With the advent of the transaxle cars become more squished into the engine compartment than ever before. This model is actually one of the easier styles to do but still requires a lot of patience and a work by feel.
2001 does not have the "dog bone" style engine that your friend was describing to tilt the engine forward. This was the style.
For your application you will need a universal joint (wobbly) in 3/8" drive along with a 4 inch extension for your spark plug socket. Before trying to pull the plug wires straight off make sure you can rotate the rubber boot both directions about 180 degrees so it doesn't rip the insulation apart. Otherwise you'll be buying new wires.