A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Appreciate what others do for you, even if you don't witness it with your own eyes. Teens need space and support to explore their own interests and passions. Parents need time alone to stay connected.
Positive Role Models
Each of the members of a family feels overstressed and underappreciated. It takes walking in another's shoes for a day for them to empathize with each other's feelings and to appreciate each other more fully. Jess learns to delegate and rely more on others. Bill gains an appreciation for his son's abilities. The teenagers realize what their parents have sacrificed for them.
Characters gain insights about each other's lives by walking in their shoes for a day, a lesson that could be applied more broadly to understanding and empathizing with others. Several important secondary characters -- like friends, bandmates, work colleagues, and the fairy godmother who generates the body swap -- are played by Latino and Black actors.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Characters fall down frequently, sometimes in ways that look very painful though they are always fine. A baby and dog swap bodies, putting the baby in harm's way -- including a scene where the dog runs away and almost gets hit by a car. A fistfight breaks out at a high school party. A man is kicked in the groin. A woman falls down stairs. A car nearly crashes in a scene where a family is racing to get somewhere; at one point, the mom stretches out to reach something on the hood of the car while it's speeding. A teen is so scared of being bullied that he finds alternative ways to get down a school hallway.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married couple kisses, as do two high schoolers. A high school bully teases another that he's "starting to cream" when a girl walks by. A mom friend describes something with apparently sexual overtones using hand gestures, but her voice is obscured.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
"Hell," "ass," "loser," "butt," "big booty," "jeez," "suck a duck," "hag," "dork," "barf," "nerd," "weird," "oh my God." Potty humor.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Gatorade, Mac, Olympics, Griffith Observatory, Hollywood, LensCrafters, Jeopardy, Yale, Cheez-Its, Tillamook ice cream, Lyft, Vans.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult drink wine and sneak it into a high school soccer match, and teenagers drink from red tumblers at a party.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the comedy Family Switch, starring Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms, takes the Freaky Friday concept a step further, with multiple family members switching bodies. It has positive messages about empathy and valuing family, but characters suffer a slew of accidents played for laughs, and the main characters spend most of the film unsure whether they'll get back to their own lives. Language includes "hell," "ass," "butt," "loser," "hag," "dork,"and more insults, and there's potty humor. Adults drink wine, and teenagers drink from red cups at a high school house party. Characters frequently fall down, including down stairs and over a railing. A baby and a dog swap bodies, putting the baby in harm's way. A fistfight breaks out at a party, a man is kicked in the groin, and a car nearly crashes multiple times in one speeding sequence. A teen is so scared of being bullied that he finds alternative ways to get down a school hallway. A married couple kisses, as do two high schoolers, and one teen bullies another by saying that he's "starting to cream" when a girl walks by. Each of the main characters feels overstressed and underappreciated, and they all gain insights into one another's lives by walking in their shoes for a day -- a lesson that could be applied more broadly to understanding and empathizing with people from all walks of life. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Body swap films are nothing new, so this one innovates by mixing up the whole family, creating some silly and emotional situations but not many serious belly laughs. Swapping the baby and the dog was a stroke of scripting genius in Family Switch, and the random inclusion of German actor Matthias Schweighöfer as their sitter was inspired. All of the actors are on point and manage to make the swaps seem somehow believable. Helms and Noon really stand out here, and a scene of the parents in the kids' bodies at a high school party is especially memorable. Listen for inside jokes about stars Garner and Helms.
The swap is, naturally, where the most humorous situations arise, but also where the film's shortcomings are most evident. Having this one body-switched day be the most crucial in each of their lives feels overly contrived. Likewise, making all the characters (except the sweetly bumbling dad) superstars at what they do makes them feel less realistic or potentially even less likable. Eschewing more insightful or subtle lessons, the film strings together a series of situations. One character is given a terrible bout of gas and others are forced to perform in activities they're obviously not suited for. Still, the film ends on a sweet note, and it could make an enjoyable family night choice.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.