I Rewatched 'Freaky Friday' With My Tween Daughter, & Now I Need A Fortune Cookie

As my daughter enters her tween years, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about when she was a baby. I’d spend hours snuggling with her, and I’d tell myself to appreciate it because one day she’d grow up. Now she’s busy with school and friends, and honestly, we spend too much time arguing. But all of the talk surrounding Disney’s highly anticipated Freaky Friday sequel, once again starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis, got me thinking. Feeling inspired, I invited my daughter to watch the original with me. I figured it might spur a conversation about empathy.

The movie follows Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis), who is focused on her imminent wedding and overwhelming career, while her daughter Anna (Lindsay Lohan) is dealing with high school issues like a new crush, a bully teacher, and her rock band. The two clash constantly over their conflicting interests.

When the mother-daughter duo is arguing at a Chinese restaurant, the owner gives them each a fortune cookie that causes them to switch bodies. Only an act of “selfless love” can switch them back.

The first challenge for Anna is being nice to her little brother, Harry, now that she is in her mother’s body. Anna typically fights with Harry because he sneaks into her room and pesters her. He’s clearly desperate for her attention, but she always responds with anger. In her mother’s body, she goes to Harry’s parent-teacher conference and reads his paper, “Why My Big Sister’s The Greatest.” He writes that Anna is an amazing guitar player but is not very nice to him. Anna decides to change.

Folks, let’s take a moment to reflect on insane sibling rivalry. My kids argue about dumb, irrelevant crap like “The green cup belongs to me; you can’t use it” and “Mom!!! He touched me!!!” Sometimes, this drama rages all day long, and by dinnertime, I’m ready to bang my head against the wall or drink a bottle of wine.

I’ll be honest: Watching this movie didn’t make my daughter more compassionate towards her brother, but it did give me a fantastic idea. Next time my kids argue, they will be writing essays on “Why My Sibling’s The Greatest.” Thank you, Disney.

While Anna is learning to appreciate her brother, Tess is feeling cocky as she goes back to high school. She is confident that she can repair Anna’s broken friendships, rack up a high score on a test, and avoid the bad-boy crush. Well, you guessed it — Tess fails at everything.

Tess’s experience reminded me how hard it is to go to school. Whenever my daughter opens up about friend issues, tough teachers, or an overwhelming workload, I tend to look at the situation from the perspective of a 38-year-old woman. I’m realizing that support and a sympathetic ear are far more valuable.

As the day goes on, Tess is under pressure from Anna’s band to play a once-in-a-lifetime gig. Unfortunately, the show is scheduled for the same time as Tess’s wedding rehearsal dinner. This situation is equally challenging for Anna, who must pretend to be her mom at the wedding rehearsal. Imagine cozying up to your future stepdad!

But future stepdad comes to everyone’s rescue when he hears about the gig — he sends both women to the concert. At the show, Tess finally recognizes her daughter’s talent and bravery.

It may seem ridiculous that Tess didn’t notice this earlier, but I can totally understand how she missed it. The lady is juggling work, two kids, grief from losing her husband, and wedding plans. I cannot simultaneously cook dinner and listen to my kids tell a knock-knock joke without losing my mind! At some point, every mom will miss a big moment or forget to give praise. So, when we can be fully present for our kids, we have to make it count.

When Tess and Anna return from the rehearsal dinner, Tess is ready to call off the wedding, but Anna steps in to ensure it moves forward. At this point, there has been a lot of selfless love flying around, so they end up switching back to their own bodies.

As the credits rolled, I turned to my daughter to chat with her about empathy, but she had already started playing Roblox on a cell phone. Disappointed, I told her she needed to wait to use the phone because I wanted to talk about the movie. Things did not go well from there.

Ultimately, I came away from the experience comforted to know that many families struggle to relate to each other. Sure, watching one Disney movie isn’t a quick fix, but it’s a nice reminder that we can slow down and be more considerate.

I’ve also decided that if the lady at a Chinese restaurant offers me a fortune cookie to switch places with my daughter for a day, I’m grabbing that cookie and cracking it open.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top