13 Going On 30

Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Kathy Baker, Phil Reeves, Andy Serkis

Director: Gary Winick

A sweet natured teenage girl is just trying to fit in with the cool kids in her school and invites them all to her thirteenth birthday party with hopes of impressing them. She ends up getting tricked and embarrassed. Reduced to tears she wishes she were thirty so that she could deal with things in a better way.

Much to her shock she awakens in a gorgeous thirty year-old woman’s body, played by Jennifer Garner, complete with flashy job, sexy boyfriend and expensive apartment. It seems as though all her dreams came true and for a while she lives out this fantasy. As she gets to know herself more with help from her old school friend, played by Mark Ruffalo, the perfect life starts to turn out to be a sad life with no friends, family or love.

She must now choose to accept her life as it is or try to change it to the way it should be.

Jennifer Garner elevates this film from cheesy to genuinely sweet with a very refreshingly real performance that makes you care about her character. The supporting acts all add to the film but this is all Jennifer Garner and she carries it perfectly.

The direction is good from Gary Winick and he manages to get the right balance perfectly on that tragic tightrope of comedy and love. The result should make its target teenage audience more than happy.

This is a great movie for teenagers and a sweet, engaging movie for adults.

3 out of 6 stars

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