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Review: 13 Going On 30

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All you really need to know: If you like Jennifer Garner (as I really, really do), you’re gonna like this movie; if you don’t (and, hard as it is to believe, there are those people out there), you’re not. It’s that simple.

13 Going On 30 (2004)
Grade: B-
Directed By: Gary Winick
Written By: Josh Goldsmith Cathy Yuspa
Starring: Jennifer Garner Mark Ruffalo Judy Greer Andy Serkis
Studio: Sony

You know exactly what you’re getting with 13 Going On 30. The first time you saw the previews you said to yourself: “Oh, look, honey, they remade Big but with that girl from ‘Alias’.” (Well, you said that if you’ve ever seen “Alias.” Maybe you said “…that girl from Dude, Where’s My Car? Anyway.)

And you’re right–that’s almost exactly what it is. But it doesn’t try to pretend it’s anything different. It’s pretty shameless in ripping off Big, but it’s counting on your comparing the two. 13 Going On 30 isn’t a great movie, but it’s a reasonably entertaining movie that succeeds in what it’s trying to accomplish. The script’s servicable, the direction’s OK, the music’s decent in a “God I haven’t heard this song in 15 years and yet I’m still sick of it” kind of way.

The acting overall is a little better than you might expect from a comedy this simple: Garner doesn’t have to do a lot more than be charming and goofy for most of the movie, but she does it well and gets a chance to show a little more of her range toward the end of the flick. Mark Ruffalo, upwardly slumming from his normal indie fare, manages to coast effortlessly through most of his scenes, and I don’t mean that in a negative way. Judy Greer embodies every snotty, anorexic blonde bitch I’ve ever hated. And Andy “Gollum” Serkis glides through the whole movie giddy that he doesn’t have to spend the entire shoot in an electric blue unitard.

If you’re settling in to watch 13 Going On 30, chances are you’re not looking for something exciting and new (apologies to “The Love Boat”)…you want something familiar. And that’s just what you’ll get.

Written by Allen

August 26th, 2004 at 10:36 pm

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