A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive representations of family relationships that benefit from honesty and compassion.
Takes a lighthearted look at value of seeing the world through someone else's eyes. Ellie and her mom argue a lot, make accusations that are unkind, but as the story evolves, they come to see each other's strengths, struggles in a new light. The family also works through emotions surrounding a family member's death. Katherine's engagement means creation of a new blended family. Strong themes about self-expression, being true to yourself.
Positive Role Models
Katherine works hard to be a good mom, but her desire to do so often interferes with her relationship with Ellie, who's disrespectful in return. Both characters show willingness to change with new perspective; their relationship benefits. Mike's patient, gentle nature helps hold family together. Savannah is manipulative, controlling, gets her way by wielding her popularity as a threat.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A sweet romance blossoms between teens. Catherine and her fiancé show affection with hugs and hand-holding.
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Ellie calls her brother a nerd and says "I hate you" to her mom in the heat of an argument.
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Products & Purchases
Remakes the story told in previous movies and a book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Freaky Friday is a family-friendly musical-style reimagining of the story about a mother and daughter who switch bodies after some accidental magic. Song-and-dance numbers are delightful additions to the plot (showcasing the cast's talents), and the story carefully explores serious emotions like grief after a loved one's death. Both teenage Ellie (Cozi Zuehlsdorff) and her mom (Heidi Blickenstaff) have some awkward moments related to each other's romantic lives, but they're handled more with humor than suggestion. A teen manipulates peers and adults to maintain her social dominance, but ultimately this delightful, energetic movie has exceptional messages about communication, honesty, and respect for others. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This remake's shtick is the breakout musical numbers that give the familiar story a dynamic quality that you didn't even realize you wanted. All of the requisite hilarity of identity-swapping tales is here: Teen is shocked at her mom body's "loose skin" and laments adulting being "super unfun," Mom fails miserably at high school lingo and body language and can't resist giving sage advice to her daughter's social nemesis, and so on. Awkwardness abounds as Ellie and Katherine, played endearingly by the capable actresses, try desperately to maintain the status quo in each other's lives.
Besides the obvious message about not judging a book (or your mother) by its cover, Freaky Friday emphasizes self-expression and honest communication. It wouldn't have been as much fun for the audience, but Katherine and Ellie could have arrived at the same understanding about each other if they'd just called a truce and talked openly about their feelings at the start. In the end, it's that simple act that sets things right, and that's what families can take away from this movie.
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.