The 10 Most Heartwarming Body-Swap Comedy Movies

The best Body-swap comedies can be romantic or terrifying, but mostly they are played for laughs. Strictly speaking, a body-swap movie is one where there is an exchange between two people. However, the term is also applied to movies where characters become a different (usually older or younger) version of themselves. They provide actors with the opportunity to play completely against type – and, often, against age or gender. While there’s usually plenty of wackiness and hi-jinks in body-swap comedies, there are also frequently moments of real tenderness and emotion.


The process is, after all, a transformative experience. By inhabiting someone else’s body, the characters, inevitably learn important truths about themselves. These body-swap movies also offer a lot of attraction to top-name actors, solely for the chance to act outside their wheelhouse and try out someone else’s shoes. Names like Tom Hanks, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jennifer Garner, and Ryan Reynolds have taken their turn in these body-swap comedies in both original movies as well as remakes of classics, as this is a genre that has been around for decades.

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10 The Hot Chick (2002)

Rent On Prime Video & Apple TV

Jessica (Rachel McAdams) in The Hot Chick drew the short straw when it comes to body-swap situations. Usually, characters exchange bodies with someone they know, but Jessica does so with a stranger called Clive, a petty thief played by Rob Schneider. Jessica struggles to cope with living in Clive’s body. Having coasted through life on her beauty and popularity, she has to deal with the harsh reality of no longer being a ‘hot chick.’ It is heart-warming to see how supportive Jessica’s friends are about the situation. This is one of the best body-swap comedies about female solidarity, even if one of the girls is a thirty-something man.

9 Here Comes The Bride (2010)

Rent On Prime Video & Apple TV

In this Filipino body-swap comedy, there aren’t just two people swapping bodies, there are five of them. Bride-to-be Stefanie, cut-throat lawyer Percy, timid nanny Madelyn, wealthy Grandpa Bien, and camp beautician Toffee are all shunted into one another’s bodies the night before Stefanie’s wedding. They can’t return to their bodies until the next eclipse in two years, so they move into Grandpa Bien’s house to take care of one another. It is heartwarming to watch the five characters bond. While waiting, they watch movies together including The Hot Chick, Big, and Freaky Friday, making it possibly the only body-swap comedy to acknowledge the existence of the best body-swap comedies.

8 The Change-Up (2011)

In The Change-Up, friends Dave (Jason Bateman) and Mitch (Ryan Reynolds) have to navigate life in one another’s bodies when they are switched after urinating in a magic fountain. Dave is a family man with an important job while Mitch is a bachelor who doesn’t take life seriously. The experience gives Dave and Mitch a new appreciation of their own and each other’s lives. The loveliest moment of the film is when Dave, finally back in his own body, is reunited with his children. The character’s love for his son and daughters is evident and heartwarming, making this one of the best body-swap comedies.

7 It’s A Boy Girl Thing (2006)

Stream now on Prime Video

Neighbors Woody (Kevin Zegers) and Nell (Samaire Armstrong) have nothing in common. Nell is shy and bookish, while Woody only cares about sports and having a good time. They dislike each other and are horrified when an argument in front of a statue of an Aztec god leads to them swapping bodies. The pair start off trying to sabotage one another’s lives but realize they will only get their bodies back if they help each other. The relationship between Woody and Nell evolves from animosity to grudging acceptance to friendship to love. It’s heartwarming to watch how the pair appreciate one another for who they are.

6 17 Again (2009)

Rent On Prime Video & Apple TV

Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) is middle-aged and fed up. His wife has left, and his kids don’t want anything to do with him. So when he is magically transformed back to his 17-year-old self (Zac Efron), he figures he can do it over and get it right this time. Initially, he just wants to be the popular jock he used to be in high school. However, when he discovers his son is being bullied and his daughter is in a controlling relationship, he finds a way to help. 17 Again provides laughs, but, at its core, it has a heartwarming message as one of the best body-swap comedies.

5 Freaky Friday (2003)

Stream On Disney+

Being a teenager is hard and being the mother of a teenager is even harder. When 15-year-old Anna (Lindsay Lohan) and her mom Tess (Jamie Lee Curtis) switch bodies, they discover this for themselves. After walking a mile in one another’s shoes, Tess and Anna have a newfound respect and admiration for each other. Anna (in her mom’s body) makes a speech at Tess’s rehearsal dinner in which she lays bare her feelings and welcomes her mom’s fiancé into the family. It’s a wonderfully heartwarming moment in one of the best body-swap comedies that is all about accepting people as they are.

4 All Of Me (1984)

Edwina (Lily Tomlin) is dying and arranged to have her soul transferred into another body. There’s one snag. Due to a mix-up, she ends up in the body of lawyer Roger (Steve Martin) – while he’s still in there. This is both a hilariously funny movie and a heartwarming one. Roger and Edwina already hated one another and are horrified at having to share a body. But the pair have to work together, and as they get to know each other, a close friendship develops. By the end of one of the best body-swap comedies, it has blossomed into love.

3 13 Going On 30 (2004)

2004’s 13 Going On 30 is one of the best body-swap comedies about being careful what you wish for. Thirteen-year-old Jenna wishes to be “Thirty, flirty and thriving.” She wakes up the following day as an adult (Jennifer Garner) in a swanky apartment with all of her teenage dreams come true. Although she has a cool job and designer handbags, there’s one thing that adult Jenna hasn’t got. And that’s her childhood best friend Matt (Mark Ruffalo), who, in this reality, she lost touch with seventeen years ago. Watching Jenna and Matt rekindle their childhood friendship is the most heartwarming aspect of this movie.

2 Your Name (2016)

Rent On Prime Video & Apple TV

Two teenagers intermittently swap bodies with one another. While this is not really a comedy, it’s heartwarming, and one of the best body-swap comedies. This is a story of love, memory, and loss. Taki and Mitsuha grow close to one another due to their shared experiences even though they are separated by more than just geographical distance. There are plenty of heartwarming – and heartbreaking – moments here, particularly when Taki learns the truth about Mitsuha’s village and tries to do the right thing. The scene when both characters simultaneously say the words “Your Name” is a beautiful, emotional moment that audiences will find hard to forget.

1 Big (1988)

Stream now on Disney+ & Hulu

When 12-year-old Josh gets magically changed into an adult version of himself (Tom Hanks), he has to navigate a whole new world of adult responsibilities. Luckily he has the help of his best friend, Billy. There are many great moments, like the boys celebrating Josh’s first payday with candy and silly string and Josh’s dream apartment complete with a soda machine and trampoline. Although the relationship between Josh and his adult girlfriend Susan (Elizabeth Perkins) is troubling to modern audiences, their goodbye scene on the deserted pier is a tearjerker. Big is one of the most heartwarming of the best body-swap comedies ever made.

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