When the interwebs inform you of important things, like the anniversary of certain “iconic” movies, you sit up and pay attention. One of these important notices includes 13 Going on 30, so naturally, I popped my disc (yes I do own DVDs) into the computer and settled in for all the nostalgia.
13 Going on 30 (2004) Film Review
Being 13 is a milestone for Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen), but all she really wants is to be cool as a “30, flirty and thriving” adult. Or as her popular fashion magazines promise to be the best years. When her birthday party goes horribly wrong, Jenna (Jennifer Garner) wakes up in a reality where she is exactly this, at least in all ways save for her mind. She has the job, the wardrobe, the apartment and the good-looking guy, but for her, yesterday she literally was just 13, and now she doesn’t know how she got here. This inspires her to track down her best friend, Matt (Mark Ruffalo).
What Jenna doesn’t realize is that Matt is no longer her best friend. He too is all grown up, but unlike Jenna, he remembers the in-between years with vivid clarity. Jenna became the person she always wanted to be as Matt moved on. Now the question is, if Jenna could do anything different, what choice would she make?
Honestly, I don’t remember the first time I saw this film. I know it was quite some time ago, but the “when” alludes me. What I do know is that I fell head over heels for it that first time and I haven’t stopped liking it since. There’s something so joyful and sweet about this film. It has, obviously, a child-like persona that fits in with the script and acting with ease so that everything works together rather than a part of it working against something.
There’s a kind of “magic” in this film. I’m not entirely sure what its components are, but it’s here (and I am here for it) and it’s lovely. One of the things I’m most happy about while watching this is how Jennifer Garner captures 13-year-old Jenna in a 30-year-olds body perfectly. She has that wispy little-girl wonder, but also has this knack to show how Janna matures in her situation. All in pursuit of making the right choices in her present. She and Mark Ruffalo have a nice innocent chemistry that works to the advantage of their characters, both from the past, and current timeline. Judy Greer is also pretty funny in this though not in the best form as a character this go-round.
One of the best things about this script is the emphasis on choice, and how we react to the choices we make. To learn from mistakes is the only way to understand the weight of choices, and so long as we do learn from them, we can appreciate the privilege of choice better. While this film is primarily just a good time, the fact that it weaves some compelling life lessons in is to be commended. That said, this is all about good feelings and cute moments, and the entire film plays this up with sass, including an end to make us smile.
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details. If you have purchased anything through our links, thank you. We’re grateful.)‘13 Going on 30’ is “Sweet Sixteen” and Just as Fun! A review (+content information) of the 2004 comedy with Jennifer Garner. #Movies #Throwback #WhattoWatch #JenniferGarner Click To Tweet
Content: there’s some sexual content like Jenna finding a naked man in her apartment, and being disgusted when he has a different idea of playing “games” (she thinks board games). She also tries to figure out what the lingerie wear in her closet is; and she makes a bit of a deal about the changes to her body. There’s an extra-marital affair reference and various other sexual references (male anatomy). There’s some profanity. The film rates PG-13.