13 Going on 30
|13 Going on 30|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gary Winick|
|Produced by||Susan Arnold
Donna Arkoff Roth
|Written by||Josh Goldsmith
(and revised by Niels Mueller)
|Music by||Theodore Shapiro|
|Editing by||Susan Littenberg|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||97 minutes|
It has a similar premise to the classic short story Rip Van Winkle, in which a young person falls asleep and wakes up many years later as an older person. It also bears some similarity to films like Big and 14 Going on 30, in which boys are physically transformed into adult men, but in those films everyone else remains the same age. The situation of the main character, a person with the personality of a child in an adult's body, is similar to the situation of one of the main characters in many body switching films such as Freaky Friday and Vice Versa.
As the story opens, Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) is an unpopular girl celebrating her 13th birthday on May 26, 1987. She wishes to overcome her unpopularity at school since she views herself as gawky and uncool. Jenna especially wants to join the "Six Chicks", a school clique led by Lucy "Tom-Tom" Wyman (Alexandra Kyle), who takes advantage of Jenna's desire to fit in by manipulating her into doing a school assignment. Before her birthday party, Jenna's best friend Matty Flamhaff (Sean Marquette) gives her a doll dream house that he built for her, and a packet of "magic wishing dust", which he sprinkles on the roof of the house.
Tom-Tom and the rest of the six chicks show up to Jenna's house party where they play a cruel practical joke on her during a game of "Seven Minutes in Heaven". Jenna, mistakenly thinking Matt was responsible, yells at him and barricades herself in the closet where she put the Dream House. She cries and rocks backs and forth, bumping into the wall, wishing to be "30, flirty, and thriving". The wishing dust from the dollhouse sprinkles on her, causing her to fall asleep. The next morning, Jenna awakens as a 30-year-old woman (Jennifer Garner) living in a Fifth Avenue apartment. It is now 2004, and Jenna has no memory of the 17 years that have passed since her 13th birthday.
30-year-old Jenna's best friend, Lucy (Judy Greer), drives her to her work office. Soon, Jenna discovers she works for Poise, her favorite fashion magazine from when she was a teenager. Missing her best friend from 1987, Jenna asks her assistant to track down Matt. To her dismay, Jenna learns she and "Matty" have been estranged since high school when Jenna fell in with the in-crowd and became best friends with Tom-Tom, who now goes by her real name Lucy. Matt (Mark Ruffalo) is now a struggling photographer who's engaged.
After Jenna overhears Lucy badmouthing her to a co-worker, she sadly realizes that what she thought she wanted wasn't important after all. This is complicated by the fact that Jenna has become a shadow of her former self. She has lost almost all contact with her parents, and is having an affair with the husband of a colleague. Not only is she generally hated by her co-workers and anyone else she has worked with, she is suspected of giving her magazine's ideas to a rival publication, Sparkle. Jenna slowly realizes that the person she has become is neither trustworthy nor likable, and unknowingly begins to reverse the situation by distancing herself from her new, shallow boyfriend. From this point on, all of Jenna's work to rebuild her life as a thirty-year-old woman has gone to waste.
Jenna heads back to her hometown in New Jersey and, while her parents are out, hides in the same closet as 17 years before and cries. Her parents return and find her hiding, and they welcome her in for the night. The next day, she reminisces by looking through school yearbooks and other items from her school days and catch-up on the 17 years she doesn't remember. These inspire her on her return to Manhattan. Over several outings and working together on a magazine project, Jenna becomes friends with Matt again, asking his help for her project. Although Matt is engaged and Jenna has a boyfriend, they kiss during a nighttime walk.
After arranging a magazine photo shoot with Matt, then making a successful presentation for a planned revamp for Poise, Jenna prepares for the revamp when she gets bad news from the publisher: Poise is shutting down because the work she put into the relaunch ended up in Sparkle. Jenna learns she was responsible for sabotaging Poise from within by sending their material to Sparkle for months. When Lucy learns this, she cons Matt into signing over the photo rights from the relaunch shoot to her. She accepts the position of Sparkle editor-in-chief, telling Jenna she wants to be both the pot and the kettle in their relationship.
When an already-distraught Jenna discovers Matt is getting married later that day, she rushes to his house and begs him to call off the wedding. Dazed, Matt realizes he loves Jenna, but cannot change the past. From his closet, he pulls the "dream house" he made 17 years before and gives it back to her. Jenna leaves in tears, crying over the dream house.
Unbeknownst to Jenna, specks of wishing dust remain on the dream house, and she wishes she was 13 again. When she opens her eyes, she finds herself back in the closet of the basement at her parents' house, 13 years old again. When Matt comes to check on her, she jumps on top of him and kisses him. She also tells Tom-Tom she can be the pot and kettle all by herself, then rips apart the school project. Seventeen years later, Jenna and Matt are married and live in a house which resembles the dollhouse.
- Jennifer Garner as Jenna Rink. Garner filmed the picture while on break from filming her TV series Alias. Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank, and Renée Zellweger were originally considered for the part played by Garner.
- Mark Ruffalo as Matt "Matty" Flamhaff, her nerdy childhood friend, who's grown up to be a hunk.
- Sean Marquette as Young Matt
- Judy Greer as Lucy "Tom-Tom" Wyman, her teenage rival, who becomes her competitive, insecure best friend in her adulthood.
- Alexandra Kyle as Young Lucy
- Andy Serkis as Richard Kneeland, the mature Garner's boss.
- Kathy Baker as Beverly Rink
- Phil Reeves as Wayne Rink
- Lynn Collins as Wendy
- Samuel Ball as Alex Carlson
- Marcia DeBonis as Arlene
- Kiersten Warren-Acevedo as Trish Sackett
- Ashley Benson as Six chick
- Brie Larson as Six chick
- Brittany Curran as Six Chick
- Renee Olstead as Becky
- Kayla Hickson as Mindy
- Nick Olig as Himself
- Steven Strozza as Himself
- The Go-Go's - "Head Over Heels"
- Rick Springfield - "Jessie's Girl"
- Talking Heads - "Burning Down the House"
- Belinda Carlisle - "Mad About You"
- Whitney Houston - "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)"
- Lillix - "What I Like About You"
- Vanilla Ice - "Ice Ice Baby"
- Madonna - "Crazy for You"
- Billy Joel - "Vienna"
- Liz Phair - "Why Can't I?"
- Soft Cell - "Tainted Love"
- Pat Benatar - "Love Is a Battlefield"
- Michael Jackson - "Thriller"
- Ashley Grer - "Sparkle"
Others used in the film 
- Talking Heads - "Once in a Lifetime"
- Ingram Hill - "Will I Ever Make It Home?"
- Wang Chung - "Everybody Have Fun Tonight"
- Daniel Lenz - "Keep It Simple (Stupid)"
- Luce - "Good Day"
- Mowo! - "Chick a Boom Boom Boom"
Original score 
|13 Going on 30|
|Film score by Theodore Shapiro|
|Released||April 6, 2004|
|watch the movie chronology|
- Prologue (4:19)
- Jenna Dream House (1:13)
- Transformation (0:31)
- Wake Up (2:03)
- Naked Guy (0:36)
- Off to Work (0:29)
- Poise (0:43)
- Paper Throw (0:28)
- Can I Go? (1:05)
- Matt's Apt (0:46)
- Fluffy Pillow (0:49)
- Au Revoir (0:44)
- Good Luck With Fractions (0:35)
- Mean Messages (0:25)
- Eavesdropping (0:46)
- Yearbook Idea (1:14)
- Elevator (0:25)
- Swings (01:49)
- Assemble the Proposal (0:39)
- Hang in There (0:38)
- Angry Lucy (0:15)
- Presentation (2:30)
- Sneaking (0:59)
- Rain Montage (1:08)
- Getting Married Tomorrow (0:29)
- Sparkle Bus Overlay (0:39)
- Dream House Revisited (1:28)
- 30 to 13 (0:38)
- Crazy for You Overlay (1:09)
Release and reception 
Box office 
The film opened on April 23, 2004, with an initial box office take of US$22 million in its first weekend, debuting at number 2, almost tied with Denzel Washington's thriller Man on Fire. In its second week, it dropped to number 3, earning US$ 10 million. In its third week, it fell to number 5, earning US$ 5.5 million. In its fourth week, it took sixth place with an estimated $4.2 million. In its fifth week, it only fell to number 7, with an estimated $2.5 million. In its sixth week, the film fell to number 9, earning $1 million. It ended with nearly $60 million at the domestic box office. The same picture became one of the five biggest DVD rentals of the year, with over $57 million in rentals alone according to the Internet Movie Database. The film's success on DVD granted it a re-release (The 30, Flirty, and Thriving Edition) in 2006 with special packaging. The picture grossed $96,455,697, going on to become one of the year's biggest DVD rentals and sellers.
Critical reception 
|New York Times||favorable|
|San Francisco Chronicle||favorable|
|The Village Voice||favorable|
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, earning an approval rating of 65% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 158 reviews. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a very positive review with a grade of "A-", writing "13 Going on 30 is the rare commercial comedy that leaves you entranced by what can happen only in the movies." Gleiberman also praised Jennifer Garner's performance, writing: "She cuts out all traces of adult consciousness, of irony and flirtation and manipulation, reducing herself to a keen, goggle-eyed earnestness that's utterly beguiling." Joe Leydon of Variety also praised her performance, writing "Garner throws herself so fully and effectively into the role that in a few key scenes, she vividly conveys Jenna's high spirits and giddy pleasure through the graceful curling of her toes." Leydon praised the director Gary Winick for " bringing a fresh spin to most of the script's cliches and emphasizing nuggets of emotional truth provided by Goldsmith and Yuspa." Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe wrote that "The movie is tailor-made for women who openly lust for dream houses, dream jobs, and dream hubbies." He also wrote that "the best stuff involves the childhood preamble. (The young actors playing Jenna, Matt, and Lucy are terrific.) Those moments feel painfully, comically true." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, commenting, "This romantic comedy is intended as a cautionary fairy tale. The silly humor works with the movie's gentle message of self-empowerment and avoids sappiness in a tender interlude where the adult Jenna returns to her childhood home. Amusing, charming and pleasantly nostalgic, 13 Going on 30 should fall easily onto moviegoers' wish lists."
Elvis Mitchell of The New York Times wrote: "The performances give the movie more flavor and life than the situation does; it often feels like prechewed Bubble Yum. The message of the plot is that a lack of sophistication is the key to success, even at a fashion magazine that attracts readers through sexy exhibitionism. The movie would have shown some daring savvy if it had played more with the role-playing aspect of fashion spreads. Instead it is content to eat its retro snack cake and have it, too." Andrea Gronvall of the Chicago Reader wrote that "The formula works, thanks in large part to star Jennifer Garner, who's so radiant theaters should be stocking sunblock. Underlying the shenanigans and the pop-psychology moral—self-love is a prerequisite for true love—there's a touching wistfulness about roads not taken." Jorge Morales of The Village Voice commented: "The thirtysomething in me was all, gag me with a spoon, but the kid in me was like, this movie's rad to the max."
Garner was nominated for MTV movie and Teen Choice awards for her role as Jenna Rink.
- 13 Going on 30 at Box Office Mojo
- 13 Going on 30 (2004) - Trivia
- ""13 Going on 30 written by Cathy Yuspa and Josh Goldsmith with "polishing" by Niels Mueller."". Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- 13 Going on 30 Soundtrack, Internet Movie Database
- "'Man,' '13' light up boxoffice". IMDB. April 26, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- "'Mean' Has Nice Opening". IMDB. May 3, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- "Not Quite a Monster Smash". IMDB. May 10, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- "'Shrek 2' Becomes Summer's Film-To-Beat". IMDB. May 24, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- "'Shrek' Wins; 'Tomorrow' Makes Waves". IMDB. May 31, 2004. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- "13 Going on 30 (2004) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- Morris, Wesley (April 23, 2004). "'13 Going on 30' has growing pains". The Boston Globe.
- 13 Going On 30 | Chicago Reader
- "13 Going on 30 - Movie Review". EW. 22 April 2004. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- Thirteen Things I Learned Watching 13 Going on 30 - Page 1 - Film+TV - Los Angeles - LA Weekly
- Mitchell, Elvis (April 23, 2004). "13 Going On 30 (2004) FILM REVIEW; Freaky Future: An Awkward Teenager Finds Herself Fast-Forwarded to Adulthood". The New York Times. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- Ebert, Roger (April 23, 2004). "13 going on 30 :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Roger Ebert. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- LaSalle, Mick (April 23, 2004). "Getting what you wish for can be dangerous -- especially if you adore Rick Springfield". San Francisco Chronicle.
- Puig, Claudia (April 22, 2004). "'13 Going on 30' not just for kids". USA Today.
- Leydon, Joe (April 10, 2004). "13 Going On 30". Variety.
- Film - Page 1 - Movies - New York - Village Voice
- 13 Going on 30 at Rotten Tomatoes
- Awards for 13 Going on 30 (2004). IMDb.
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- Official website
- 13 Going on 30 at the Internet Movie Database
- 13 Going on 30 at AllRovi
- 13 Going on 30 at Box Office Mojo
- 13 Going on 30 at Rotten Tomatoes