13 Going on 30 (2004)
|Photo Credit: 13 Goin on 30 / Columbia Pictures|
One day, she's a kid. Overnight, she's a grown-up. Rink's life is the embodiment of her adolescent dreams; a clone of fashion magazines with a stylish apartment, good clothes (at least by 2004 standards) and best friends with her arch-nemesis (Judy Greer). The only meaningful ingredient missing is true happiness and love - both platonically by her parents and romantically.
On paper, this body swap fairytale shouldn't work, but by the grace of Garner, it really does. The Alias star is so freaking adorable my face almost broke from smiling too much. Like a deer learning how to walk for the first time, everything she does makes it seem like she's a tween getting used to drinking, boobs, ambition, and heels. I'd place her in the same category of entertaining as Renee Zellweger as Bridge Jones and was surprised that she didn't earn at least a Golden Globe nomination. It's easy to agree with her performance, and the heartwarming chemistry shared with Mark Ruffalo, why and how this movie is a treasured chick flick.
13 Going on 30 has everything; the friend-zoned neighbor who grows up to be handsome and engaged, cutthroat editors who believe fashion is the circle of life, a sleepover partflash mobrandom flash-mob to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Sometimes the cheesiness is laid on a little thick but the story and cast keep the movie fresh, down-to-earth and endearing.
Fulfilling the movie's charm is how the movie expresses being true to yourself. When we're young we think adulthood means full access to what we think will make us happy; jobs, money, relationships, independence. We get so caught up in following what we think is pure happiness from magazines, television shows, and our peers we barrel through life and forget what originally made us happy. What happens when we get everything we wanted growing up and it doesn't fit who we really are. 13 Going on 30 shows that we have one life to live, so don't grow up too fast.