The film was released in theaters on August 6, 2003, by Walt Disney Pictures and Buena Vista Pictures. It received positive reviews from film critics and it earned over $160 million worldwide on a $20 million budget. It was Disney's third film adaptation of the novel, after the 1976 film Freaky Friday starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster, and the 1995 TV film Freaky Friday starring Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffmann. It was released on VHS and DVD on December 16, 2003 by Walt Disney Home Video.
Anna Coleman is a average teenager with a stressful life due to her stodgy widowed mother, Tess, and annoying younger brother, Harry. The conflicts revolve around: Tess' upcoming second marriage to Ryan, which Anna is not emotionally ready for due 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, 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, who gives her an "F" on everything she does no matter how hard she tries. Tess also disapproves of Anna's crush, Jake, an older student. To make matters worse, Anna gets detention twice during the school day. One for backtalking to Mr. Bates in the hallway and another for hitting Stacey in the back with a volleyball on purpose during physical education after Stacey did it multiple times to her on purpose and got away scot free.
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 Tess's practice, Anna has some difficulty handling her patients apart from a mother who has concerns over her daughter. 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 Grandpa Alan the body switching fortune cookies when they argue, but her daughter confiscates them in the nick of time (by tackling them to the ground).Jamie Lee Curtis as Dr. Tess Coleman
Lindsay Lohan as Anna Coleman
Chad Michael Murray as Jake
Mark Harmon as Ryan, Tess's Fiance
Harold Gould as Grandpa Alan
Stephen Tobolowsky as Mr. Elton Bates
Christina Vidal as Maddie
Ryan Malgarini as Harry Coleman
Haley Hudson as Peg
Rosalind Chao as Pei-Pei
Lucille Soong as Pei-Pei's mother
Willie Garson as Evan
Dina Waters as Dottie Robertson
Julie Gonzalo as Stacey Hinkhouse
Cayden Boyd as Harry's friend
Christopher Guest as Mr. Coleman
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. 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. 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. Marc McClure, who played Boris Harris, Annabel's love interest in the original film, has a brief cameo as Boris the delivery man. 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. 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.
The film was released on DVD and VHS on December 16, 2003 by Walt Disney Home Video. It is now also available on Blu-Ray disc.
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.
Freaky Friday received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 88%, based on 149 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." 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]." 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 wrote that she "has 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.
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."
The orchestral score was written by Rolfe Kent and orchestrated by Tony Blondal.
List awards to film and actress/actors.Won
2004 – MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance to Lindsay Lohan
2004 – Teen Choice Awards for Choice Breakout Movie Star – Female to Lindsay Lohan
2004 – Teen Choice Award for Choice Hissy Fit to Lindsay Lohan
2004 – Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards for Best Live Action Family Film
2004 – BMI Film Music Award to Rolfe Kent
2003 – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy to Jamie Lee Curtis
2004 – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy to Jamie Lee Curtis
2004 – Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film
2004 – Saturn Award for Best Actress to Jamie Lee Curtis
2004 – Saturn Award for Best Performance by a Younger Actor to Lindsay Lohan
2004 – Saturn Award for Best Writing to Heather Hach & Leslie Dixon
2004 – Critics Choice Award for Best Family Film – Live Action
2004 – Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards for Best Live Action Family Film
2004 – Teen Choice Awards for Choice Movie – Comedy
2004 – Young Artist Awards for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Leading Young Actress to Lindsay Lohan
2004 – Young Artist Awards for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Young Actor Age Ten or Younger to Ryan Malgarini