13 Going On 30
Directed by Gary Winick
In this fish-out-of-water romantic comedy, Jennifer Garner gets to ham it up as a wiggling, giggling, squealing, wide-eyed kid in an adult body – I’ll bet she had fun playing the part. The set-up: Jenna (Jennifer Garner) wishes (as a 13-year-old -- to escape the torment she is receiving from her middle school peers) to be 30 and successful. Be careful what you wish for – she got just that but with a couple of complications. Jenna gradually discovers that she has turned into the kind of person that she was trying avoid – so a central theme of the movie is loss of innocence and abandonment of ideals. Although highly predictable, the film was heart-warming as Jenna finds her true self the adult world. Judy Greer put on a great supporting performance as Lucy (aka Tom-Tom), Jenna’s best friend/rival. The role could have been overplayed by making Lucy into a real snake but the restraint (in the writing and the acting) made it more realistic and kept the movie from descending into farce. Mark Ruffalo was also good as Jenna’s estranged friend from childhood who she tries to win back at age 30. The 1980s pop music score fit very well with the theme and the main character. Production design and cinematography were mediocre – this is a movie that would not lose much if converted to video format. Jennifer Garner did well in her first major lead role in a film. She played the part with a highly physical style of humor that reminded me of Jim Carey – lots of puppy-like movement – which I know well these days because I have one (“Go-Go” named for a character in Kill Bill, Volume 1)!
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