Here's a Friday video review. Have a groovy weekend!
‘13 Going On 30’
Ah, to be 13 again. To be carefree, no responsibilities, nothing but fun.
Of course, most people who think that have forgotten what it actually felt like to be 13. Young Jenna is sick of being a kid, and she gets her wish to be “30, flirty and thriving.” Best of all, she grows up to look like Jennifer Garner!
Despite a rather shopworn premise, “13 Going On 30” is a good-natured romantic fairy tale. Even if it’s just basically a feminine riff on “Big” and other body-swapping flicks like “Freaky Friday,” it’s fluffy fun.
Thanks to some preposterous magical “Wishing Dust” (apparently from the same factory that made the “Wishing Machine” in “Big”), Jenna (Garner) has miraculously catapulted from being a kid in 1987 to being a high-powered 30-year-old fashion magazine editor in 2004.
In comic ways, her 13-year-old mind tries to adapt to an adult world, where she sees nothing wrong with leading a dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” at a fancy magazine party, or sucking on lollipops at editors’ meetings. But being adult isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, Jenna finds.
“Going On 30” is silly, but sweet at its core. Garner really gives a winning performance, making you believe she’s 13 at heart with a loose, slapstick turn. As her childhood boyfriend all grown up, Mark Ruffalo is superb, and has terrific chemistry with Garner.
The predictable magazine-in-peril subplot isn’t half as interesting as Jenna’s new life and how she adjusts to it. Like most movies set at magazines and newspapers, it’s nothing like reality.
I still think “Big” was a more heartfelt and powerful movie in the end — there was something profound about young Josh, played by Tom Hanks, having to find his place in an adult world, rather than just waking up with an adult job and apartment — but “Going On 30” is a decent addition to the body-swapping genre.
It won’t change the world, but it’ll leave a smile on your face.
*** of four