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It's 1987 and Jenna Rink (Christa B Allen) is having a hellish 13th
birthday. Mocked by the local teen queens and their leader Lucy, with
her only friend being Matt, the chubby boy next door, Jenna's had
enough. If only she were 30, she'd be able to control her life. A whiff
of magic dust later, and she fastforwards 17 years to the supervixen
body of Jennifer Garner, a fab job editing her favourite magazine and a
walk-in wardrobe. Jenna goes through the usual fish-out-of-water
schtick , but finds that although she may have achieved her dreams,
she's a bitch. Her best friend's now the adult Lucy (Judy Greer), while
the grown-up Matt doesn't want to talk to her.
Suddenly 30's not innovative and it's certainly corny, but this chick-flick take on Big is charming. Jennifer Garner is suitably wide-eyed and her delight in life is infectious she's ably supported by Mark Ruffalo as skeptical photographer Matt. I also like that although Jenna struggles in an adult world, she's still able to perform her job, showcasing the talent that she already has as a child. The fashion of both eras is spot on, although Jenna's fondness for Rick Springfield and Michael Jackson's Thriller is more 1984 than 1987.
Overall, Suddenly 30 makes the most of a tired premise to deliver a feel-good slightly guilty pleasure. ***/***** stars.
Just saw the sneak preview in Tampa. Excellent. 8 out of 10! ... It's
there with Reese Witherspoon's Legally Blond and Tom Hanks' BIG. It's a
nostalgic romp that'll make anyone with a memory smile.
Jennifer Garner sparkles with charisma and sizzles with charm. She's got that whole `girl next door' thing going on, supercharged with a personality that just doesn't quit. There's great chemistry amongst the cast - and all of them makes this light-hearted tale work.
The plot - seemingly done to death with `Big', Peggy Sue Gets Married, 18 Again (etc) - turns out to be amazingly fresh. It's funny, light . even logical (as a fairy tale that is) with a simple message for us all. "Be nice. Do the right thing. And live to be happy."
It'll pull the audiences (aged 8 to 80), make a ton of money for the producers and keep Garner's, Ruffalo's and Winick's phone ringing for some time to come.
Curmudgeons and violence addicts will do well to sit this one out. Great date flick `and' an outstanding family film. If you're looking for a great way to invest 100 minutes of your life, see From 13 to 30..
It's impossible to imagine this film with anyone other than Jennifer Garner
in the lead role - she shines so brightly and so brilliantly in every scene,
elevating what would most likely have been a flat and shallow affair without
the seemingly-effortless magic of her performance.
Not that the other players weren't good - Mark Ruffalo came off great here and the rest of the cast was fine, no problems with anyone, it's just that the story (or the telling of it) wasn't exactly original or inspired. No matter, what with Garner lighting up the screen; she's a charmer alright, with her superb comic timing, her infectious warmth and her natural talent for making the audience care deeply about her - you can't learn these things in any acting school on any planet.
On her thirteenth anniversary, the teenager Jenna Rink wishes to be a
successful single woman of thirty. Her dream comes true, and on the
next day she wakes up older and powerful. However, she becomes
disappointed with herself, since she is an awful colleague in her work,
she has no friends and no contact with her parents, and her best friend
is going to marry another woman, and tries to be thirteen again and
rebuilt her life.
I like this type of fantasy-movie, and I immediately recall "Peggy Sue Got Married", "Freak Friday", "Mr. Destiny", "Big", all of them charming movies. "13 Going on 30" is a delightful and sweet fantasy about a teenager that makes a wish, and once accomplished, she does not like what she sees. Jennifer Garner is simply perfect in the role of Jenna Rink, and the story has some great funny moments, being a forgettable but also great entertainment. The chemistry between Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo is amazing and helps this romantic comedy to work. The music score is also excellent. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "De Repente 30" ("Suddenly 30")
The body swap genre has been done before, and to much success, but the
sweet nature of this film cancels out any lack of originality. Jennifer
Garner, transported from a 13 year old girl into her 30 year old future
self, gives a thoroughly appealing performance which is backed up with
strong support from the likes of Mark Ruffallo, Judy Greer and Andy
Serkis. Greer in particular is very well cast, she displays subtle but
perfect comic timing, some of it improvised (watch out for the Bambi
line towards the end of the movie).
The main surprise with this film is its emotional punch. The importance of family and the importance of staying true to yourself is filtered into the plot without being too sentimental or cloying. By the time the more emotional scenes come around, you might care so much about the characters that you cry along with them. Unashamedly girly, this is one to watch if you fancy a feel-good film that dares to go a little deeper.
In "13 Going On 30" Garner is a 13 year old with a guy best friend and an impossible dream of becoming one of her school's "in" crowd. She pulls a "Rip Van Winkle" and suddenly finds herself 15 years older, with boobs, and the editor of a glitz and glam NYC femme fashion magazine. The rest is a fun frolic about coming to grips with what is important in life...what's steak and what's just so much sizzle. Garner and Ruffalo work well as the leads in this good old family values bop flick which keeps the momentum up 'til the very warm and fuzzy end. An unabashed chick flick, "13 Going On 30" should be an enjoyable watch for teen females and anyone in the mood for a romcom who can still remember what it's like to be 13 going on 30. (B-)
Having criticized the writer of "Connie and Carla" for not recognizing the
writers of "Some Like it Hot" in the credits, I'd be a hypocrite not to
fault the writers of "13 Going on 30" for not thanking the writers of "Big"
(and probably "Vice Versa" and all those switch-comedies of the
But unlike the wretched and dreadfully unfunny "Connie and Carla," which featured two horrible performances by the male and female leads, "13 Going on 30" is helped immensely by an utterly charming and winning performance by Jennifer Garner and yet another wonderful turn by Mark Ruffalo, who's fast becoming one of the best actors of his generation.
Garner has a smile that would melt the heart of the severest cynic and she uses that to great effect. She brilliantly captures the awkwardness of a confused teenager stuck in a 30-year-old body and is thoroughly believable as Jenna. There's a captivating sweetness to her performance that's lovely to watch. Ruffalo plays Matt with understated grace - there are scenes in this film that could easily have been played over-the-top, but it's his low-key approach that makes them all the more convincing.
The story, itself, is awfully conventional. There's nothing new or unexpected here. Even the odd twist in the plot provides nothing unpredictable. So it's up to the actors to elevate this above the ordinary and mundane. This film pours on the schmaltz at times, but it's Garner and Ruffalo who help take the schmaltzy plot and somehow make it work. This film succeeds solely because of their performances. Garner proved she could do action with TV's "Alias" and the dull "Daredevil," and now she shows she's a damn fine comedic actress, too.
Romantic comedies are inherently predictable. It's the nature of the genre. And, more often than not nowadays, they're also incredibly dull, uninspiring and make for tough viewing. And "13 Going on 30" being a Hollywood, not independent, film, you know the writers aren't going to take any risks with their story.
But somehow thanks to Garner and Ruffalo, "13 Going on 30" has undeniable charm. It may not leave a lasting impression, but you leave the theatre smiling and that's more than what can be said of most romantic comedies these days.
Jennifer Garner offers this comedy-romance a refreshing innocence in the title role with her playful awe as a 13 year old who wakes up to be 30. There are the funny comments, good ones and then there are the more serious moments, somber and sad moments, even tender moments particularly between mother and daughter. We learn about how people can change, what some people can become. This entertaining movie has its own charm and wit, a delightful date movie with an uplifting as well as delightful performance by Jennifer. While not breaking any real new barrier, Jennifer's acting and script raises this comedy romance above others of its kind, lifting the bar and offering a solid and witty experience for female movie-goers and those that accompany them. Seven out of Ten Stars.
Wow, to be honest: I really didn't think that I was going to enjoy this
movie. The beginning was slow, and dragged on a little too much. But
Garner does an excellent job portraying a confused thirteen year old in the body of a thirty year old. 13 GOING ON THIRTY is arguably one of her best.
The plot was good. Don't expect any twists or turns, though. Its consistency is one of the things that actually inspired me give it a good rating.
There really isn't much more to it! 13 GOING ON THIRTY was a great movie and I encourage you to see it if you haven't!
Jennifer Garner plays Jenna, a 13-year-old girl who makes a wish to
become older, and she finds herself thrust forward 17 years into the
body of a gorgeous 30-year-old executive. Trying to discover what
happened, she gets back in touch with her old high school friends,
who've all lived 17 years of life, while she is still just a girl in
the body of a woman.
The plot is obviously similar to the movie Big and all the critics have already bothered to point that out. While 13 Going on 30 isn't as good or engaging as Big, it's still a decent film with a nice message. The movie works a lot better than it should because of Jennifer Garner. She's funny and she has a great personality. It also helps that she's having fun in the role and it's so hard to actually hate her because she plays a very likable character. Mark Ruffalo gives an okay performance, he was a little dull though. I don't think comedy is his best genre. There are also some fun performances from Andy Serkis and Judy Greer.
The film was too cheesy and silly for me at times. For example, there was this one scene where Jennifer Garner is at a sleepover with all these little thirteen year old girls and she's telling them about her kissing experiences. After she does this, they all get up and start dancing. It was just so cheesy and annoying though girls will probably love that part. The movie is also pretty predictable. If you have seen the preview then you should know how things will end. The movie is pretty simple yet still entertaining. It's also a lot better than other similar films like Chasing Liberty and The Prince and Me. In the end, 13 Going on 30 is a decent, charming chick flick that should appeal to it's target audience. Rating 6/10
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