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Comedy / Family
2020 / 104 minutes
Rating: 6/10

In this Christian spin on Freaky Friday, Cassandra Evans is the brilliant nerdy girl who gets her wish, to have the most popular, and meanest, girl in school, Katie Sharp, learn what it’s like to live a day in Cassandra’s shoes. Yup, this is a body-swapping movie!

Cassandra makes her wish after getting pranked by Katie Sharp – the bully doused her victim with a bag full of sour milk and then posted the video for her 4 million social media followers to see. Cassandra goes home in tears and then prays to God that Katie could really understand what it’s like to be on the other side of her videos. The next morning it happens, the two of them waking up in each others beds… and bodies.

Now the two foes now having to negotiate how to live out each others’ lives while they’re waiting for their bodies to swap back. Cassandra has an upcoming audition to get into the Julliard school of music, and Katie has a daily schedule of videos that her parents force her to make.

Adult viewers will anticipate that the lessons are going to go both ways. Yes, Katie begins to learn how painful it is to be bullied, but Cassandra also learns that Katie’s life isn’t as idyllic as it seemed from the outside: bullies sometimes have problems of their own. And it is no spoiler at all to say that by film’s end, the two of them have become the best of buddies.


At one point Cassandra’s mom reminds her that she’s to love others as she loves herself, so she better start loving herself. But Matthew 12:31 doesn’t command self-love; it is instead premised on the fact that we do all love ourselves. (Even when we say we hate some part of ourselves, that’s self-love still – we’re disappointed because we aren’t as beautiful as we think we really should be.) That’s just a passing mention though, and the encouragement to love others, even when they make it difficulty, is much more than point of the film.

When it comes to being bullied, Cassandra is given different advice by friends and family, and as parents we will need to sort through with our kids when they should go to teachers, when they should stand up for themselves, and when they should just ignore the bullying. The film doesn’t really answer that dilemma, as it is solved here with a body-swap, which isn’t an option open to the rest of us.


The first fifteen minutes – where Cassandra is worried about her audition and her popularity, and then gets bullied by Katie – will be hard for sensitive souls in this film’s tween/early teen target audience. But after Cassandra and Katie switch bodies, the hijinks are likely to grab them.

Production values are decent, and the acting generally okay – this is slightly better than the average among Christian fare – so the main reason it scored just a 6 is because it is cliched. To the producers’ credit, they know the whole body-swapping thing has been done before (Freaky Friday,  The Shaggy Dog) so they lean into the cliche and run with it: we’ve got the nerdy girl with glasses who is wicked smart, and the mean popular girl who is all about make-up and fashion. Cassandra’s mom is the nicest mom ever, and Katie Sharp’s parents are so obsessed with worldly success that they’ve both quit their jobs so they can manage their daughters social media rise. If it all wasn’t so deliberately over the top it’d be dreadful. As it is, the cliches still get to me a bit… but I am not the target audience, and I might be rating this lower than they would.

All in all, this reminded me of a Disney Channel TV movie that I would have liked as a kid, but wouldn’t have watched over and over. Check out the trailer below for a good taste of what to expect.

The same production company also made Identity Crisis, about a shy girl cloning a more confident copy of herself. It has the same vibe, and is also well intended, and comes from an explicitly Christian worldview, but it ends up unintentionally portraying confidence as being bubbly and going on shopping trips with the girls. So it didn’t quite warrant a review. Still, it was generally… safe, so if you liked this one, you might want to check it out too.

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Family, Movie Reviews

Back of the Net

Sports / Family 2019 / 86 minutes Rating: 7/10 Cory Bailey is an American teen science nerd whose next stop is a semester-long trip on a research ship departing from Sydney, Australia. But after arriving at the Sydney Airport, she boards the wrong school bus, and ends up on the wrong campus. Now instead of spending a term studying aquatic life, she's at a soccer academy. And she's never played before in her life. Adults are going to be able to predict where this is going right from the get-go, but no worries mate, because they aren't the target audience. And the pre-teens this is aimed at are going to enjoy Cory's fish-out-of-water experience. This is really just a light, feel-good film, with Cory going from friendless to gaining a bunch of bosom buddies. There's also a charming jock who doesn't really get science, but can appreciate Cory's passion. The Australian accents and scenery also add to the appeal. There is a villain, of course, but even rich girl Edie isn't all that nasty. She's really just misunderstood, don't you see? Cautions The cautions here are mostly of the too-good-to-be-true nature of the story. Cory might have been a fish-out-of-water to start, but by film's end, everything has turned up roses, and in every possible way. Adults will know this isn't realistic, but the pre-teens might need a reminder that even as confidence can often be key, "believing in yourself" isn't some kind of miraculous guarantee of victory. Another concern is the budding romance between Cory and a very nice boy. While there's just one peck on the lips exchanged (and another attempted kiss), Cory's friends do a fair amount of "ooooh"ing to tease Cory. Sure, it's funny, but parents may want to point out that it's also just plain silly: these kids are too young to be thinking of marriage, so they don't need to (and shouldn't be trying to) contend with all the drama that comes with dating. The other cautions include three instances of "Oh my gosh," and a beach scene in which two boys are shirtless (though in long shorts). Conclusion Back of the Net strikes me as a cross between one of the better Hallmark films and an old-school Disney TV movie, or in other words, a sweet if predictable story, with decent production values and pretty good acting. Pre-teen girls will love it, and the rest of us won't mind it. ...