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When you were young, didn't you ever wonder how your life would turn out?

Author: blueseas from USA
7 March 2006

I fell in love with the concept behind this movie - the chance to see how your future was affected by your decisions of the day. Don't you dream about how your future looks, what you really want, what you wish you could have? Do you have any regrets in your life that you wish you could change? This movie addresses all these questions and more. Jennifer Garner plays Jenna Rink, a girl who, after experiencing the utter cruelty of Junior High, wishes to become 30 years old - wish granted. After it takes her a while to get used to the fact that she is no longer 13 years old, Jenna starts to realize how she changed her own life by her decisions when she was 13, thus getting everything that she thought she wanted. However, as life always ends up showing us, she also realizes what she sacrificed in order to get her young dreams, such as her former best friend, who is played by Mark Ruffalo.

What makes this movie different from teen movies or other movies classified in the same genre is that 13 going on 30 focuses on the long-term effects of our dreams on our personalities. To what extent do you go to get your dreams, and how does that change your life? Although there were many comedic moments to the movie, as well as certain unbelievable moments, the basic premise shines through and makes this movie well worth watching. Additionally, the wonderful chemistry between Garner and Ruffalo makes their story all the more believable.

Jenna asks her mother, 'If you could have one do-over in life, what would you change?' Her mother replies with 'Nothing'. While that may not be true for most people, perhaps watching this movie will help you reflect on how you would have changed your own life.

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Author: worchester70 from United States
9 January 2006

Jenna (Garner) is an awkward, shy 13 year old who invites the cool kids over for her birthday. Matt (Ruffalo) is her equally shunned (but self-accepting) neighbor who truly knows her. Jenna, after a disastrous end to her birthday party, wishes she were 30. Lo and behold, she wakes up as the successful, talented, and beautiful 30 year-old Jenna, editor of a hip magazine, with a stud boyfriend, swank Manhattan apartment, and no cares in the world.

Except for the fact that Jenna is now mentally 13 and doesn't have a clue about what to do now.

Freaked out, Jenna eventually takes baby steps to understand this adult world, and with her naiveté and rekindled friendship with Matt (who she discovers she had left long ago in her past) she finds out that Matt is her one true soul mate.

A cheesy chick and date movie, the film manages to move along quite nicely with strong camera work, production value, and the big pay-off musical number (song courtesy of Liz Phair).

Garner is annoying as usual but justified as a 13 year old. Ruffalo is the same, and consistent, vulnerable male. Greer plays a nice, ice queen.

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The best chick flick ever

Author: marianne-55 from New Zealand
31 December 2005

I thought that this would be an at best mediocre chick flick. It seems to be clichéd in the beginning: Jenna gets her wish with magic wishing dust and turns 30.

So the beginning is a bit weird but it sets up for a great film with Jenna finding out that she doesn't like the person she is in the future. And strangely bigger is better in this film because Jennifer Garner's total overacting suits it well and makes it very funny.

It's not just funny. At one point I found myself crying because things just seemed so hopeless even though I knew there'd be a way to fix it. (Not so in real life unfortunately.) Watch out for Mark Ruffalo as the sweet Matt because he is HOT and I fell in love with him myself by the end of the movie.

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A sweet chick-flick girlfriends can enjoy together

Author: Karilee from United States
19 December 2005

This movie can be described as a chick-flick basically because it is.

A girl wishes she was an adult on her birthday and when it comes true, she gets the chance to see what her life will turn out like. As the movie progresses, she learns even though she gets everything she ever wanted, she doesn't like who she becomes. She then goes about trying to change the mistakes in her life she doesn't even remember making.

The film is filled with laughs and cute moments of love. Jennifer Garner gives and A+ performance as an adult looking at the world through a child's eyes.

I'd recommend this movies for a girls-night-out.


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My guilty pleasure film of 2005.

Author: Travisty from United States
15 December 2005

I can't believe how much I like this film. It is repeated so much on cable that I ended up finally giving in to Jennifer Garner's combination of sexiness and cuteness. Even though Mark Ruffalo is usually enough of warning to keep me away, I found 13 Going on 30 to be funny, engaging, and well made. The movie rests on Ms. Garner's petite shoulders, and her winning personality carries this film throughout. Sometimes the plot is forced along by unrealistic situations but there is so much wide-eyed wonder conveyed by Ms. Garner that you easily forget about it. This film has won many converts who at first questioned my attachment to it. As a bonus it also has the wonderful Judy Greer of "Arrested Development" as the evil friend. Judging it on its own merits as a lighthearted romantic comedy with a twist, I'd give it 4.5 out of 5.

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Jennifer Garner is "13," quickly going on "30"

Author: dee.reid from United States
29 November 2005

Ah, the fairy tale; to think all ideas in Hollywood magic had been quickly exhausted all those years ago. In director Gary Winick's sweetly magical "13 Going On 30," a lot of bank is rolling on the innocent-teenage-girl-in-an-adult-world routine picked up by star Jennifer Garner, who makes a transition from her usual female ass-kicking to something that is more fairy-tale Barbie than the usual stuff we've seen on "Alias." And it works, somewhat.

I think it helps if you have a thing for Mrs. Garner. She could use a little dental work and maybe some slight plastic surgery, but these are all petty, personal grievances; on the whole, she's gorgeous the way she is. But here, she makes a mildly entertaining chick flick work, in a role first made famous by Tom Hanks in "Big" (1988). Yes, "13 Going On 30" is another body-switch movie where an adult actor has to act on screen like a teenager. The only wrinkle this time is it's a girl switching bodies, not a boy. Switching bodies - a smart way to preserve your youth, I might add. (A lot of age-obsessed actresses in today's Hollywood could learn a thing or two from this picture.) But the drama ensues when the person discovers adulthood is not everything it is made out to be, and wants to change back.

In "13 Going On 30," Jenna Mink (Christa B. Allen) is living the 13th-year hell in 1987 New Jersey. Unpopular, wanting to fit in with the cool crowd and her best friend is chubby photographer-geek Matt (Sean Marquette), she wants more. Her bedroom walls are plastered with magazine cut-outs of pretty people, all whom she wants to desperately be (and all we cared about in '87 was looking cool). To add insult to injury, it's her birthday, and after a disastrous party and using some magical fairy dust (just bear with the movie), she wakes up the next morning in the body of a 30-year-old woman, now played by Garner.

Living in New York in the high-class world of magazine publishing as an editor, she has to make a number of fast adjustments to her new life. Once she figures out what's going on, she starts by reading "Magazine Publishing for Dummies" and tries to learn her past since she can't remember anything beyond her disastrous 13th birthday party.

She is best friends with Lucy Wyman (Judy Greer), the snobbish popular girl she wanted to be cool with as a teenager and now she is, and you can count on one of them stabbing the other in the back to get ahead in the fashion world. Trying to learn the more significant details of her past, she is clued in by Lucy and what she learns does not make her happy: she has cut herself off from her parents, has a hunky hockey player boyfriend (their first make-out scene is a disaster, saying he's "gross" after running out of the apartment), her magazine is on the rocks because of a rival company, and she has no idea what happened to Matt.

Well, to make long stories short, she forgot him, cut off her relationship with him, but manages to track him down. Living in Greenwich Village, Matt (now played by Mark Ruffalo), is set to be engaged and instead of bearing ill feelings towards Jenna, the two rekindle their friendship, despite the drastically different paths both of their lives have taken.

I think anyone who's watched it with an open mind will realize it's a role Garner was born to play. It's a little uneven at first, though this is quite familiar territory, but once she finds her groove and works on it, she carries the movie with her innocent-girl performance. She is rather delightful, but unfortunately, we've seen it all before and we know the plot devices by heart (I won't bother listing them).

The script needed a lot of work for this presentation, as it spends a lot of time on the magazine dilemmas much rather than Jenna coming to grips with her new adulthood. And many of her fellow co-workers, especially Lucy, or even her chief editor, don't find Jenna's new behavior quite odd. A lot of the ideas she presents for her magazine's makeover at a board meeting are terrible, but for the sake of plot convenience, they love it all.

Matt doesn't seem sufficiently bothered either by Jenna's sudden barging-in on his life after 17 years of no contact, though I think the film hints that he knows what's going on a little bit. And the ending seems a bit rushed too, as it felt like the scriptwriters were running out of ideas and just said to heck with it, it's a fairy tale; just slap on a happy Hollywood ending. But Jenna and Matt make such a cute couple, so this, I think, can be almost forgiven. Just call this a perfect example of how Hollywood has grown less daring and skillful over the years.

I feel I need to clarify myself in some of my protests. I'm a sucker for sappy romance movies, even Hollywood chick flicks like this one. I'm a guy, and so I shouldn't have a heart for this sort of stuff, but I do. Jennifer Garner is a beautiful, wonderful actress and I think anyone who watches her here will know she is someone special. Look at me, praising a chick flick despite a number of grievances with plot.

"13 Going On 30" is a strong deviation from what I'm used to watching, as well as Mrs. Garner's usual material, but at least here, she's found a comedic mode that works for her, in a fairy tale romance that successfully got to me. {Blushes}


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Thoroughly Delightful

Author: earthe from United States
11 November 2005

I thought this movie was thoroughly delightful. I loved it from beginning to end. Although the plot is not new, Jennifer Garner adds a wonderful quality to it that is inspiring. She really is convincing as a thirteen year old girl in a 30 year old body. I took the full ride with her character as she moved throughout the whole experience. I think it is so wonderful to watch the child in each of is in full play and yet there was this seriousness about the subject that made it fully believable. Jennifer has such a purely delightful aspect to her character and that let so much to the movie. Thanks so much for this wonderful experience.

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charming romantic fantasy

Author: Roland E. Zwick ( from United States
6 November 2005

It's 1987 and Jenna Rink is a pubescent teen deeply unhappy with the state of her life. Unable to fit in with the "in" crowd, Jenna makes an idle wish on her 13th birthday that she could instead be a 30-year old woman already living the life of glamour and independence she feels she so richly deserves. Through some magical fluke, she achieves her wish, waking up in 2004 in the grown-up body of a successful fashion magazine editor. The problem is that she is unable to remember the seventeen years that have elapsed since Madonna was in vogue and the hip kids were still strutting their stuff to the heavy dance floor beat of Michael Jackson's Thriller. As a result, Jenna has to spend a large part of the movie trying to piece together the events that have brought her to where she is today.

"13 Going on 30" is one of those high-concept romantic comedies that succeeds or fails based on its ability to transcend the confines and restrictions of its particular gimmick. Happily, this movie is quite effective at doing just that. Although the screenplay touches on the expected conflicts Jenna has coming to terms with a world filled with unfamiliar devices such as cell phones, it also explores the more personal aspects of how a 13 year-old would deal with the grown up issues of dating and sex. In addition, Jenna also has to contend with the fact that she doesn't really much like the kind of person she's become - a conniving, status-seeking, career-drive snob - and looks for ways to turn back the clock and make amends for her actions.

Jennifer Garner sparkles as the older Jenna, and Mark Ruffalo is, as always, compelling and charming as the sensitive boyhood chum whose love for Jenna has never faded. They alone make the occasional plot hole and narrative contrivance forgivable. The film also boasts a soundtrack chock full of nifty '80's songs, every other one of which seems to feature Belinda Carlisle in the lead vocal. It's hard to argue with a movie with taste like that.

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A must see for any girl

Author: holly_cgab from United Kingdom
24 October 2005

I loved this movie. Romantic, funny, light-hearted and uplifting, I would strongly recommend this to all women who are young at heart, and this is a must see for teenage girls.

Set in New York, this is the story of girl who wants to grow up and hit the big time, Jenna Rink longs to be '30, flirty and thriving'.

This movie has everything you could ask for from a romantic comedy, and I can hardly think of anything bad to say about it, apart from being slightly predictable, and a little unrealistic, these faults fade away after the first half hour when you begin to fall in love with the movie.

Charming and wonderful, with a great soundtrack. The trailers and adverts for this movie may make it seem as though it's a film for young girls, but I think that it is aimed mainly at young women who believe in romance. Go see it!

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Big to the Future

Author: JoeytheBrit from
19 October 2005

This featherweight comedy draws obvious comparisons with Tom Hanks' 80s hit Big, but differs inasmuch as, in this one, Jennifer Garner is transported into the body of her older self and also catapulted some seventeen years into the future, from the mid-eighties to the present day. She discovers to her initial delight that she has become a hot-shot women's magazine sub-editor who might have the trappings of success but, of course, lacks the important things in life like family and friendship and a boyfriend with an IQ higher than his shoe size.

This is strictly by-the-numbers stuff, but it's saved from mediocrity by Jennifer Garner's exuberant performance as the 13-year-old kid living in a grown-up body with boobs. You can't help but laugh at her portrayal of a big kid – somehow she comes across as more of a thirteen-year-old than the thirteen-year-olds who share the screen with her – and she skilfully handles all the requisite childlike actions and faces. Where Hanks shared a tune on a giant floor piano with Robert Loggia, Garner throws herself into the synchronised dance routine to Michael Jackson's Thriller with old childhood friend Mark Ruffalo who has also transformed from a chubby teen to a hunky thirty-year-old. The writing's on the wall for the pair of them, and the film doesn't really provide any surprises on the way – apart from the abrupt and unexplained disappearance of Garner's ice hockey star boyfriend after he performs a striptease that has her gagging behind a cushion. But it does, of course, deliver the obligatory saccharine message about remaining true to the child we once were, etc, and so on and etc.

This undemanding fluff is enlivened immeasurably by Garner's performance, which has probably earned it a better rating on this site than it really deserves. It's all wrapped up with unseemly haste, as if the makers realised a few more minutes running time would mean one less screening per day at the multiplex, and is almost instantly forgettable. If you want to see a body-switch movie watch Big, a film that seems to have earned itself the status of benchmark against which all subsequent body-switch flicks are measured.

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