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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

Disney's second film adaptation of the children's novel Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers, previously adapted as a theatrically-released feature film by the same author of the original book and released in 1976 and again in 1995 as a made-for-TV feature film, and released in 2003, 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.

In May 2023, a sequel was announced to be in development, with Curtis and Lohan set to reprise their roles.

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 that 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.
  • 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).
    • Ryan's family name is Volvo, according to earlier drafts.
  • 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.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Played with. Anna and Tess are only half right when they say their respective lives are hard and they would have an easier time in each other's lives. Tess's point about her life being hard is proven when Anna has to undertake all the hardships and responsibilities that come with being her mother. Meanwhile, Anne's point about having a hard life is also proven when Tess experiences first-hand being a teenager in high school isn't as cushy as she remembers.
  • 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 a 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 is exacting his revenge on Anna - until she finds out for herself, while in Anna's body.
    • Tess also refuses to believe that Anna's former best friend, Stacy, is really as psychotic as Anna claims her to be- until Stacy pushes Tess (in Anna's body) over a bicycle rack and later lands her in detention after framing her for cheating.
  • Casting Gag: Lindsay Lohan once again playing dual roles.
  • 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, in Tess's body, tries driving to Harry's school for the parent-teacher conference, but ends up driving out-of-control when Tess, in Anna's body, takes away her french fries.
  • Evil Is Petty: It turns out that the reason why Anna’s Sadist Teacher always puts her down and punishes her, even when she gives him the correct answer, is because Anna’s mother rejected him back in high school. Even Tess (inside Anna’s body) tells him that his revenge is petty, and she proceeds to call him out and threaten him to stop or she’ll report him to the school.
  • 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, to which Tess later responds by erasing some of Stacy's answers and writing "I'm stupid!" over them. 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 that 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: Played with. Anna initially assumes that adulthood has way fewer problems than high school. She learns otherwise after the switch. However, 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!: Subverted. Pei Pei's mother gives Anna's brother and grandfather the same fortune cookies when they started arguing. Luckily Pei-Pei was able to retrieve the fortune cookies before they open them.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Tess is oblivious to how much of an Annoying Younger Sibling Harry is to 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. Being in Anna's body eventually makes her realize the reality.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Anna might be self-centered at times (and her advice is questionable at best), but she's not wrong to say it's bad form for a parent note  to snoop through their own daughter's diary. Even with good intentions, it's still a betrayal of trust and a violation of privacy.
  • 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 afterward 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.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • New Body, Old Abilities: Near the end, Anna in Tess's body is still perfectly able to play her guitar when her band plays whilst Tess pretends to play.
  • 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.
  • Noodle Incident: No cause for Mr. Coleman's passing is brought up.
  • 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.
  • Only One Name: Downplayed; Ryan's surname is not said in the final film, going so far with Anna's bandmates referring to him as "Mr. Dude", but early drafts of the script reveal it as Volvo. Played straight with Jake and Anna's bandmates.
  • Parental Obliviousness; Downplayed. While Tess is aware of some areas of Anna's life, she, along with Anna unwilling to share them, sees the details only at-face value. Which leads to her writing Jake off as a bad boy, and Anna as a Bratty Teenage Daughter trying to avoid taking responsibility for her issues.
  • 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.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Ryan says "what the hell" twice; first when calling out Anna-as-Tess for making him out to be a bad guy, and again when he asks a freshly switched-back Tess about the earthquake that just occurred.
    • Tess-as-Anna gets one in when she’s chewing out Anna-as-Tess for destroying her professional reputation on the talk show and giving her body a “makeover from hell” during the shopping spree.
  • "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 that he is the same guy Tess declined going to the School Prom with, so she commands him to let the past go.
    Anna: [Confronting Mr. Bates for failing her answer that was correct] Mr. Bates, may I please speak with you?
    Mr. Bates: I think that would be fairy pointless, but go ahead.
    Anna: By what stretch of the imagination...I mean, like, how could I, like, get an F? What mistakes did I make?
    Mr. Bates: Grading is subjective.
    Anna: That was a college-level analysis!
    Mr. Bates: And you're qualified to make that assessment?
    Anna: As a matter of fact, I most certainly am.
    Mr. Bates: Well, in the words of Hamlet, "What's done is done."
    Anna: [annoyed] That's Macbeth, you know-nothing twit– [upon realization] Bates! Elton Bates! Griffith High School.
    Mr. Bates: How do you know that?
    Anna: You asked me...I mean, my mom to the prom, but she turned you down.
    Mr. Bates: This is not an appropriate subject-
    Anna: And now you're taking it out on her daughter, aren't you?! Aren't you?!
    Mr. Bates: I don't know what you're talking about!
    Anna: Oh, come on! It was a high school dance! You've got to let it go and move on, man! And if you don't, I'm sure the school board would love to hear about your pathetic vendetta against an innocent student. [Starts to leave, but stops to make a final remark] Oh, and by the way, Elton, she had a boyfriend, and you were weird.
  • Refuge in Audacity: At one point, Anna in Tess's body has to go on a talk show and discuss one of Tess's 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 that, 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".
  • Shopping Montage: Anna goes on a shopping spree while in her mother's body and tries on various clothes and gets herself a makeover.
  • The Sociopath: Stacy Hinkhouse. It's apparent that being a full-blown psychopath and bullying Anna is so much more fun for her and is glad to stop being friends with Anna.
  • Something Only They Would Say: When first seeing her mother in her body, Anna thinks Tess is a "clone freak" and raises her voice at her. In turn, Tess scolds "Don't you dare use that tone on me, young lady!" Anna cannot refute that the 'clone freak' standing before her really is her mother.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • True Companions: In light of what Stacy Hinkhouse became, it's clear that Maddie and Peg are the true friends to Anna. They encourage her (really Tess) when she gets nervous before the audition with Peg saying they'll still love her even if the gig doesn't pan out. Plus, Maddie allows Anna to be the frontwoman for "Ultimate" at the wedding.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: If you look in the background of the scene where Anna and Jake talk for the first time, you'll see some posters that say "Stacy Hinkhouse for Student President!"
  • 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:
  • 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 realize that he does indeed.