I have been SO looking forward to this movie and was thrilled when my local theater offered a sneak peak this past Saturday.
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13 Going On 30 is a story for chicks (mostly). If you've seen the trailers and it makes you think of the movie, Big, well then - you wouldn't be too far off of the mark.
It's 1987. Jenna Rink has just turned thirteen and is SO excited about her birthday party. With Rick Springfield blaring in the background (MTV on the television - naturally), Jenna dreams about being popular, having a boyfriend, and growing boobs overnight. The magazine she reads cover to cover - Poise - tells her that thirty is a great age and she decides that it must be because 13 isn't all that its cracked up to be.
Her best friend and next door neighbor, Matt, is a geeky, overweight, photo-nerd who can never seem to escape the wrath of the "Six Chicks". These are the girls that Jenna craves to hang with and she does just about anything to get into their good graces.
At her birthday party, one of the Six Chicks, Lucy, suggests that Jenna go into the closet for a round of seven minutes of heaven. When Jenna goes into the closet, Lucy and the chicks take the rest of the people and leave. Matt returns and Lucy tells him that Jenna is waiting for him in the closet. Matt, who has had a huge crush on Jenna forever, is moments away from kissing her, when she discovers that she's been duped. Upset, she throws the dream house that Matt has built her - at him - and returns to the closet, devastated by what has occurred. She wishes that she was thirty and flirty. Magic dust falls on her and the next thing she knows, it's 2004.
Jenna (Jennifer Garner) wakes up to find herself with boobs, a naked boyfriend, and a job as an editor at Poise.
And guess who is an editor with her at Poise? That's right, Lucy. Apparently, they became best friends in high school and both made it into top positions at the magazine.
Confused, Jenna seeks out Matt (Mark Ruffalo). Matt and Jenna went separate ways, shortly after that thirteenth birthday party but Jenna has no recollection of it.
What happened to Jenna's life over the past seventeen years and what kind of person has she become?
That's the answer that we're all exploring in the movie.
Whew! I loved this movie for many reasons and struggled over whether to give it four or five stars. After a couple of days, I took it down to four because there were a couple of things that I would have changed but hey - that doesn't take away from the fact that it was a GREAT movie!
The writers of What Women Want (Cathy Yuspa, Josh Goldsmith - married to each other...of course!), are responsible for giving us the female version of Big. Those of you that are concerned that this movie is too much like its male version - no need to worry. They really tap into the female psyche. I'm telling you, my heart was aching in places, leaping and doing cartwheel's in other places, and at one point, I had tears streaming down my face. These two really know what they're doing!
Director Gary Winick distracts us with lots of pop-culture from the 80's and once Jennifer Garner comes into play, you really don't even think about the comparisons to Big. And then of course, the constant push and pull between the two, main characters, takes your breath away. Romance! You want everything to work out! You want the girl to get the guy and live happily ever after...
Jennifer Garner is a way, cool chick because she's physically built in a manner that allows her to be part Lucille Ball and part (insert name of some hot-chick-babe). As a fan of Big, I couldn't help but wonder if she was going to study the Tom Hanks way of doing things and then just mimic his style. Nope. Didn't happen. If anything, her style (of playing a youngster) was a bit more free-er (is that a word?!) in execution.
Jennifer's chemistry with Mark Ruffalo was MOST EXCELLENT! They sizzled. I've seen Mark in many movies and of course, playing the long, lost, childhood love isn't exactly an artistic stretch for him. Still, he was the right choice - he seemed to have an intuitive nature about him that was perfectly matched with Jennifer's character.
The supporting characters, including the individuals who played the younger versions of Matt and Jenna, were a nice addition to the cast. As a group, they just felt comfortable.
13 Going on 30 is rated PG for some sexual content (not enough!!!) and brief drug references. Chicks will dig this movie. Others - well - I'm sure that you'll tolerate it for the woman you love...
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