Freaky Friday



Mother-daughter switch is fun comedic chaos.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Review Date: December 14, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This film is a humorous lesson in seeing the world through another person's eyes. In this instance, a mom and daughter, at odds over values, behavior, and hopes, learn to more fully understand each other and get a solid look at the joys and difficulties each of them faces every day. In one exaggerated comic moment, a young girl says she's going to kill herself -- it's not meant to be taken seriously.

Positive role models

Parents are portrayed as conscientious, loving, and having the best interests of their children at heart. Kids are mostly well-meaning as they struggle with the stresses of school and relationships. Rebelliousness is portrayed as an effort to assert individuality. The one teacher in the cast is rigid, unfair, and vengeful.

Violence & scariness

Earthquakes occur when identities are swapped and unswapped. No injuries. A woman tackles someone to stop him from revealing a secret.

Sexy stuff

Some sweet kisses, a few lingering ones. Because a teen takes over her mother’s body, and her mother takes over her body, there are a few awkward moments when each is confronted with kissing the object of the other's affection. The mom rides on a motorcycle driven by her teen daughter’s crush -- she hugs tight as they speed along.


A few coarse words and insults: "harlot," "screwed,"" "fart," "insane psycho freak," "hell," and some instances of "Oh my God!"


Bernini, Ducati motorcycles, House of Blues, Volvo, Tamburo drums.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Champagne and wine are consumed iin rehearsal dinner and wedding scenes. No drunkenness.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Freaky Friday is a switched-identities comedy that will appeal to older kids, tweens, and teens alike. It's a good movie for families to watch together, as it will spark shared laughter and possible lively conversation about parent-child relationships. There is some very mild sexual innuendo as filmmakers skillfully handle the awkward moments when the teen girl in her mom’s body and the mom in her teen's body are confronted with potentially romantic moments with the two male love interests. Occasional swearing is used to help define the characters as they adapt to their new and unfamiliar roles ("Oh, my God!" "We’re screwed," "harlot," "hell," "fart," "it sucks"). Two earthquakes shake things up a bit, but no one is hurt.

What's the story?

In the third version of the book by Mary Rodgers, Jamie Lee Curtis plays Tess, a compassionate therapist and a loving, if harried mother of two children. Her husband died three years ago, and she's about to be married to the devoted, understanding Ryan (Mark Harmon). Lindsay Lohan is her daughter Anna, who, like most 15-year-olds, thinks that she has both too much of her mother's attention (when it comes to telling her what to do) and not enough (when it comes to knowing what's important to her, which she thinks Tess should just be able to intuit, since Anna doesn't really want to tell her anything). When the two of them get into an argument at a Chinese restaurant, the owner's mother gives them magic fortune cookies. The next morning, they wake up as each other. While they figure out how to return to their own bodies, each has to spend the day living the other's life.

Is it any good?


Curtis and Lohan are so clearly enjoying themselves in FREAKY FRIDAY that they're fun to watch. And the story moves along so briskly that its logical flaws barely get in the way.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fairly common motif of switched identities. Have you seen the original 1976 version starring Jody Foster as a kid?

  • Why it is hard for Tess and Anna to understand each other at the beginning of the movie? If the parents and children in your family switched places, what would be the biggest surprises? 

  • What do you think of how Anna resolves her problems with her English teacher and the honors exam? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 8, 2003
DVD release date:December 16, 2003
Cast:Jamie Lee Curtis, Lindsay Lohan, Mark Harmon
Director:Mark Waters
Studio:Buena Vista
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, High school
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild thematic elements and some language

This review of Freaky Friday was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMissE1000 April 19, 2011


Awesome movie, relevant for a lot of moms and daughters. There is one reference that is failed to be pointed out where Anna, who was in her mom's body at the moment, refers to a girl "doing it" in a sexual way, but it is used appropriately and will go over most kid's heads.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old August 21, 2010

tweens only

The girl is mean to her mom and the words ewww
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Teen, 14 years old Written byKaty0 September 8, 2009

Great Fun

This movie is quite fun with solid performances from the leads.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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