School girl Annabel is hassled by her mother, and Mrs. Andrews is annoyed with her daughter, Annabel. They both think that the other has an easy life. On a normal Friday morning, both complain about each other and wish they could have the easy life of their daughter/mother for just one day and their wishes come true as a bit of magic puts Annabel in Mrs. Andrews' body and vice versa. They both have a Freaky Friday.
Okay watch, probably won't watch again, and can't recommend. It was interesting to see a young Jodie Foster... While I appreciate this popularizing (I'm still not convinced it birthed) a trope of "body swapping", it seems very uninspired: as if they said, "Wouldn't it be great if a kid and a parent swapped?" and then just stopped coming up with ideas. It was honestly very jarring on both swaps, the latter being honestly confusing (despite having addressed it directly). The movie made me realize how difficult it would be to swap places and attempt to "be" that person without a shred of preparation. I'm sure that's a bad sign as I should be more entertained by the novelty or adversity of the situation, but no. It's not that its a bad movie, there's a lot going on, a lot of it decent, but it's very dated. Even the action in it is a little awkward, but I certainly see why people in 1976 would have been impressed with this. On the other hand, I don't imagine people were talking about it for very long. There is a lot of thought narration that occurs, which isn't very engaging, and most of the engaging humor is cheap physical humor of "what's going to go wrong this time" so you're not engaged very long and the impression doesn't hold. The part of the movie that is actually rather good is the substance of teaching everyone to appreciate everyone else in the family, but we really took "walk a mile in his shoes" to an extreme here. There are more palatable ways to express the concept, and more movies that use this trope. I honestly suggest the 2003 version over this one, it's just not very memorable.
Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster are superb in 'Freaky Friday'! Having only seen the 2003 remake, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this 1976 original. In short, I loved it. It's funny and charming, a real shining light in Disney's live-action stuff from the 1970s. They only give you a snippet of Ellen (Harris) and Annabel (Foster) in their actual state, before switching it up, but it's more than enough to set up how the characters should act versus how they then act. The two leads are utterly fantastic, they both boss their respective roles. It's easy to forget they're acting as their opposing characters in moments, which is very impressive. Obviously a load of the story elements are outdated in terms of gender roles etc., but even when that stuffs occurs the film - at least in my interpretation - sniggers at it - especially with Bill (John Astin). The actual comedic moments remain amusing. I enjoyed this way more than I would've predicted, I haven't watched the '03 production in an incredibly long time so look forward to seeing how it compares to this. A great film, elevated by Harris and Foster.