Freaky Friday (2003 film)

Freaky Friday

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Mark Waters
Produced by Andrew Gunn
Screenplay by
Based on Freaky Friday
by Mary Rodgers
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography Oliver Wood
Edited by Bruce Green
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • August 4, 2003 (2003-08-04) (Hollywood)
  • August 6, 2003 (2003-08-06) (United States)
Running time
97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $20 million[1]
Box office $160.8 million[1]

Freaky Friday is a 2003 American fantasy-comedy, teen film remake directed by Mark Waters and written by Heather Hach and Leslie Dixon, based on the novel of the same name by Mary Rodgers. It stars Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis as a daughter and mother whose bodies are switched due to a mysterious fortune cookie. It also stars Mark Harmon, Harold Gould, and Chad Michael Murray.

The film was released in theaters on August 6, 2003 by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Pictures. It received generally positive reviews from critics and it earned over $160 million on a $20 million budget. It was Disney's second remake of the 1976 film of the same name starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster. It was released on VHS and DVD on December 16, 2003 by Walt Disney Home Video.


Anna Coleman (Lindsay Lohan) is a 15-year old average teenager with a stressful life due to her stodgy widowed mother, Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis), and 10-year old annoying younger brother, Harry (Ryan Malgarini). The conflicts revolve around: Tess' upcoming second marriage to Ryan (Mark Harmon), which Anna is not emotionally ready for because of her father's death three years before; Anna's pop rock band, Pink Slip, which Tess hates because according to Anna, she thinks that they are all noise; Anna's claims about her archrival, Stacey Hinkhouse (Julie Gonzalo), who doesn't stop tormenting her and has Tess convinced that she and Anna are still best friends like they used to be; and her sadistic English teacher, Mr. Elton Bates (Stephen Tobolowsky), who gives her an "F" on everything she does no matter how hard she tries. Tess also disapproves of Anna's crush, Jake (Chad Michael Murray), an older student.

The Colemans eat out at Pei-Pei's Chinese restaurant, where Anna begs Tess to let her go on an important audition with her band. However, Tess refuses since the show is on the same Friday as the rehearsal dinner. They begin arguing again until Pei-Pei's mother interrupts to give them fortune cookies, which contain a body switching spell, causing an earthquake only they felt. The next morning, they wake up in each other's bodies, figuring that the fortune cookies are responsible for the switch, but can't go directly back to the restaurant as Anna has to go to school and Tess has to see her therapy patients, taking each other's roles. At school, Tess finds that Anna is not only right about Stacey when she assaults her, but Mr. Bates also gives her an "F" on a pop quiz about Hamlet even though she answered everything right. She soon recognizes him as a former classmate who asked her out to the prom, but she turned him down, and he is now taking it out on Anna. She threatens to report him to the school board unless he stops abusing Anna.

Before Anna goes to Tess' office, she gives Tess' body a makeover, much to her dismay. At lunchtime, they go back to the restaurant to confront Pei-Pei and her mother, but she explains that only showing selfless love to one another will break the spell. In the afternoon, Anna attends Harry's parent-teacher conference, where she reads a composition about how much he actually admires her. She sees him in a different light and vows to treat him nicer. Meanwhile, Tess attempts to make amends with Stacey but she frames her for cheating. Jake helps her finish the test, which makes her realize that she has misjudged him. Unfortunately, he is no longer enamored with "Anna" after Tess sabotages Stacey's test.

Meanwhile, Ryan surprises Anna with an interview on a talk show to discuss Tess' new psychology book. However, she turns the interview into a wild romp to cover the fact she hasn't read the book. Tess and Jake catch it on TV and while she is embarrassed, he is impressed. Later, Anna bumps into him at a coffee shop and they bond over their favorite music. He begins to fall in love with "Tess" and attempts to pursue her, much to the real Tess' horror.

At the rehearsal dinner, Anna's bandmates come to try to convince "Anna" to sneak off to the audition but they are caught by security. Ryan surprises Tess and Anna by giving "Anna" permission to go. He explains that he just wants the kids to accept him and he urges "Tess" to go support the band, finally winning her over. Since Tess can't play, Anna unplugs her guitar and plays while Tess mimes along and enjoys doing so. Jake is in the audience and he realizes that Anna is the one for him. Tess also realizes how fun music is and promises to treat Anna's band with more respect. Back at the rehearsal dinner, Tess tells Anna to ask Ryan to postpone the wedding, so that Anna will not have to go through marrying him in Tess' body. Instead, she proposes a toast where she finally accepts him because of how happy he makes Tess. This is the final act of selfless love needed to break the spell and another earthquake has them switch back to their own selves. On the wedding day, Tess and Ryan marry, and she and Anna finally make up after such long conflict by saying "I love you" to each other. Also, Anna and Jake start dating with Tess' approval. Anna's band also plays at the reception. Pei-Pei's mother attempts to give Harry and Alan the body switching fortune cookies when they argue, but she confiscates them in the nick of time (by tackling them to the ground).



The film's producer Andrew Gunn said he initially hoped Jodie Foster (who played Annabel in the original 1976 Freaky Friday film) would be interested in playing the mother in the remake. She declined in order to spend more time with her family and because of concerns that the stunt casting would overshadow the film's overall merit.[2] Annette Bening was then cast in the role, but dropped out because of family obligations. Jamie Lee Curtis was given the role only four days before filming began.[3] Lindsay Lohan's character was originally written as a Goth, but she did not think anyone would relate to that, and decided to dress in a preppy style for her audition. The character ended up being rewritten.[4] Marc McClure, who played Boris Harris, Annabel's love interest in the original film, has a brief cameo as Boris the delivery man.[2] Director Mark Waters also makes a cameo holding a baby at the wedding. In the end scene when Anna is dancing with Jake, there is a woman in the background dancing with an older gentleman, and she looks directly at the camera. That is Lindsay Lohan's mother, Dina Lohan. Ryan Shuck coached Jamie Lee Curtis to play the guitar solo for the concert scene. Lohan trained for one year to learn to play the guitar before production.[5] The snapshots in the opening credits are photos of Jamie Lee Curtis and her daughter, Annie Guest. Kelly Osbourne was originally set to play Maddie, but dropped out because she did not want to do a children's movie. She was replaced by Christina Vidal.[6][7]

Home media

The film was released on DVD and VHS on December 16, 2003 by Walt Disney Home Video.


Box office

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $22.2 million in 2,954 theaters, finishing second at the box office, behind S.W.A.T. ($37.1 million).

The film went on to gross $110.2 million in North America and $50.6 million in other territories for a total of $160.8 million.[1]

Critical response

Freaky Friday received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 88%, based on 148 reviews, with an average rating of 7/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan charm in Mark Waters' nicely pitched -- and Disney's second -- remake of the 1976 hit." On Metacritic the film has a score of 70 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Jamie Lee Curtis's performance was singled out for praise by many critics. David Ansen of Newsweek noted that, "the most startling metamorphosis is Curtis' transformation from fading horror-flick queen to dazzling comedienne. She goes on a teenage tear—tormenting Anna's younger brother (who wonders why Mom's acting so weird), getting down and dirty on a TV talk show where Tess is supposed to discuss her book on aging—with fiercely funny conviction."[8] Lisa Schwarzbaum from Entertainment Weekly called her performance "glorious,"[9] and A. O. Scott from The New York Times contended that she "does some of her best work ever [in Freaky Friday]."[10] Nick Davis described her as "so frisky and pouty and incandescent in Freaky Friday, she made the whole movie feel like something special."[11] Her performance was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Lohan's performance was also praised. Roger Ebert wrote that she "has that Jodie Foster sort of seriousness and intent focus beneath her teenage persona."[12] The film earned her the award for Breakthrough Performance at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards.[13]

Some critics, however, objected to the caricatured portrayal of Chinese people in the body switching scene, with Nick Schager of Slant Magazine calling it "a strange bit of 'Oriental mysticism' stereotyping that seems at odds with the film’s thematic focus on tolerance and understanding."[14]


The orchestral score was written by Rolfe Kent and orchestrated by Tony Blondal.

Awards and nominations

List awards to film and actress/actors.



  1. 1 2 3 "Freaky Friday (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  2. 1 2 Kuklenski, Valerie (August 13, 2003). "Disney's the King of Remakes". The Ledger. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  3. Gritten, David (December 20, 2003). "I'm still here". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  4. Peretz, Evgenia (Feb 2006). "Confessions of a Teenage Movie Queen". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast (546): 120. ISSN 0733-8899. Retrieved September 3, 2008. As the script was written, the character was Goth, Lohan recalls: "No one could relate to the character when she was really Goth. There was nothing there." She took it upon herself to change it – before the audition. "I dressed really preppy," she says. "I wore a collared turquoise Abercrombie and Fitch shirt and khaki pants, swear to God, with a white headband. And my hair was really straight and pretty and red and blond. My agent calls and was like, 'What are you doing?!'" The studio ended up rewriting the character entirely.
  6. Video on YouTube
  7. "Kelly Osbourne Won't Get 'Freaky'". Billboard. September 12, 2002. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  8. Newsweek. "MOM IS TEEN FOR A DAY". Retrieved August 18, 2003.
  9. Schwarzbaum, Lisa (July 31, 2003). "Freaky Friday (2003)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  10. Scott, A. O. (August 6, 2003). "Film Review; Walking in Mom's Shoes With Mom's Feet, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  11. Nick Davis. "Best Actress, 2003". Retrieved 2003. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  12. Ebert, Roger (August 6, 2003). "Freaky Friday". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved October 3, 2009.
  13. "2004 Movie Awards Winners". MTV. Retrieved November 14, 2009.
  14. Schager, Nick. Slant Magazine (Aug. 2, 2003).
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