|13 GOING ON 30 (2004)|
Christa B. Allen
|"If you're going to lie about your age, I'd go with 27."|
|Time: 97 mins.|
Genre: Romantic Comedy
|SYNOPSIS: With the help of some magic wishing dust, 13 year-old Jenna Rink (Garner) becomes 30 and gorgeous overnight, with everything she ever wanted, except for her best friend Matt (Ruffalo). Now, this grown woman must create some magic of her own to help the little girl inside find the true love she left behind.
BOTTOM LINE: There's clearly something undeniable to both actors and audiences about these "kids trapped in the bodies of their adults selves" films or they wouldn't keep making them. Though this is certainly not as poignant and clever as BIG, it is one of the better entries into the genre thanks to the immense charm of Jennifer Garner. She jumps into her role wholeheartedly and really makes you believe she's a naive girl in that all-woman body. This is key to the success of this film, since the script is really nothing all that new. Most of us can relate to the embarrassing incident at the hands of the popular kids that forces Jenna to desperately wish she was cool. What she fails to realize is the repurcussions on her future that years of being selfish and coldhearted, i.e. cool, will bring. What's annoying/scary about this message, especially for the young girls watching this film, is that it proposes the theory that to be successful you can't be nice. Granted if she was a decent person, her character would have nothing to learn and would already be with the man she loved instead of forced to fight for him. For those who came of age in the late 80s, the story's throwbacks to that era provide a nice walk down memory lane and assuredly a whole lot of laughs for younger viewers. Garner and Ruffalo have nice chemistry, making both the friendship and romantic angles work equally well. All in all, a pleasant trip down lover's lane.