Whenever I write one of these posts, I often mention how I don’t go out of my way to see a romantic comedy at the nearest theater. That may be true now, but looking back at my movie going history, there was a time I definitely used to go out of my way to see the latest rom-com. One of these movies was 2004’s “13 Going on 30.”
Or as I like to call it, that time the Hulk teamed-up with Elektra to travel back in time to set things right.
If you’re too young or don’t remember the movie, “13 Going on 30” was directed by Gary Winick. starred Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Andy Serkis, and Kathy Baker. I could be wrong, but I think this was Jennifer Garner’s first movie as the lead.
Anyway, “13 Going on 30” starts in 1987 where we meet Jenna (Christa B. Allen), an average, self-doubting teen girl whose best friend is a boy named Matt (Sean Marquette). Jenna often wishes her best friends were the Six Chicks, a band made up of prettiest and most popular girls in school. The group is led by Lucy (Alexandra Kyle).
After the Six Chicks humiliate Jenna at her 13th birthday party, Jenna wishes that she were 30; she chooses that age after reading a magazine article that talked about being “thirty, flirty and thriving.” She wakes up the next morning to find herself fast-forwarded 17 years to 2004, where she’s transformed into Jennifer Garner.
In this world Jenna is a successful 30-year-old editor of Poise magazine, and a total snob. She’s even best friends with her former rival Lucy (Judy Greer), who also works with her. Jenna has no memory of the intervening 17 years, and her friends and co-workers wonder why all of a sudden Jenna is acting like a teenager.
Still. it looks like all of Jenna’s dreams have finally come true. But even with everything she ever wanted at her command, all Jenna can think of is tracking down her old friend Matt (Mark Ruffalo). Jenna wants to find out why they’re no longer friends, but she may not like the answers.
When “13 Going on 30” came out in April 2004, I was working at a video store called Video to Go. It was a great place to work at because of the free movies. But more importantly I made a lot of friends there. Two of them even became regulars at our Tuesday Movie Night. There was Barbara, also known as Babs, and Ali, who I have mentioned before.
However, “13 Going on 30” was not a Tuesday movie. This was rare for us, and it was like cheating on our regula night. But for reasons I can’t remember, the three of us chose to go to the late show on a Wednesday night. We decided on the late show because Babs and I had to close that night, so the plan was to go straight from work and meet Ali there. Since I drove to the movies, Babs was kind enough to buy us popcorn and drinks. Ali had gotten us tickets ahead of time because there was a decent crowd for a Wednesday night.
As for the movie itself, I can’t deny that “13 Going for 30” made me laugh. Even though this kind of story has been done before, I really enjoyed the movie. The story was better than I was expecting, and Jennifer Garner was perfect in the role. She was funny, cute, and everything you need for this kind of role. I also liked how she seemed to be having a blast playing a teenager trapped in a 30-year-old’s body.
“13 Going on 30” was a pleasant surprise to say the least, but the best part of the night was hanging out with Babs and Ali. I think this was the only time the three of us went to a movie, and it was just us. I’m surprised we didn’t do this more often, because we did have fun before, during, and after the movie.
Plus going to any movie with Babs was always a riot because she could never figure out twists, or endings. So whenever we saw a movie with her, Ali and I would always wait for the “Here’s where Babs figures it Out” moment. Let’s just say it was always a highlight.
At the end of the day, going to the movies to see “13 Going on 30” turned out to be a great night, and one that I will always remember.