13 GOING ON 30


Everyone in this movie is a fucking retard. As am I, for what possible reason could there have been to make this stinking mess the third installment in my McDonald’s DVD Tour of Terror?  There isn’t a single thing in the movie that isn’t some part of a teenage girl’s fantasy, including running a fashion magazine, riding out the sunroof in a limo in New York City, putting on make-up, shopping for expensive clothes, and dating some beefy athlete. It’s Big with even less of a brain, and even less entertainment value. I hated everything about it, and I don’t even have Jennifer Garner to rave about, as until now I never realized how flat chested she really is. Hell, the young actress who played her as a 13-year-old had nicer jugs. Or least a rack requiring a bra.

This is the sort of film that begins in 1987, yet can’t even get the pop icons right. Michael Jackson’s Thriller was, to my knowledge, not still popular at that time, as this movie suggests, and I also believe Rick Springfield, the Go-Gos, and “Burning Down the House” had run out of steam at least three years before. With the credibility instantly shot, it never recovered, as if it ever stood a fucking chance to begin with. So, Garner is Jenna, an awkward teenager who longs to be older, prettier, and smarter, and happens to find some “Wishing Dust” to make it all possible. As her birthday party becomes a disaster (the popular group — “The Six Chicks” — have come only to play a nasty trick on Jenna), she longs to be 30-years-old, and is granted her wish by the magic of cinema, or at least a shopworn script. Waking up in the future (but still with the brain and maturity of a 13-year-old, remember), she forces the audience to endure all the expected scenes: shock as she passes a mirror for the first time, more shock as she sees the boyfriend she never knew she had (and naked no less), even more shock at her breasts (probably more for the fact that in 17 years they actually shrunk), and an unsustainable level of shock at all the clothes and shoes she now owns. Her friend (one of the “Six Chicks” from the past) shows up to take her to work, which is as assistant editor of a fashion/pop culture magazine called Poise. Not like you needed (or wanted) to know any of this shit.

For what seems like hours, we get more standard scenes: Jenna being shocked yet again by her new world, and people reacting to her strange new attitude. Still, despite the adjustment, it is surprisingly easy for a teenager to take over a New York magazine, which is commentary in itself (unintended, of course). We then get a scene where Jenna, still a kid at heart and mind, resurrects a sagging magazine party by asking the DJ to put on “Thriller,” where she proceeds to dance like a fool and bring the house down [Ed Note: ARGH!!!!! KILL ME! FUCKING KILL ME NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] . Further complications ensue when she looks up old friend Matt (Mark Ruffalo), who is now engaged and a freelance photographer. Long story short: they fall in love, which means that Matt, now 30 himself, is falling in love with a girl of 13. Of course the body is an older, smaller breasted woman, but he doesn’t seem to notice that Jenna giggles a lot, loves candy, says “grodie” and “gag me,” and walks around like a dipshit on crack. I mean, most women stop advancing intellectually around age 13, so perhaps it’s not too hard to fathom. But the movie never addresses the fact that a “woman” like Jenna can actually maneuver in a big city without anyone at least questioning her competence. The message? It’s better and cooler and specialer to be a bunch of grown-up bodies with child-like minds. Kinda like George W. Bush and his cabinet.

So we have Jenna coming to the rescue of the failing magazine (using, like, cool ideas to emphasize real women, not those phony anorexic-types), only to be betrayed by her friend, which leads to Jenna making that cab ride to Matt’s wedding so that she can try to win him back. Matt carries on, but gives her what remains of a dollhouse he made for her as a kid, which also happens to have some of that “Wishing Dust” left inside. Jenna becomes a teenager again, kisses Matt in the closet instead of, like, grossing out and ending the friendship, and then we flash forward 17 years to Matt and Jenna’s wedding, where they live happily ever after. Did I really watch this crap? And did I just write a review for it? I guess, but I felt obligated to justify that $1.08 Visa charge. And next week looks good already: I’m eyeing Johnson Family Vacation.

About Matt

Matt is the site’s Longest Serving Critic and chief misanthrope. He divides his time between classics of cinema and the most ridiculous movies he can find on Redbox.
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