|Directed by||Mark Waters|
|Based on||Freaky Friday|
by Mary Rodgers
|Produced by||Andrew Gunn|
|Edited by||Bruce Green|
|Music by||Rolfe Kent|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$160.8 million|
Freaky Friday is a 2003 American fantasy-comedy film directed by Mark Waters and written by Heather Hach and Leslie Dixon, based on Mary Rodgers's 1972 novel of the same name. It stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan as a mother and daughter, respectively, whose bodies are switched by a mysterious and magical Chinese fortune cookie.
The film was released in theaters on August 6, 2003, by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Pictures. The film received largely positive reviews from critics, with praise for the performances (particularly that of Curtis and Lohan), but criticized the transformation scene. The film was also a commercial success, grossing over $160 million worldwide on a $26 million budget. The film also earned Curtis a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. It was Disney's third film adaptation of the novel, after the 1976 film, starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster, and the 1995 made-for-TV film, starring Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffmann.
Aspiring teenage musician Anna Coleman lives with her widowed therapist mother, Tess, and younger brother, Harry. Tess is about to marry her fiancé, Ryan, whom Anna has not entirely accepted due to her own father's death three years earlier.
At school, Anna's English teacher, Mr. Elton Bates, treats her unfairly, giving her an F on every assignment regardless of how well she does. She's also feuding with Stacey Hinkhouse, her former best friend-turned-nemesis. Anna has a crush on a school staff member, Jake, of whom her mother disapproves. Anna plays guitar in a band, Pink Slip, which is scheduled to audition for a spot in Wango Tango at the House of Blues, the same night as the wedding rehearsal, so Tess forbids Anna from going. At a dinner at Pei-Pei's Chinese restaurant, the two get into a heated argument. Pei-Pei's mother interrupts their arguing to give them fortune cookies. They both leave into separate rooms, read their fortunes out loud, and immediately feel an intense earthquake to which the rest of the restaurant is oblivious.
The next morning, Anna and Tess wake up in each other's bodies. "Anna" (Tess in her daughter's body) has to go to school and begins to understand her daughter's woes. She experiences bullying from Stacey and recognizes Mr. Bates as an old high school classmate, realizing that he is treating Anna unfairly as revenge for Tess turning down a prom invitation from him. "Anna" threatens Mr. Bates with reporting him to the school board unless his treatment of Anna stops. Meanwhile, "Tess" (Anna in her mother’s body), after giving her new body a makeover, has difficulty handling the patients. At lunchtime, "Anna" and "Tess" return to the restaurant, but Pei-Pei explains that only showing selfless love for each other will cause the switch to be reversed.
"Tess" attends Harry's parent-teacher conference, where she reads a composition about how much he actually admires Anna, and decides to be nicer to him. "Anna" attempts to make amends with Stacey, but Stacey frames her for cheating on a test and "Anna" gets sent to detention. When Jake notices "Anna" sneaking out of detention, he offers to help her finish the test. Jake takes "Anna" to the file room in the teachers' lounge and she realizes that she misjudged him, but he loses his enamoration towards "Anna" after she sabotages Stacey's test by erasing most of the answers and writing "I'M STUPID!" on it. Ryan surprises "Tess" with a talk show interview to discuss her latest psychology book. To disguise the fact that she hasn't read the book, "Tess" goes into an amusing tirade about getting older. "Anna" and Jake watch the interview on television and while she is embarrassed, he is impressed. "Tess" bumps into Jake at his second job, a coffee shop, and they bond over their favorite music.
At the rehearsal dinner, Anna's bandmates try to convince "Anna" to sneak off to the audition, but they are caught by security. Ryan surprisingly gives "Anna" permission to go, explaining that he just wants the kids to accept him, and urges "Tess" to support the band, finally winning her over. Since "Anna" cannot play, "Tess" plays the guitar backstage while "Anna" only pretends to play. Realizing the talent of her daughter's music, "Anna" promises to treat her daughter's band with more respect, and during the show, Jake becomes enamored with "Anna" again upon seeing her perform.
Back at the rehearsal dinner, "Anna" tells "Tess" to ask Ryan to postpone the wedding, so that her daughter will not have to marry him in her mother's body. Instead, "Tess" proposes a toast, finally accepting Ryan because of how happy he makes her mom. This act of selfless love switches back Anna's and Tess' bodies. Tess and Ryan later marry, she and Anna finally make up and realize how tough their lives are and Anna and Jake start dating with Tess's approval.
At the wedding, Pei-Pei notices her mother offering Anna's grandfather, Alan, and Harry two fortune cookies after seeing them argue. She immediately rushes over and tackles them both, and sighs in relief when she's able to grab the cookies. During the credits, Anna is playing with her band at Ryan's and Tess's wedding.
Lohan's character was originally written as 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 as a grunge, alt-rock teen.
Ryan Shuck coached Curtis to play the guitar solo for the concert scene. Lohan trained for one year to learn to play the guitar before production. In the final version of the film, both Curtis and Lohan's guitar parts were overdubbed by professional studio musicians.
Initially, producer Andrew Gunn had hoped that Jodie Foster, who played Annabel in the original 1976 film, would be interested in the role of the mother. Foster declined, citing concerns that her stunt casting would draw attention away from other elements of the film. Jamie Lee Curtis was offered the role of Tess at the last minute, after Annette Bening dropped out for undisclosed reasons four days before filming began. Kelly Osbourne was originally set to play Maddie, but withdrew when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was replaced by Christina Vidal. Tom Selleck was originally cast as Ryan but dropped out when Annette Bening dropped out from the film.
Marc McClure, who played Annabel's love interest in the 1976 film, makes a brief cameo as Boris the delivery man. The snapshots in the opening credits are photos of Curtis and her daughter, Annie Guest. In the final scene, Dina Lohan, Lindsay Lohan's mother and manager, makes an appearance as one of the wedding guests. Director Mark Waters also has a cameo holding a baby at the wedding.
Principal photography began on October 5, 2002, and wrapped on December 18, 2002.
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. The film was released in the United Kingdom on December 19, 2003, and opened at number four.
Freaky Friday received largely positive reviews from film critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 88% based on 155 reviews, with an average rating of 7.00/10. 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". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of A− on a scale of A to F.
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." Lisa Schwarzbaum from Entertainment Weekly called her performance "glorious", and A. O. Scott from The New York Times contended that she "does some of her best work ever [in Freaky Friday]." Independent reviewer Nick Davis described her as "so frisky and pouty and incandescent in Freaky Friday, she made the whole movie feel like something special." 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, who gave the film three out of four stars, described Lohan as possessing "that Jodie Foster sort of seriousness and intent focus beneath her teenage persona." The film earned her the award for Breakthrough Performance at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards.
The transformation scene, however, was criticized. While Ebert noted that Asian American actors were cast in the film simply to "supply magic potions, exotic elixirs, ancient charms and handy supernatural plot points", Nick Schager of Slant Magazine called it "a strange bit of 'Oriental mysticism' stereotyping that seems at odds with the film's thematic focus on tolerance and understanding." From The Village Voice, Ed Park summarized the premise as "some strange racist bullshit".
The film was released on DVD and VHS on December 16, 2003, by Walt Disney Home Entertainment. It was later released on Blu-ray on September 11, 2012 as an exclusive through the Disney Movie Club program. The film is also available on the streaming service Disney+ after its launch on November 12, 2019.
Main article: Freaky Friday (soundtrack)
The orchestral score was written by Rolfe Kent and orchestrated by Tony Blondal.
Lohan also recorded a song for the soundtrack, titled "Ultimate".
In 2003 British girl-band Girls Aloud recorded "You Freak Me Out" for the film and was intended to be added to the soundtrack, however it was decided not to add it to the album, but was included on the re-release of the band's debut album, Sound of the Underground (2003).
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.