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Freaky Friday turns 20: Here's why it's the ultimate 2000s film

Gregory Robinson

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Freaky Friday turns 20: Here's why it's the ultimate 2000s film

Featured Image Credit: Disney

The early 2000s marked the heyday for the teen comedies but one film rises above them all - Freaky Friday.

Lindsay Lohan, who was the ultimate teen idol at the time, starred in Disney’s reboot of the classic body-swap tale alongside cinema legend and certified scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis as her mum.

It was one of the best casting decisions ever made and looking back as Freaky Friday celebrates its 20th anniversary on 6 August, it’s no wonder why it became an undisputed classic.

In addition to its two fantastic leads, the film was directed by Mark Waters, who Lohan would reunite with on another early 2000s comedy that is the only movie one could argue is better than it - 2004’s Mean Girls.

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Alas, there are also a lot of reasons why Freaky Friday perhaps might not have turned out as well as it did.

It's a reboot, which are notoriously difficult to nail, plus it was the fifth overall adaptation of Mary Rodger’s 1972 novel of the same name.

So, why is the 2003 version of Freaky Friday the best and why are people still obsessed with it two decades later?

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Freaky Friday tells the story of a mum and daughter who can’t stop butting heads because their views, style and tastes are worlds apart.

Anna (Lohan) is an angsty, grunge-obsessed teen who just wants to live her best life rehearsing with her band Pink Slip, but her mum, Tess (Curtis) disapproves of everything. She simply doesn’t understand her clearly Avril Lavigne-inspired affinity for baggy trousers, skater graphic tees, studded belts and highlights, all of which still looks awe-worthy in 2023.

Anna is also upset about her mum remarrying after her father’s death. Tess’ new beau is Ryan (NCIS star Mark Harmon) who just wants everyone to get along.

Switching bodies leaves both Anna and Tess in a state of shock. Credit: Disney
Switching bodies leaves both Anna and Tess in a state of shock. Credit: Disney
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Even though she’s a therapist, Tess finds gaining common ground with her daughter impossible, that is until they make a fateful trip to a Chinese restaurant and are gifted with a fortune cookie by the meddling restaurant owner Pei-Pei (Rosalind Chao).

Anna and Tess go into separate bathrooms and read their fortunes aloud at the same time before an earthquake erupts which only they can feel. And BAM! Just like that, they’ve switched.

Anna transforms from a teen into a upright suburban mother, who re-discovers her love for fries, while Tess’ metamorphosis means she’s now exceptional at playing the guitar, hates getting out of bed in the morning and is simply spicier all around.

Pink Slip's 'Take Me Away' is a classic. Credit: Disney
Pink Slip's 'Take Me Away' is a classic. Credit: Disney
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Can you imagine living in a world in which we don’t have the moment Tess steps in during Pink Slip’s performance and nails the guitar solo in ‘Take Me Away’, the perfect early 2000s grungy banger. It would be a boring world, that's for sure.

And how could we forget the scene that left us all with heart-eyes - when Jake (noughties teen heartthrob Chad Michael Murray), who awkwardly falls in lust with Tess in Anna’s body, belts a screechy version of ‘Baby One More Time’ by Britney Spears outside her window? It’s what dreams are made of.

Chad Michael Murray sings 'Baby One More Time'. Credit: Disney
Chad Michael Murray sings 'Baby One More Time'. Credit: Disney

Murray was just coming off of his breakthrough roles as Tristan DuGray on Gilmore Girls and Charlie Todd in Dawson’s Creek. Freaky Friday cemented Murray's status as everyone’s early noughties crush, just a month after the film came out he began starring in One Tree Hill and then starred in A Cinderella Story in 2004.

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Noughties kids aren’t the early ones who loved Freaky Friday as it was lauded by critics and currently has an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which is huge for a teen film. It grossed $106.8 million at the global box office and Curtis earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.

In the years that have passed, both Lohan and Curtis have spoken about wanting to make a sequel.

There are so many possibilities, since Lohan herself became a mum this year and Curtis celebrated becoming a ‘movie grandmother’.

“'MAGIC MONDAY! My movie daughter just made me a movie grandmother. Blessings to Lindsay and Bader for the birth of Luai! @Lindsaylohan,” Curtis wrote on Instagram.

Anna and Tess try to navigate their new bodies with hilarious results. Credit: Disney
Anna and Tess try to navigate their new bodies with hilarious results. Credit: Disney

Fresh from the Oscars after taking home her first trophy of the sort this year for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Curtis told the New York Times that she was the biggest advocate for a follow-up.

She said: "As I went around the world with Halloween Ends, people wanted to know if there was going to be another Freaky Friday.

"Something really touched a chord. When I came back, I called my friends at Disney and said, 'It feels like there’s a movie to be made'."

Lohan added: "Jamie and I are both open to that, so we’re leaving it in the hands that be.

"We would only make something that people would absolutely adore."

All we need is one of Pei-Pei's fortune cookies to make it happen!

Topics: Lindsay Lohan, TV And Film, Celebrity

Gregory Robinson
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