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13 Going on 30
DVD disk
Sep 21, 2004 By: The Shootin Surgeon
13 Going on 30 order
Director:
Gary Winick

Actors:
Jennifer Garner
Mark Ruffalo
Judy Greer

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Stuck in a teenage geek rut, young Jenna Rink (Jennifer Garner) is magically granted her wish to become 30 years old and escape nasty teens, bad skin, and parental embarrassment. Unfortunately, although her body and entourage have changed, her mind hasn’t and when she realizes she’s become a mean girl with big boobs and great legs, the fish out of water scenario can only get better.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
You can easily split this flick into two parts: Jenna coming to terms with her new self and new surroundings (a.k.a. the good part) and Jenna making amends for having turned out to be such a bitch during the years she time warped over (a.k.a the lame part). During the good part, Garner struts her stuff in her usual loveable way, mugging for the camera and being her sweet self. She also wears very short skirts and grabs her boobs a lot, amazed by the fact she no longer has her flat-chested teenage look. She also meets the chubby kid who used to have a crush on her back in junior high, all grown up and now a photographer with a cute fiancée. Mark Ruffalo plays the former fatty with a low-key charm contrasting perfectly with Garner’s bombastic character and making the chemistry between the two that much more interesting. Either way, it leads to some cute and funny situations that are pretty familiar movie-wise but that are still a lot of fun to watch. Another pleasant part of the movie was Gollum's appearance as Jenna's boss. He delivers some awesome laughs as an ambiguously queer magazine publisher who wonders why his top editor is softening up.

The first half of the movie goes from cute and charming to downright hilarious but unfortunately, it takes a bit of a wrong turn during the mandatory shift into sentimental redemption gear. Jenna’s job in the movie is that of a cutthroat magazine editor who’ll steal and cheat but the new Jenna, who’s skipped her late teens and twenties, hasn’t been corrupted by greed and selfishness yet and is still grossed out by icky boys turns her back into a sweetheart to the great surprise of all those around her and to absolutely no surprise to anyone watching the movie. Cute? Sure. Funny? Not necessarily. That’s the point in the movie when I sort of tuned out and remembered the many times before I’d seen a movie about some jerk seeing the light and becoming nice. One thing I have to concede is that I don’t actually remember a jerk who’s bones I wanted to jump as badly but even that wears off after a little while. It was a decent movie to watch but nothing that will blow your nuts away.
THE EXTRAS
Commentaries: Two commentary tracks can be found on the DVD. the first one is by director Gary Winick and the second by producers Gina Matthews, Susan Arnold and Donna Arkoff Roth. Both are your average "this-and-that-happened" tracks and they could easily have been combined into one but then again, considering the way I've personally been feeling about commentary tracks of late, I could have done without either of them. They're about as average as they come.

Deleted Scenes: Eighteen deleted scenes are in the features section and none of them are really worth the detour. A few of them are just lesser alternates of some that appeared in the final cut and the rest just aren't good enough.

Making of a Teen Dream (18 mins.): A pretty straightforward documentary about the making of the film with commentary from the stars, including the kids who played their younger versions. The director also chips in with some shoot experiences. It's probably more worthwhile to sit through this one than to go through both commentary tracks. A decent effort.

I Was a Teenage Geek (8 mins.): This was probably the funnest feature on this DVD, with the stars of the movie describing their teenage geekness, complete with period photos. Judy Greer, who plays hot chick Tom Tom in the movie has to have been the biggest nerd ever.

Bloopers: A three-minute long collection of screwed up lines and funny faces. It will only serve to make you appreciate the theater.

Fun & Games: A couple of little interactive games can be found here, one in which you have to match the stars' outfits from the movie and another in which you have to match items from the eighties with their modern counterpart. Nothing to write home about.

Music Videos: For all old geezers like me, the thought of spending a few minutes with Pat Benatar and Rick Springfield is a good one. Benatar's classic "Love is a Battlefield" and Springfiled's "Jessie's Girl" will warp you back to a time before... well.. before Napster, I guess.

Video Gallery: Not sure yet why this is called a "video" gallery. It's a bunch of stills that flash on your screen.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Overall, a pretty decent date flick but not a full blown chick flick, 13 GOING ON 30 is a quick dose of fun that goes a tad stale after three quarters of an hour. Rescued by Garner's bubbliness and Ruffalo's quiet charm, it's worth a rental but I'm not sure anyone other than 13 year old girls who want to be 30 should slide it into their collection.
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