knowledge that he saw her straddling a much younger man on the back of "a big black Harley". Not-Tess snidely replies, "Hello? Dude, it was a Ducati!"
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: After Tess learns that Anna received two detentions in a single Thursday, she removes the door to Anna's bedroom and hides it in the basement.
    "Privacy is a privilege, Anna."
  • Cover Versions: Basically every background song that isn't sung by Lindsay Lohan is this.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Anna and her band rock out at Tess' wedding reception, while the names of cast and crew appear written down on floating pieces of parchment.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Mark Waters is the man holding a baby at the wedding.
  • Disappeared Dad: Anna's father died a few years before the movie's events occurred.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: After Tess and Anna realize that they must become "selfless" to switch back, per the text of the fortune, they unsuccessfully attempt an Astral Projection.
  • Dreadful Musician: For all his good looks and bike riding, Jake can not carry a tune.
  • Dresses the Same: Anna and another girl accidentally wear the same shirt to school. Anna turns her shirt inside-out to avoid looking the same and looks...well, actually, stupider than if she had just left the shirt as it was.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Anna
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The movie takes place over three days.
  • Face Cam: Used on Anna's face after Tess wakes up in Anna's body, to demonstrate her disorientation.
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Anna's grade school friend, Stacy Hinkhouse, became an Alpha Bitch by the time they entered high school. Tess, while in Anna's body, tries to restore their friendship. Stacy seems willing to help make peace, but then she frames "Anna" for copying her answers during a test. Earlier, she also hugs Anna before pulling her shirt over her head and pushing her over a bicycle rack.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: It's a remake of an adaptation of the Trope Namer, after all.
  • Freudian Excuse: Played with. It's implied in Anna's note  rant to one of Tess's patients that the reason Stacy is so mean to Anna is because they both had a crush on a cute boy (who may or may not be Jake), and she turned on Anna to have this boy. While not a sympathetic excuse, it does explain what set off their rivalry in the first place.
  • Girl Posse: Both Anna and Stacy have one, but Anna's (Maddie and Peg) only appear in a handful of scenes and Stacy's only appear once when they flip Tess over a bicycle rack and have no dialogue. Stacy's posse actually did have another scene that was deleted, when Tess (in her daughter's body), punches her right in the nose. They still have no lines and aren't even credited or given names.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Anna initially assumes that adulthood has way fewer problems than high school. She learns otherwise after the switch. Tess also learns that High School for Anna is not as easy as Tess remembers it either.
  • Guilty Pleasures: Occurs in-universe: Anna (in Tess' body) and Jake agree that "...Baby One More Time" is one of these.
  • Here We Go Again!: Defied. When the Chinese restaurant owner stops Anna's brother and grandfather from opening the fortune cookies her mother gave them at Tess' and Ryan's wedding reception.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Tess is oblivious to her son's nasty treatment of Anna, and mistakenly thinks the Alpha Bitch Stacy Hinkhouse is nice and sweet because the last time she checked, which was years ago, they were best friends.
  • In Name Only: A girl named Anna and her mother who don't understand each other very well both switch bodies one Friday morning and get a better understanding of each other's lives and become closer, and... that's about all this movie has in common with the original film or the book (though it does share a few other basic concepts, like the daughter's friends being weired out by the adult behavior the mom exhibits in the daughter's body, the daughter learning that the brother really likes her a lot, and the boyfriend falling in love with the daughter in the mother's body). However, it's not a bad film, and critics praised it for not directly rehashing its 20+ year old predecessor. The lack of similarities didn't stop publishers of the book from slapping a photo of Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis on reprints' covers, though.
  • Ironic Echo: Played for Laughs. When Tess removes Anna's bedroom door, she says condescendingly, "Privacy is a privilege, Anna." Later, when Anna and Tess have switched bodies, Tess enters Anna's room to avoid suspicion only to find no door. Cue Anna (in Tess's body) with a snarky, "Privacy is a privilege, Anna!"
  • Irony: Tess believes Anna is 'too young' for Jake. Later, after being disappointed that Tess (seemingly Anna) sabotaged Stacy's paper, Jake decides that Anna's too young for him. Tess is at a loss for words.
  • Karma Houdini: Stacy gets away scot-free with framing Anna for cheating during the exam, unless Tess erasing and replacing Stacy's answers with "I'm stupid!" counts. She is never seen or mentioned afterwards nor does she appear during the wedding scene at the end. There was originally a scene where Tess took more direct vengeance by confronting Stacy and her posse after the exams and slugging her hard in the face, breaking her nose. It never made it into the final cut, as the director felt it was too extreme.
  • Logo Joke: The Walt Disney Pictures logo fades into a piece of parchment paper, transitioning into the opening credits. This film is notable for being one of the last to use the original 1985 logo fanfare.
  • Makeover Montage/Shopping Montage: Anna goes on a shopping spree while in her mother's body.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: Rare non-gender bender variation. After the switch happens, Tess is convinced that something is wrong when she grabs her/Anna's butt.
    "That's definitely not mine!"
  • Meaningful Name: Mr. Bates, anyone? If you actually pronounce "Mister Bates", well...
  • Mistaken for Quake: Parodied with their senile grandfather. When Anna and Tess tell him they think there was an earthquake, he starts panicking over a natural disaster that he must have somehow missed despite being there and awake for the whole thing. He mistakes his grandson shaking the table for an earthquake, and of course he freaks out when "the big one" hits the rehearsal dinner to switch Anna and Tess back into their proper bodies. It's kind of understandable considering he lives in southern California...
  • Mythology Gag: The cover to Tess's book "Through the Looking Glass" is the same as the original Freaky Friday novel.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer shows Tess and Anna switching bodies right after they open the cookies, but in the actual movie, they don't switch until the clock strikes midnight on Friday morning.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Ryan, the man to whom Tess is getting married. He's friendly, likable, handsome (it is Mark Harmon), and - as we eventually discover - actually very interested in being a good stepfather to Anna and Harry. He just wants it to be on their terms, so he doesn't try to push them into liking him.
    • Jake as well. He is always courteous to Anna and Tess, is revealed to work two jobs, and is unimpressed when he sees what "Anna" does to Stacy's test.
  • Not a Morning Person: Tess has so much trouble waking up Anna, that it takes Harry blowing an air horn to get her out of bed.
  • Not So Above It All: After Stacy frames Tess (in Anna's body) of cheating off of her test, not even Tess (a full grown woman and a renowned psychologist) can resist a little retaliation.
  • Not So Different: Tess and Anna throughout the course of the film discover this. Both think the other's life is easy, both realise that it's not and understand the other's point of view. As noted above, each woman is hostile towards a man the other likes - only to discover the Hidden Depths.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: One of Tess' patients apparently has abandonment issues.
  • Popcultural Osmosis Failure: When Tess in Anna's body complains that she looks like Stevie Nicks, Anna replies "Who's he?"
  • The Power of Love: The familial "selfless love" that Tess and Anna demonstrate to undo the switch provides a non-romantic example of this.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Tess, while in Anna's body, calls out the jerkass English teacher in front of the class. She has discovered the reason he's so evil towards Anna is because he is the same guy Tess declined going to the School Prom with, so she commands him to let the past go.
  • Refuge in Audacity: At one point, Anna in Tess' body has to go on a talk show and discuss one of Tess' books. Having never read the book, Anna instead resorts to promoting immature behavior among the adult viewers. She even autographs one of the cameramen's butts.
  • Remake Cameo: Marc McClure, who played Annabel's love interest Boris in the original Freaky Friday, plays Boris the delivery man.
  • The Remake: Of Freaky Friday (1976).
  • Sadist Teacher: Due to him resenting Anna's mother, her English teacher is like this. While in Anna's body, Tess gives a very intelligent answer to a question on Hamlet, and he fails her on the grounds of being "overreaching". And earlier in the film, he claimed Anna didn't understand Nineteen Eighty-Four. Her response demonstrates she did and he quickly puts her in detention for a sly remark she makes. It turns out that the reason that teacher does this is because, back when he and Tess attended high school as students, he asked Tess out and she rejected him. As such, he's exacting revenge by flunking her daughter. Tess, in Anna's body, calls him out on his behavior, and tells him to stop or she'll report his pettiness to the school board.
  • Serenade Your Lover: Parodied. Jake attempts to serenade "Tess," whose body is still possessed by Anna, by (horribly) singing "...Baby One More Time".
  • Stacy's Mom: Played With. Jake's crush on Tess...but she's actually Anna, who reciprocates his feeling, but does not (because she cannot) start a relationship with him. The real Tess does not have romantic feelings for him.
  • Split Screen: As the mother and daughter activate the body-switching spell from two different places—Anna reads her fortune from inside a bathroom, while Tess reads hers from outside the door. The wall dividing the rooms also divides the screen.
  • Stock Phrase: Tess asks Anna not to give any of her patients advice, and instead do nothing but pretend to take notes and occasionally ask the patient, "And how do you feel about that?" She follows the advice to the letter until she comes across a patient who admits to snooping around in her own daughter's diary, at which point Anna flies off the handle and emphatically lectures the lady on the mentality of a teenage girl - something she can genuinely contribute advice about.
  • Take a Third Option: The choice seems to be that 'Anna' can either go to Tess's rehearsal dinner or an audition at the House of Blues. She goes to the dinner and Ryan lets her friends take her to the audition. This really cements Anna's decision to give him a chance at being her stepfather.
  • We Are Not Going Through That Again: When Anna's brother and grandfather have an argument like the one Anna and Tess had before their swap, Pei-Pei's mother offers them the fortune cookies. Fortunately, Pei-Pei stops the two from opening the cookies.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Tess (in Anna's body) invokes this when she confronts Stacy, when she reminds her of all the good times she and Anna used to have. As it turns out, those memories mean nothing to Stacy.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Jake expresses disgust at Tess' erasing the answers on Stacy's scantron, as revenge for something mean Stacy tried to do to Anna.
    • Ryan delivers one to Anna (who he thinks is Tess) when she voices her thoughts that he doesn't care about her. He gives her a speech that makes her realise that he does indeed.

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