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13 Going On 30

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: 13 Going On 30

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo
Director: Gary winick
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 97 Minutes
Release Date: April 2004
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Sci-Fi/Fantasy

*Also starring: Phil Reeves, Alex Black, Alexandra Kyle, Shana Dowdeswell, Jack Salvatore Jr., Kathy Baker, Joe Grifasi, Mary Pat Gleason, Merris Carden, Lynn Collins

Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

It's a new twist on a familiar time-tripping concept. New Jersey, 1987: Jenna Rink (Crista B. Allen) is a nervous, awkward 13 year-old. When her birthday party is a social disaster, she wishes for deliverance from the angst and insecurity of adolescence and - sure enough - when she awakens, it's 2004. Jenna (Jennifer Garner) is now 30. She's gorgeous. She's glamorous. She's giddy. She's giggly. She's got a lavish Manhattan apartment and a studly athlete/boy-friend. She's the editor of "Poise," a fashion magazine. She's cool and popular. But - above all - she's confused. How did she get there? And what happened to the last 17 years of her life?

Writers Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa ("What Women Want") strike notes of truth as they add tantalizing new twists to the same amusing fantasy that Tom Hanks handled in Penny Marshall's "Big." And director Gary Winick turns this sweet, romantic comedy-with-a-message - Be True to Yourself - into a great, rollicking romp about second chances and turning back time.

Jennifer Garner of TV's "Alias" is particularly delicious in her exuberant innocence. She's a vivacious, natural comedienne, one of the brightest, most talented new actresses to emerge in recent years. As her editor-in-chief, Andy Serkis skillfully emerges from CGI anonymity as the Golem in "Lord of the Rings." As her confidante, Judy Greer hits just the right duplicitous note. And as Jenna's now-grown "first love," Matt Ruffalo is charming and credible, particularly when she gets him to join her moonwalking to Michael Jackson's "Thriller." On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "13 Going On 30" is an engaging 8 - a clever and beguiling chick flick that could turn out to be a terrific date movie. Bring on the "Wishing Dust," along with the popcorn.

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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