Saturday, July 21, 2012

Freaky Friday

Bibliographic Information: Gunn, A. [Producer], & Waters, M. [Director].  (2003).  Freaky friday [Motion Picture]. USA: Walt Disney Pictures.

Plot Summary: Dr. Anna Coleman and her 15 year old daughter, Tess, are constantly butting heads and can't seem to agree on any subject. Anna is forever miffed by her daughter's rebellious style and irritating rock band aspirations, while Tess can't understand why her mother needs to act so stuffy and remarry. One night they go out to Chinese food and end up in another uproarious argument. Overhearing their squabble, the restaurant host sneaks them magical fortune cookies. Soon after breaking into the cookies an earthquake is felt, foreshadowing disruptive events to come.

The next day both Anna and Tess wake up shockingly discovering that they have switched bodies. This sets off a series of comedic events that force both Anna and Tess to understand a little bit more about why they are the people that they are. This twist of events finally engenders some understanding between the two fighting groups.

Critical Evaluation: The theme of Freaky Friday is one of changing views in order to understand other people better. This theme manifests in Freaky Friday as the characters literally change bodies. This forces them to deal with each other's problems and everyday dilemmas like never before. This essentially forces them to change their views of each other and to be more sensitive about what each has to deal with. The fortune cookie triggering their physical change is not in itself enough for them to change their views, but seeing the world through each other's eyes is really what makes the difference.

This theme is a very important when it comes to teens and their parents. Often time teens are not able to understand why their parents do what they do. Similarly, parents frequently do not understand their teens. These kinds of misunderstandings make being close very difficult. The only solution often is to try to understand each other a little bit better, to change their point of view of each other's lives, and to not make assumptions. For Anna and Tess, the fortune cookie makes this possible.  

Freaky Friday

 Reader’s Annotation: One little fortune cookies forces mother and daughter to understand each other a little bit more as they frantically learn to walk in each other's shoes.
Information About the Director: Mark Waters was born June 30, 1964 in South Bend, Indiana (Tribute, 2012). He attended the University of Pennsylvania and spent time studying theater (Tribute, 2012). Waters graduated in 1986 and soon after moved to San Francisco (Tribute, 2012). Waters' first movie success was House of Yes in 1997 (Tribute, 2012).

Some other films by Waters: Head over heels (2001), Freaky Friday (2003), Just Like Heaven (2005), 
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009) (Tribute, 2012). Waters received the Franklin J. Schaffner Award by the American Film Institute (Tribute, 2012).
Science Fiction,

Curriculum Ties: Ties into a lesson on inter-generational relationships.

Booktalking Ideas:

1). Does switching bodies give Anna and Tess a better sense of each other's points of view?
2). What kind of magical do the fortune cookies bring to the story?

3). Do Anna and Tess have a typical relationship?

Reading Level/Interest Age: 15+

Challenge Issues: No challenge issues. If any issues arise I will use the following materials to defend this item:

1) Refer to Library Bill of Rights, see items: I, II, and III (
2) Refer to San Diego Public Library collection policy - (  Original site: The American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read/View Statement (
3) Refer to California School Library Association (CSLA), Model School Library Standards - September 2010 ( PDF: (
4) Refer t0 American Association for School, Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner (
5) Contact Office of Intellectual Freedom for any further support, 800-545-2433, ext. 4223 or
6) Refer to legitimate book reviews, such as: School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book and others; found on either Academic Search Premier, Follett's TITLEWAVE, or

Why did you include this movie in the titles you selected?:
I included this item in my collection because it highlights important elements of relationship building between teens and their parents. Although this movie does have a science fiction component, it still reflects some of the issues that the modern day teen faces when trying to reach out to their parents (and vice versa).

Reference Page:  (2012).  Mark Waters biography.  Retrieved July 15, 2012 from

cover art:

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