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Great movie with one big flaw

Author: CucFan from United States
10 January 2005

Loved the movie, loved Jennifer Garner in it (she reminded me of Mary Tyler Moore), loved Andy Serkis, loved the resemblance between the child actors and their adult counterparts.

However, before I even saw it, I knew they'd screw up the cultural references, and they certainly did. Beginning with the "Head Over Heels" theme song and going right on through the entire movie, everything from the music to the wardrobe is set in 1982/83. Kissing Rick Springfield on the TV. Thriller. Pat Benatar's "Love Is A Battlefield." Wonderful for someone my age whose high school years have routinely been skipped over in movieland, falling somewhere between "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" and the John Hughes movies.

But not wonderful if anachronisms bother you. 1982/83 was my sophomore year of high school. People who were 13 in those years are 35 now, not 30. So, to get around this problem, cast a younger woman and have a catchy title, they did some fancy math to make Jenna 13 in 1987.

Someone majorly slipped up. If you can overlook this, it's a great movie.

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Jennifer and Mark definitely deliver

Author: lovedance215 from United States
3 January 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Though the inital plot for 13 Going On 30 may seem over used, the way it is delivered by its actors makes it very unique. Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner are genius together in this classic romantic comedy.

In 13 Going On 30, Jenna Rink (Garner) wakes up one day to find her self well, 30. Confused and baffled by her new look and age she struggles to find her old middle school best friend Matt Flamhaff (Ruffalo). However, Jenna soon finds that Matt and her have drifted apart over the years and are no longer even acquaintances. Jenna soon learns that her life as a 30 year old isn't quite the dream life she would of hoped it to be. She finds herself being a spoiled, rich, and well for lack of better words, horrible person. Although, with the help of her friend Matt, Jenna soon makes her way back to that lovable personality we see shine through when she was just a tween.

What makes 13 Going On 30 so charming is the romance between Jenna and Matt. The whole way through the film you root for them. They are that classic best friends fall in love type of couple. Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner definitely deliver showing what great actors they both are.

A very cute film here indeed. I recommend it to anyone who loves romantic comedies and who loves the stars in this film.

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Get it right!

Author: James Terrell from Gainesville, FL
25 December 2004

This movie is pretty much like all the others of its kind, so I won't comment on it in general. Instead, I'll talk about how it falls into the same trap that so many other "nostalgic" movies do.

Too many people believe that a decade is the same all the way through, forgetting that the cultural scene changes all the time, not just at the end of each decade. For example, most of us think of the 60s as the hippie decade, even though the counterculture didn't come along until about '66. Many think of the 70s as the disco decade, even though that music didn't make its debut until '76. The cultural consultants on this movie apparently believe that the mid-80s represent the entire decade, which is, of course completely wrong: 1980 and 1989 may have been in the same decade, but if anybody takes the time to compare the music, clothes, hair, etc. from these two years, he'll quickly discover that they were very different.

As Colette Corr, the previous reviewer, pointed out, this movie doesn't make any distinction between the late 80s (when the film starts out) and the mid-80s. The first thing I'll look at is the music. Rick Springfield was most popular in the mid-80s, and his song "Jessie's Girl" was released in 1981--by 1987, no teenage girls were interested in him (although, as Linda Blair can attest, HE may have been interested in THEM). Michael Jackson? The song "Thriller" was released in '82, and the video was made in '83--YEARS before this movie starts out. During '84, Jackson's _Thriller_ album was so over-hyped and so overexposed that by the following year, NOBODY wanted to listen to him anymore. In fact, it wasn't safe to admit you liked Michael until Fall '87, when the _Bad_ album was released.

Why didn't the producers pick stuff from 1987? If they needed a music video with a bunch of people dancing, they could have used Jackson's "Bad" (okay, so that wasn't released until Fall '87, a few months after Jenna's birthday party takes place, but better to be off a few months than a few years). If they wanted a heartthrob, why not somebody like Tom Cruise or Patrick Swayze (yes, I know _Dirty Dancing_ was released in August '87)? As for the clothes, the producers go with those wink-wink, nudge-nudge pastels. I'm no historian of 1980s teen fashion, but I recall girls in 1987 wearing stuff like Guess? and Forenza. Hey, even _Miami Vice_ lost the pastels after the first one or two seasons. Even the lingo is dated--the expression "totally awesome" is Valley Girl talk and went out of style around 1983.

I suppose they chose to show these things because they're what people remember most from the 80s: people do tend to remember "Thriller" better than they do "Bad." But I really don't think anybody believes the 80s were ALL parachute pants, crimped hair, etc. VH-1 is currently showing a series called "I Love the 80s Strikes Back," which looks at the decade year by year.

The movie does have some songs appropriate to the exact year, such as "Mad About You" (released in 1986, but at least it was recent enough that it was still being regularly played in '87). The 1987 sequence lasts for only about 15 minutes, and for most people, the "80s nostalgia" stuff will be good enough. The only reason it wasn't good enough for me is that my memory's too good, so I tend to remember stuff year by year.

Anyway, don't let these inaccuracies spoil your fun--I just had to rant about them because 1987 was one of my favorite years. Don't screw up my year, guys! ;)

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Wow! "Big" for Girls and then some!

Author: samanthaxx from Freehold, NJ
25 December 2004

Don't get me wrong, I loved Tom Hanks in "Big" and consider him to one of the actors of our generation, he's like this generations Jimmy Stewart. "Big" was a wonderful warm, touching movie but, left me hanging without really closing the loop.

13 going on 30 on the other hand, WOW!!! They closed the loop here!!! She gets to go forward in time, LIVE 30 and the disaster she created for herself, and then go back and do it right! The ending was the part "Big" was missing, and made the movie complete.

This is really an awesome Girl movie, right down to the "Love is a battle field" at the slumber party!

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Author: jendurban from Washington State USA
6 December 2004

I'm surprised to read these threads and see no comments on Razzles. I've seen them before, ate/chewed them before, but I do not know of any place that sells them anymore. If you search "Razzles," there's a website that sells "Candy You Ate as a Kid." It's pretty cool. You can put together your own goody bag but they charge an arm and a leg for shipping. Anyone remember Candy Cigarettes? Or little Wax Soda Bottles? Or Atomic Fireballs? Or original Fruit Stripe Gum? Or Tart n' Tiny? Or Bubble Yum? I know you can still find this stuff in stores....WHERE? I guess while I'm on this subject, has anyone had chocolate covered gummy bears? I know they don't sound very appealing, but they are YUMMY (and addicting for that matter)! Anyway, LOVED the movie. I'm surprised I liked it so much but it's definitely a favorite of all time.

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13 Going on nowhere

Author: Scorching from Muntinlupa, Philippines
14 November 2004

Well if you remember the 1980's movie Big of how a boy through some mystical force was transformed into his adult self. Well that's basically the same story as this movie except of course it's a girl and Tom Hanks has turned into Jennifer Garner of TV's Alias. A young girl dreams of the day that she turns into a woman and gain her independence. But with some magic this 13 year old wakes up to find out that she is now a 30 year old. As she struggles to cope with her new life we see her experience things which 13 year old may never see.

Well I really wasn't that used to seeing Garner actually starring in a comedy movie. I was fully expecting her to suddenly someone that went against her. Well because of that I also found her performance in this one rather lacking. I felt she overacted on some of the scenes especially when 'she acted her REAL age'. It could have definitely have been better from her but I think with a little more work she can develop more as a comedian. The person who impressed me the most in the movie was Judy Greer. I think she played her role rather well especially at the end. Her dry quips were good and were actually funny.

Story wise there wasn't really much to talk about. It had its funny moments which really livened up in what was quite an ordinary comedy.

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Not unique, but still good

Author: Jenna Altringham (hayden-panettiere-ukfan) from Essex
1 November 2004

Okay, so this film format has been made millions of times before - but this is still one of the better ones of this type. I think the performances by Jennifer Garner and Christa B. Allen were good, because you really did feel sympathy the character. Judy Greer's performance was good as well.

I enjoy films with this type of storyline, and I think you can identify with the young Jenna - because she just wants to fit in.

The only comment I have about this film is that it is a bit too slow-paced - they stayed on things a little too long, and it found me wanting to fast forward the film on, just so I could see something else.

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Fun, harmless fluff.

Author: Alaia from NC
31 October 2004

You know this movie is going to mirror Freaky Friday and Big when you rent it. So what! What I dug about the movie was the loyalty to realistic 80s fashions and the attention on costume for the present-day part of the tale. It was fun, and silly, and fluffy. Don't expect a complex plot. It's suitable for teens and above, there is a male striptease scene, but it's brief and meant to be funny rather than sexy, and there isn't any nudity. Jennifer Garner was great, and I must say Judy Greer was very good as the "best friend" with her unique brand of bitchiness. The DVD has some fun special features, like the Pat Benetar video for "Love is a Battlefield", which I must have seen a hundred times as an adolescent MTV watcher. Only 20 years later did I finally understood the metaphor given by the women "dancing" with the male strangers. It's funny how many sexual innuendos go unnoticed by kids, though that may be changing as sex pervades our culture more and more. Anyhoo, this movie is harmless fluff and it is appropriate for young viewers too. I also like that 30 is represented as an ideal age, being just over 30 myself. Plus, dance scene to Thriller!

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One of the worst movies I've seen in AGES

Author: sgreenwa from Chicago
23 October 2004

I really don't know what more to say...the acting is atrocious, there isn't ONE original thought or concept in the movie...there isn't even one funny moment. NOT ONE laugh came from me or anyone in the room with me. It was SO forced and painful...when there has to be TWO standout moments in a movie where the cast sings and dances to a song in it's entirety("Thriller" AND "Love is a Battlefield"), you know they're just doing anything they can to stall and get to the end. There were moments I had to close my eyes because I was so embarrassed for everyone involved in making this movie...cheesy and lame to the point of nauseating. And that it me putting it kindly.

0 out of 10 stars, and no....I'm not on a vendetta towards anyone involved with the making of this's simply that bad.

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An okay movie if you don't mind forced acting and used plot lines

Author: Macadamian-Nut from Calgary, Canada
21 October 2004

Jenna Rink is trying hard to survive life as a 13 year old girl in the 80's. Then, after an unpleasant event at her birthday party, Jenna wishes she was 30. Her wish comes true, and Jenna realizes that being 30 isn't everything she thought it would be. She also finds that you can't change what's happened in the past. Jenna realizes the latter when she searches for her old best friend, Matt. Nevertheless, they work together and try to forget about the past.

I know that this has been said endless times, but it's true: '13 Going on 30' is very similar to the Tom Hanks film 'Big'. At times the movie seems rather childish, with few hilariously funny parts. Although it was rated PG-13 in US theaters, many children attended, and some of the jokes in the movie are really inappropriate. Jennifer Garner's acting seems forced most of the time, and Mark Ruffalo just comes across as boring.

The movie isn't all bad, though, and there are some parts which I enjoy watching many times over. It's certainly not a cinematic masterpiece, but for a romantic comedy, it certainly isn't the worst I've seen. But it does come close.


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