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13 GOING ON 30

BY PEG ALOI

From director Gary Winick (Tadpole) and writing team Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith (What Women Want) comes a bubbly remake of Big for women who buy Cosmo for the articles. Suburban New Jersey, 1987: Jenna Rink (Crista B. Allen) is 13 and aching to be popular — she devours Poise magazine and dreams about being "Flirty, Thirty and Thriving." Sidekick Matt (Sean Marquette) is a geek and budding hipster, dancing to the Talking Heads at Jenna’s birthday party. Humiliated by popular kids during a party game, Jenna wishes herself into adulthood. She wakes up as Jennifer Garner in a swank Manhattan loft, with a meaty boyfriend in the shower and a cool editorial job at Poise magazine waiting for her uptown. But she can’t remember the last 17 years, including having reached puberty. She’s now best pals with one of the popular meanies, and when she tracks down Matt (Mark Ruffalo), who’s now a handsome photographer, she learns they’ve lost touch. Somewhere along the way, she became a conniving bitch. Can she get her innocence back?

The movie’s chipper pace makes its predictability more than palatable. Michael Jackson and Pat Benatar arrive when we need them most; Garner is very funny, and Andy Serkis as Poise’s editor is like a snazzy Mr. Bean. But it’s indie crown prince Ruffalo who dazzles brightest. This guy better watch it before we wish him into becoming a movie star. (108 minutes)


Issue Date: April 23 - 29, 2004
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