5 Great Body-Swap Comedies That Aren’t ‘Big’
They say you never know how someone else lives until you walk a mile in their shoes, and thanks to the growing catalog of body-swap films, we’ve been able to see that maxim play out on the big screen for decades now. These films are often filled with journeys of self-discovery or lessons about other people’s lived experiences. For example, in Penny Marshall’s body-swap classic Big, we begin to understand the drawbacks of accelerating one’s own life to become an adult as quickly as possible.
But despite all the serious issues these films bring to the table, body-swap movies are almost always comedies — it’s just too funny of a premise to be anything else. To that end, here are five comedies that may be smaller than Big, but are nevertheless outstanding (and hilarious) installments of the genre…
Christopher Landon, who has written his fair share of Paranormal Activities and will take a stab at the next Scream, figured out the best way for a serial killer to hide in plain sight — as a teenage girl. Freaky is a blend of Freaky Friday and Landon’s own Happy Death Day and sees the Blissfield Butcher and his latest victim unintentionally swap bodies thanks to a magical dagger.
13 Going on 30
Jennifer Garner had some big shoes to fill with 13 Going on 30, and for an entire generation of young girls, she was wildly successful. The film, which follows a wish-fulfillment premise like Big, stars Garner and Christa B. Allen as two versions of Jenna Rink, a young girl who just wants to grow up already. Her wish is the film’s command, and Garner takes the reins as 30-year-old Jenna with a 13-year-old mindset. Much like Big, Jenna winds up regretting her wish and just wants to be a kid again.
All of Me
A half of a body swapped is still a body swap in this 1980s comedy starring Lily Tomlin and Steve Martin. The cheekily-titled All of Me centers on a bedridden woman’s dying wish to have her soul transferred into the body of a young woman full of life. Unfortunately for Edwina, a mishap results in her soul ending up in the left side of her lawyer’s body. Thus begins a heartwarming tug-of-war played masterfully by Tomlin and Martin that takes their characters from enemies to friends and maybe more — so as long as Edwina gets a body of her own.
Heaven Can Wait
When the quarterback of the Los Angeles Rams (Warren Beatty) is prematurely killed thanks to an overzealous guardian angel, he’s forced to accept a body that’s not quite as Super Bowl-ready as the one he was used to. Again, not a traditional body-swap situation, but there is a transfer of souls (two, in fact), and the film was so good that it led to Beatty being the first and only person to receive Oscar nominations for producing, directing, acting and writing a single film.
Freaky Friday (2003)
A body swap so nice, it’s been done thrice. While 2003’s Freaky Friday isn’t the first time that Mary Rodgers’ novel of the same name was adapted for the big screen, it’s certainly the film that holds the most water out of the lot. Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan play a mother and daughter who couldn’t be more different — that is, until a magical fortune cookie makes them wake up living life as the other. The film is held in such high regard by an entire generation of once-angsty teens that Curtis and Lohan announced that they’re working on reuniting for an even freakier Friday in the future.