Anna Coleman’s life is far from perfect or as easy as her mother thinks it is but when you are a successful and extremely busy psychiatrist like Dr. Tess Coleman her children’s life is a vacation.
In addition to her successful practice and her book sales on the rise Tess is trying to plan her wedding despite a patient who needs constantly daily attention.
Anna and Tess’ lives are going in two very different directions and how Tess sees Anna’s life, the same can be said for how Anna sees Tess. She thinks that Tess as an adult has all of the power and could have less stress if she didn’t worry about every single thing.
Enter the ancient Chinese mythos.
As they prepare for a pre-rehearsal dinner at their favorite Chinese restaurant Anna and Tess argue about a once in a lifetime opportunity to play in a battle of the bands at their local House of Blues. The only problem is that its happening the same night and the very same time as Tess’ rehearsal dinner. As Tess’ maid of honor and daughter she expects her to be there for her. Anna’s friends do not understand why she can’t skip it and Anna even tries to make a compromise with her mother that she’d leave for a few minutes, play, and return.
Tess will have nothing of it and claims Anna is selfish. Anna accuses Tess of never caring or supporting her music. The mother of the owner of the Chinese restaurant tricks them into opening an enchanted fortune cookie.
They are the only two that really feel the earthquake. Nothing happens until the next day when Tess, an early riser as usual doesn’t know why she’s in Anna’s room. She’s a little freaked out when she looks at her hair and nails before rushing to her own room and forcing Anna to get out of bed.
Anna in Tess’ body exclaims, “Ugh I’m like the Crypt Keeper!”
They try everything, including meditation to attempt to switch bodies but its not until they truly realize that both of their lives are important and not as easy as the other thinks do they finally realize how to change back.
Tess finally believes Anna’s tales of getting F’s in English because her teacher for some reason hates her. In Anna’s body, Tess realizes that Anna’s teacher, Mr. Bates is a former class mate of hers and holds a grudge against Anna for Tess refusing to go to the prom with him. She condemns his treatment of Anna by telling him, “Eldon Bates….you asked me…my mom to prom and she turned you down. Let it go, man. It was a high school dance. She had a boyfriend and you were weird.”
She then threatens him with the school board if he continues to take his rejection fueled anger out on Anna anymore.
When Tess’ fiancé Ryan, (Mark Harmon) refuses to be the bad guy and tells Anna to go play the concert, then sends Tess off to watch, things begin to change. Anna in Tess’ body unplugs the guitar and plays the guitar solo while her mom acts like Keith Richards. Then Tess in Anna’s body tells her that she can’t ask her to marry Ryan in her place since she is only 15 they both cry.
Anna then makes a sacrifice for her mom telling the guests and Ryan’s parents that they had to realize what the other felt. That Tess needed to know that Ryan would never replace her dad but if they made a little room then they could make a new, cool, little family unit.
It is this final act that iniates the change. We are then rewarded with a glimpse of Tess and Ryan’s wedding. Anna’s band is asked to play and they play “Ultimate You.”