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Comedy - Romantic

13 Going On 30 (2004)

Duration1h 38m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: PG-13, Denmark: A 
Source of storyA sort of original screenplay with a familiar theme.
DirectorGary Winick
Writers/ScriptJosh Goldsman, Cathy Yuspa
StarringJennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy Serkis, Brie Larson, 
RatingsIMDb: 6.2/10 by 182,808 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 65% by 179 reviewers. Review2view: 6/10

Elevator Pitch: Jenna Rink is a put upon 13 year old who, after her birthday party has bombed, wishes to be 30 and with the help of “wish dust” provided by her best friend Matty, she wakes up to find herself the 30 year old editor of a New York girl’s magazine. While thrilled with the trappings of the job, Jenna has only one connection in her new world, Matt, her childhood friend who she contacts. She is surviving in the dog eat dog world of glossy magazines, but is finding that she has grown up into a total bitch, and discarded Matt in childhood. But now Matt is charming and understanding, but is going to marry someone else. 

Content: No sex or nudity although the adult Jenna’s boyfriend strips provocatively down to his Y-fronts. Some drinking at parties. As a 13 year old Jenna is dissed by the girls of a similar age and we see her party go wrong. As an adult she is initially amazed by her new body, and most of the related jokes are to be seen in the trailer. She attends editorial meetings where the editor in chief berates everybody for their failings, pointing out the success of rival “Sparkle”. She more or less accidentally succeeds by accessing her naïve 13 year old self.  She and Matt relate.

A View: Despite the generally moderate ratings by the critics and the public, and me, this movie made a lot of money which I put down to the trailer which is just a bit provocative. On the plus side the cast do pretty well, particularly Mark Ruffalo as Matt, on the minus side the script is just a bit naff, sometimes boring and sometimes slightly embarrassing. So, while the plot is fine, the dialogue is not entertaining enough. Maybe a watch while doing your knitting.

There are quite a few films featuring characters in the physical bodies of others.  The Mask, The Nutty Professor and the absolute best of the bunch, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle .

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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