Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

Native Americans have a saying, "If you want to understand my world, walk a mile in my moccasins." Although never quoted directly, this proverb provides the foundation for Freaky Friday—with a twist. Take two very different people. Have them not only swap footgear, but trade entire bodies. Watch the sparks fly … then the empathy … and eventually the bonding.

Dr. Tess Coleman is a workaholic, psychiatrist who's just days away from her wedding (her first husband died years earlier). Her somewhat wild and flamboyant (teenage) daughter, Anna, is a guitarist/vocalist for a garage rock band called Pink Slip (think Avril Lavigne meets No Doubt). The group has been given a big break—a chance to perform at the House of Blues. However, Pink Slip’s time slot coincides with Mom's rehearsal dinner. Big problem! Although deep down, Tess and Anna care for each other, both are so absorbed in their own little worlds that compromise and reason are out of the question. So they argue, take relational shortcuts and have all but canceled genuine communication. It’s easier for Tess to remove Anna’s bedroom door as a punishment than talk to her. It’s easier for Anna to shut out Tess’ fiancé than to get to know him.

Enter the owner of a Chinese restaurant who overhears mother and daughter bickering. She employs a bit of magic—via fortune cookies—that initiates a body swap at the stroke of midnight. Of course, after waking the next morning, Tess and Anna are both appalled by their transformation. Anna is anguished over being "old." Tess stresses about how Anna (in her body) is going to handle her patients. Both worry about how to change back.

At first, empathy is overshadowed by selfishness. Anna "treats" her mother’s body to a new haircut and wardrobe compliments of Mom's credit cards. Tess, in Anna’s body, tries to mend a rift with a rival, unconcerned about possible social consequences. While predictable, there are lots of laughs as the pair navigate—and eventually learn about—each other’s ups and downs, life and loves.

positive elements: When any individual takes the time to walk in someone else's shoes, growing closer is inevitable. In Freaky Friday, it’s not a deliberate decision—it just happens. But the results are positive as the mother-daughter battling eventually evolves into mother-daughter appreciation. It’s expected. But still sweet and tender. When Tess’ fiancé, Ryan, believes he is entering not only a marriage, but a relationship that involves an entire family (with a future step-daughter who is less than thrilled about it) he’s admirably willing to call it off.

spiritual content: Anna refers to her mother’s outfit as "cute ... if you’re selling Bibles!" The implication is, obviously, that Bible sellers (and readers?) are socially inept. The fortune cookie-powered body swap is said to work because of "Asian voodoo." Tess is briefly featured in a yoga pose, meditating while doing her nails.

sexual content: In Tess’ body (with a rear camera angle), Anna is seen pulling up her pants over thong underwear. Tess, in her daughter’s body, briefly grabs her breasts and backside when she discovers the body swap, declaring, "That’s not mine—these are definitely not mine!" (A similar scene takes place toward the movie’s end.) In Tess’ body, Anna listens to a patient worrying that her daughter may be "doing it" (fortunately, it’s a concern!). Anna (in Tess' body) autographs a fan’s derrière. Following the body swap, high school heartthrob Jake inexplicably begins to neglect Anna (who is really Tess now) in favor of spending time with her mom (who is now Anna). He's clueless about the swap, so watching Mom's body riding around on the back of his motorcycle while hugging him endearingly raises the cringe factor a bit. Taunting her, Anna’s little brother wraps one of her bras around his clothed chest. Anna retaliates by pulling a pair of underwear over his head. Several women wear low-cut dresses. On a more positive note, Tess rebukes Anna for dressing like "a little harlot."

violent content: Distracted while driving, Tess has a minor wreck that deploys an airbag. Anna deliberately decks a rival teammate while serving a volleyball. Tess (in Anna's body) knocks a guy into a tree to silence a serenade. Tess' fiancé verbally (although not seriously) threatens Grandpa ("Don’t make me hurt you").

crude or profane language: God’s name is misused a handful of times. For Anna, a lot of things are said to "suck," while other coarse phrases and profanities pop up only occasionally ("We’re screwed!," "I’m gonna barf," "h---").

drug and alcohol content: The rehearsal dinner features an open bar and it’s assumed adults consume as part of the festivities. But drinking is not showcased or glamorized.

other negative elements: Tess allows Anna to talk back to her—sometimes while yelling. While it allows viewers to understand their degree of separation, it’s unnerving. Harry disrespectfully refers to his grandfather as an "old fart" and teases him about being scared of a perceived-as-real earthquake. Anna and Jake agree that the Hives are "awesome." (This is a band that in real life isn’t squeaky clean. Lyrics include, "I got a greeting, can’t say what it’s all about, but my middle finger is gonna carry it out.") Anna declares, "I hate teachers." In some instances, lies are told rather than divulge the body swap (e.g., Anna says she’s been looking for an earring when she’s actually been chatting with Jake). Inside Anna’s body, Tess discovers her daughter has had her belly button pierced without permission.

conclusion: Trading bodies is not a new concept to Hollywood. Besides the original Freaky Friday (1976), films such as 18 Again, Like Father Like Son and Prelude to a Kiss have all gone there. Therefore, most viewers will have the plot nailed within the first 10 minutes: Mother and daughter are growing apart. Abracadabra. Switcheroo. Then they realize the error of their ways. Switch back. Instant bonding. But it’s neither suspense nor surprise that make this film work. It’s observing how a 15-year-old girl suddenly transformed into an adult professional on the brink of matrimony handles 24 hours of motherhood. And likewise, it’s watching a fortysomething psychiatrist/writer instantly become a rock guitarist (albeit without the talent) and re-handle a day of high school. It's cheesy, but it works. And while there are a few content molehills, there are no mountains.

What Freaky Friday delivers is a wealth of after-the-movie discussion items without wading through things that often trip up teen films (strong sexuality, nudity, gratuitous violence, vulgarity, etc.). For instance: "Since no one can really swap bodies, how can people—especially of different generations—empathize and ultimately better understand each other’s differences?" Even the caveats are worth dialoging about. "Is there power in fortune cookies/voodoo? Or is this just Hollywood?" I would also suggest some discourse about appropriate means of expressing frustration within a family without resorting to the Tess-Anna way. Sharing shelf space with The Princess Diaries and What a Girl Wants, Freaky Friday isn’t Oscar material or brilliant filmmaking, but it’s funny, generally clean and pro-family.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range





Jamie Lee Curtis as Dr. Tess Coleman; Lindsay Lohan as Anna Coleman; Harold Gould as Grandpa; Chad Murray as Jake; Mark Harmon as Ryan


Mark Waters ( )


Disney/Buena Vista



Record Label



In Theaters

On Video

Year Published


We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!