FBMR - 13 Going On 30
Film-Buff Movie Reviews

13 GOING ON 30 (2004) ***

Being a hopeless romantic myself, I love a good romantic comedy. And this one’s pretty good. It has characters you care for and root for to be happy and speak to the screen to when they do something that they shouldn’t. It has effective antagonists, and some funny side characters.

Jenna is a girl whose wish to be 30 comes true and she’s transported into the body of her 30 year old self several years into the future, thanks to some magic wishing powder. Jennifer Garner is the 30 year old Jenna and she does a terrific job acting like a 13 year old without it looking too over the top. I truly believed that she was a 13 year old trapped in a 30 year old’s body. Equally good was Mark Ruffalo’s performance as her (now 30 year old) next-door neighbour.

Similar to BIG, it’s interesting to see what it might be like for a teen to be in an adult’s body and world. It was funny, too. But in contrast to BIG, where Tom Hank’s character ages over night, Jenna is simply placed into the 30 year old version of herself in the future. Everyone around her has grown up in 17 years, she included until she wakes up and she’s “thirteen” again. The main problem I had with this movie was how anyone could believe that she’s telling the truth and accept that she’s a thirteen year old when just the previous day she was her 30 year-old-self. Luckily, there aren’t too many people who really have to know.

It was also interesting for Jenna to see what kind of person she has become in those 17 years that she’d “fastfowarded”, and whether there were things she wished she could change, and how if changed that might change the future.

A sweet little movie without being too sugary, with a positive message.