Freaky Friday, 13 Going on 30 and 17 Again: What’s With These Teenagers?

Sharanya Kumar

The Fantastical Device of Body Swapping

Underneath all the clichés of hormone-fuelled angst, growing pains and that defiant sense of ‘it’s me against the world’ lies remarkable wisdom and a resilience that seems to be whittled away by the time one becomes a grown-up.

Freaky Friday: “High School Is Not That Hard”

Grown-ups in teenage bodies get much more of a reality check. The teenagers who find themselves trapped in adult bodies use their distinctive perspectives and experiences to negotiate the jaded world of adults

13 Going on 30: When Teenagers Are Better At Being Adults

Teenage Jenna in adult Jenna’s body starts fixing adult Jenna’s world, rectifying one mistake at a time. She reconciles with her parents and childhood best friend (Mark Ruffalo), and sincerely apologizes to everyone she has hurt at work.Her enthusiasm and joie de vivre endear Jenna to people she had previously alienated

17 Again: “I Grew Up and I Lost My Way”

Being a teenager shows Mike more of the world than he knew as a grown-up. By the end of the film, Mike has transformed back to his adult self, but he is happier, hopeful and more capable of dealing with the world around him because of his teenage self. He’s grown up by having grown younger.  

Teenage Insights Help Fix Adult Problems

Look a little closer at these body-swap films and the world of teenagers is revealed as more complex than adults would like to think. They make (mostly) good decisions and are able to undo the damage done by the grown-ups.