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13 Going on 30
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Reviews & Ratings for
13 Going on 30 More at IMDbPro »

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Index 333 reviews in total 

Fun to watch, but has soooo many flaws

Author: from United States
16 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can see why there are so many mixed reviews on this movie. When I read the good ones, I agree. When I read the bad ones, I agree as well. I've seen this movie a few times because I'm the type of person that likes watching cute, corny, family-type movies and/or chick flicks over and over. To simply put it, I like this movie but there are so many things about it that bug me and they should have been altered/deleted. Here are some examples: -Soon after Jenna first becomes 30, her cell phone is ringing and it freaks her out (I liked this part, it was funny), but why include a scene set a little later the same day where her 2004 cordless phone rings, she doesn't know it's her phone and has to be reminded it is hers, and then she casually plops down on her bed and quickly pushes the button without a second thought on how to work it. -The "Thriller" dance scene is fun to watch if you can take it in as performers putting on a rehearsed show for you, not like the way the story goes (everyone in the party knows the choreography to the dance coincidentally, they just jump in). It kind of makes you feel uneasy watching it, thinking "Am I really supposed to believe this nonsense?" -How in the world does Jenna keep her job? If you're telling me that the qualifications for a magazine editing job that provides you a rich, luxurious and glamorous lifestyle is something that a 13 year old can do? Someone who is just "thrown in" and does nothing more than show up and sit in meetings? Okay... -The Chris Grandy character, the "popular" boy who Jenna supposedly has a crush on as a kid. I think the total amount of time spent on this character, including his on-screen presence and any reference to or about him is probably less than 3 minutes. But it's almost like the writers half-heartedly attempted to make this a key character, something that doesn't work in so little time devoted to him. I understand that they wanted to follow the cliché of the girl having a "hot boy" crush when truly the nice "dork boy" is really right for her. Also, the brief scene with Chris as an adult and he is Jenna's cab driver seems so desperate, like a last minute "oh yeah, we better throw in a scene where we can show what a loser he turned out to be!" It was just so...pointless. -The last scene is so dumb and it's like they didn't even try to come up with anything better, with no thought at all. The part where they cut to Jenna and Matt prancing out in wedding gown and tux, holding hands and smiling as rice is tossed their way...anew...and then them lounging in front of their dream home and calling each other "Mr._____" and "Mrs._____" (I don't recall the last name) That is just entirely WAYYY too cheesy! There are more but I'll stop there. I'll end by a compliment, the performances were great, even by the kids (Christa, Sean, the girl who played Lucy(sorry I didn't catch her name either!). Even though Mark Ruffalo appears "bored" or "laid back", I like him as an actor and who's to say it wasn't a good job, maybe that was the way Matt's adult personality was like. I recommend this movie if you don't take it too seriously.

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Jennifer Garner will be in my memory

Author: ( from China
10 September 2005

As a Chinese audience , I didn't know too much about Jennifer before until recently I watched her movie"13 going on 30". I can not find exact words how to describe this movie, just "excellent". I think Jennifer has a good performance skill. for example:when Jenna finished her presentation and her new design idea for Poise magazine is applaud,praised by everyone. then Jenna come out of the Poise building and walking out with a big smile, then turn around.... I'm quite impressed for that.That is the skill I mean, to describe her happiness so naturally. All the songs in that movie are good. especially the last song"i am crazy for you".and last moment, the wedding party, the kiss with Matty, plus, the pink color dream house.I watched that movie for 5 times and will record all the songs in that movie. After "13 going on 30", I started to watch another Jennifer's movie "Electra",which is not too bad, but "13 going on 30" is better. I want to thank director Gary Winick, who made such a beautiful movie. also Jennefer Garner(Jenna) and Mark Ruffalo(Matty). Mark also did a good performance in that movie, especially when Matty and Jenna go out for a walk then eat "razzles"....Too much good stuff in that movie. From now on, Jennifer Garner will be in my memory, I am now the fans of Jennifer. and hope to see her more movies and wish her every success in the future. I like all of you, Gary, Jennifer and Mark.

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below average teen flick

Author: thatGURLx from Birmingham, England.
6 September 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I saw the trailers for it, it sounded promising but I was disappointed. The beginning is promising but after the girl changes into a 30 year old it's boring. Basically it's just about her having to write articles for a magazine and trying to get in touch with her old friend. Jennifer Garner should stick to movies like daredevil and elektra as she make's the character seem annoying and acts more like a 9 year old than a 13 year old at times, I should know as I'm 15 myself. The guy who played the older friend seemed uncomfortable in his role and was quite bland.

**SPOILERS** The ending is totally predictable, she changes back into a 13 year old again and ends up marrying her old friend. If you like the predictable cheesy teen romantic type then this film is for you.

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I love romantic comedies!

Author: jpschapira from Argentina
1 September 2005

It's funny that I start to think about dividing the line of reality and fiction after watching a romantic comedy. I was discussing with my brother about two options: either accepting the film's fiction and letting go or evaluating the possibility the movie presents with common sense. I mean, we all watched Michael J. Fox going back to the future, but we all knew it was impossible. Leaving this aside, the film proposes originally clichéd questions like: "What would you choose if you had one re-do in your life?" or "Is it possible to turn time back?"

These and others are the questions asked by Jenna (the beautiful Jennifer Garner), the 13-year old girl in a 30-year old woman's body that is no other than hers. She had turned 13 yesterday and is 30 now, scared by a naked man in her shower, who is (and she'll find about this later, as she'll find out many other things) in fact her boyfriend; remembering only her childhood best friend, Matt (Mark Ruffalo).

Screen writing team John Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa and director Gary Winick perform a remarkable job in keeping the characters real, so we see that, for example, sometimes a teenager can't stop a cab. Also, the difference of vocabularies, the expressions, and I could keep on going…Jenna will learn everything, again, and discover (the movie deals with it, subtly, but it is evident for the viewer) she has become an awful person and doesn't even have a best friend.

Garner handles each moment with gifted comedic timing (because the movie is indeed very funny) and wins everyone's heart with her looks and charm in what was her first starring role ever. Behind here there was I supporting cast I was glad to see as it appeared in the road. Judy Greer is one of the most natural comedic actresses I know and created very memorable characters during her career growth the last decade (the troubled girl, the confident partner). Best-friend Lucy is another of these but not that lovable; because actresses can choose bitchy characters if they want to.

By now Mark Ruffalo is for me enough reason to watch a film. If "Collateral" came to theaters tomorrow I don't think I'd watch it because of its two leads, you know what I mean? This is his second romantic comedy and his Matt is yet another spectacular creation that continues to highlight his natural acting sources. He's awesome!

But going back to my starting point, and if we were talking about reality: What if you woke up one day and suddenly forgot the last 17 years of your life? And then if it is fiction, I don't understand (as I didn't understand 16 years ago in a very similar movie you know well) why the characters go back; I see it kind of betraying. However, this picture resolves the issue instantly, so when Jenna says: "We're gonna be late" and Matt responds "Late for what?", if you don't know Jenna's answer it means that you haven't enjoyed; or even worse, understood this very good piece.

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Author: Jane Jones from United Kingdom
12 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved this film so much! It made me laugh and it made me cry. The plot was witty, original and well planned and the characters were the same. I loved it how the two time sections became linked! And especially how the two younger versions of Jenna and Matt looked like the older versions! This, in my opinion gave the film a polished edge! The actors were suburb! Garner was fantastic; her best performance so far! It was the perfect chick flick, it included boys, make-up and glitter! The film was just the right length as well, it didn't run on for too long or stop to suddenly. Adults and children alike will be tickled by the humour, this movie is the perfect film for a sleepover, a date or just a feel good film to watch over and over! Absolutely fab!

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Cute and funny

Author: cami3386 from United States
4 August 2005

I initially resisted seeing this movie when it was out in theatres for some reason I can't remember. What motivated me to buy this at Walmart yesterday was Mark Ruffalo (sp?). Sigh.

Anyway, I brought it home and my 9 year old watched it twice in a row. I watched it last night, and again this morning and now my 13 year old, my 9 year old and I are all watching it again.

I am 37 and it makes me crack up. Totally laugh out loud funny.

Andy Serkis (aka Gollum from Lord of the Rings) is a hoot.

I know this is not very insightful, but if you are around my age with kids you might find this to be a family favorite.

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Vastly entertaining as well as adorable.

Author: ( from Crestview, Florida, USA
23 July 2005

13 Going on 30 keeps me amused from start to finish. Jennifer Garner delivers a stunning performance in a movie that is vastly entertaining as well as adorable. I think it's adorable early on when we are shown the younger version of Garner's character, Jenna, when she's in middle school. Young Jenna is a very sweet and beautiful girl who doesn't think that she is adequate enough for the greater aspects of life. However, she misjudges many of her own qualities. Jenna is very determined to grow up fast, hence the title of this delightful movie.

This movie is sort of like a remake of Big, the 1988 movie starring Tom Hanks. The main difference is that here the story revolves around a girl instead of a boy. In both cases, the results are very pleasing. If I had to choose either one, it would be this one!

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A decent film, typically formulaic

Author: dhtucker4 from United States
18 July 2005

There's so many actresses this would great vehicle for, such as Cristina Ricci, Anne Hathaway, Kate Bosworth, Elisha Cuthbert, Natalie Portman, Milla Jovovich, Keira Knightley, etc. It's nowhere near as good as "Big," and it has a sappy Hollywood happy ending, which "Big" did not. The supporting cast was so-so, only her boss and her love interest. But Beniffer Garner did a bang-up job, rivaling Tom Hanks in "Big," in some good scenes. She was pretty awful in "Daredevil" and "Elektra" - but I blame that on the scriptwriter and the director (Milla Jovovich and Angelina Jolie have made that transition which is the key to box-office success).

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A winning turn for Jennifer Garner in an otherwise unremarkable movie.

Author: say_andy from Canada
18 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For those that know nothing about this flick, it's basically a women's version of Big made for 2004. It's an adolescent chick flick through and through, is extremely formulaic and offers very few surprises and less originality. Not really the kind of movie I go for, but rather than bust on the movie for being what it tried to be and being designed to appeal to people that aren't me (namely those who are younger and without the Y chromosome), I'll try to judge it for what it is. What this film lacks in originality, it makes up for in charm. And that's almost completely attributable to star Jennifer Garner's comedic turn as a 13 year girl who suddenly finds herself in her grown up, 30 year old body. Co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Judy Greer contribute adequately with their little roles, but the truth is, were it not for Garner's performance, this movie would probably be unwatchable dreck.

Unlike Garner's other star turn Elektra, this movie perfectly taps into what makes the star so appealing: her megawatt smile and overall adorableness. She's not a sexy bad girl; she's a cute girl next door. Sure, she may briefly play a vixen on Alias, but overall, Sidney Bristowe is a vulnerable, sweet character. In 13 Going On 30, she turns up the charm to the max, and completely inhabits the mindset of a 13 year old girl in a 30 year old woman's body. Beyond what she says and how she says it, Garner's physical performance is pitch-perfect. She walks like an awkward adolescent unsure of how to handle her grown-up body. She can't walk in high heels, she cowers amongst authority figures, and enthusiastically chats on the phone. Garner makes the contrived idea of the movie easy to fall for because there is no moment where one does not believe that Garner is 13 years old. She proves herself an excellent physical comedian, and imbues the movie with such innocence and sweetness that it's hard not to get wrapped up in the movie and forget it's flaws.

A key ingredient to the film's plot is that, unlike in Big, Garner's Jenna Rink doesn't just wake up in a grown body, but rather she is transported from her life in 1987 as a 13 year old birthday girl, to herself as a 30 year old in 2004. A key difference is that everyone around her grew up and the world changed since Jenna last left it, so she has to deal with these changes. But more importantly, it allows the film to dodge issues dealing with modern teenagers and treat Jenna as the anachronistic innocent kid that we all remember from older movies. She's sweet and naive, not problemed and sexualised. This allows Garner to play her without an ounce of guile, making the character winning and fun (this is, after all, a comedy).

Ultimately, all I can say is that I enjoyed watching this flick more than I expected to. It adds nothing more to the genre and offers little to those who aren't already fans of the genre. It's a film that Julia Roberts would've made 10 years ago, but I doubt Roberts would have been able to pull it off as well as did Garner. If you were considering checking out the movie, but were hesitant to do so, I suggest that you do. You'll find yourself entertained and may consider the film a guilty pleasure. If you had no interest in watching the movie before, you're probably wise to stay away.

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Great story concept, but formulaic movie

Author: Jeffrey Stuart Martin from Indiana, USA
9 July 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I guessed (correctly) before I watched this movie that it would be formulaic. Apart from the story idea of a 13-year-old waking up one morning as a 30-year-old and having no memory of the last 17 years of her life, there is nothing original about the movie. Jenna Rink was a girl who tried to fit in, who liked boys, who went to school, who had parties, and listened to music, etc, etc. The older Jenna sleeps around, shops for the latest fashions, goes to bars, and falls in love.

The DVD cover for the movie shows Jenna and Matty in each other's arms, so I guess it's no secret that they have a romance. Half way through the movie, when we find out that Matty is engaged to another woman, I was a little offended by the crass way the movie seemed to brush aside this relationship in favor of the one between him and Jenna. After getting over my annoyance, I was quite prepared for their new romance to take the usual road to a happy ending. It didn't, which was a pleasant surprise, but also a little bit confusing. The ending was part of that original good story idea, but the intervening movie muddled things up a little.

I remember watching an actor's commentary one time, and (I think it was) Anne Hathaway saying that every movie needs to have a montage. Whether or not this is true, "13 Going On 30" definitely has too many montages. This works well to showcase 80's music (more on that later), but it doesn't do much to back up the story. The movie hardly gets going when there is another series of shots set to loud music, taking us out of the flow of the story, and making us forget much of the emotional connection we may have had to the characters in the previous scene.

Because the 30-year-old Jenna exists in 2004, she was a 13-year-old in the 80s. From a technical standpoint, the movie does a great job of incorporating the 80s into the movie. The costume designer says that she tried to appeal to current teens in costuming the young Jenna's friends, but they are undoubtedly 80s. Beyond the montages, 80s music is featured extensively, and quite cleverly, in the plot. To Jenna, Michael Jackson's "Thriller" is the latest musical hit. In a world that has suddenly flown beyond her 13-year-old mind, she clings to this, and uses it to great personal advantage.

As with many big Hollywood movies, it's hard to say why a movie isn't "good." The story is there, there are talented people making the movie, there are talented people acting in the movie (including a hilarious Andy Serkis!), but somehow, 1+1+1 only equals 2.

I was warned that this movie was made for 13-year-old girls. Maybe that's why I didn't get much out of it.

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