I’m Sorry, But I Hope Jennifer Garner Wasn’t Serious With Her Plan To Revamp Poise In 13 Going On 30

13 going on 30 thriller dance scene


Like all young women in their twenties, I spent last night watching 13 Going on 30 for the 400th time. I put it on for “five minutes” while I figured out what I really wanted to watch. But five minutes turned into two hours and before I knew I was completely invested in what would happen in the movie. And after watching it for the 400th time, I have some thoughts. By some, I mean a lot. So even though this movie came out nine years ago and even though no one asked for a review, I’m going to give you one. Because tell you what, upon watching it again, I have some serious problems with the plot. Problems so big that they’ll make her chopsticks hair-do throughout the movie look like a non-starter.

Problems like the fact that Jenna Rink figures out to run a magazine in ten minutes. She went from being like “I’m the editor of Poise!?!?” to being like, “lean in ladies, here’s what we’re going to do and here’s how we’re going to do it.” While I personally have never fast forwarded seventeen years in time and then acted like a complete jerk-off for several days, I assume that I would lose my job if that did happen. And not only would I lose my job, but I would also be committed to some kind of hospital. You know why? Because that’s crazy talk.

13 going on 30 sleepover party renee olstead


Also crazy? Talking about your love life with a bunch of 13-year-old girls at a sleepover party. Yo Renee Olstead, where were your parents at when your middle-aged neighbor barged into your bedroom? I know you think it’s totally cool that a real live woman showed up at your slumber party, but I promise you in 10 years, that will totally freak you out. You’ll look back at that night and be like, “oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no.” Sorry, but it’s true. Adult ladies should not be at sleepover parties bragging about their sexual exploits. It’s at best inappropriate and at worst the beginning to an episode of Law & Order: SVU.

You want to know what’s also true? Okay, I’ll tell you. Jenna’s plan to revamp Poise sucks. There, I said it. I know it’s her way of recapturing the high school years that she missed– but no one else, in the history of the world, misses high school. There’s this one moment toward the end of the film when everyone’s crying tears of joy as she presents her idea and her boss is like, “this is brilliant Jenna” and I’m like the only one shaking my head. Why would people want to relive high school? Also this photo shoot seems pretty expensive for an idea presentation, no?

Oh you want to talk about other expensive things? Sure, how about the fact that Poise’s rival magazine, Sparkle, gets the rights to the photos and gets them into the magazine the next door. One day they’re developed and the next day they’re flying by on a fucking bus. Wow, that sure happened fast. Either Judy Greer has connections with the guy who makes ads for buses or she’s a witch. I’m honestly not sure which is more believable.

Jennifer Garner Mark Ruffalo 13 Going on 30


Also Mark Ruffalo, way to cheat on your girlfriend two weeks before your wedding. Also, so many alsos, way to revert to your desperate middle school self and start hanging out with a girl who ditched you back in middle school when you’re 30.

“Jenna, we haven’t been friends for years, you were so mean to me in high school. Okay fine, let’s spend two whole weeks together.”

Hey Jenna girl, he’s not the greatest guy around. I know that because great guys don’t going around kissing other girls just days before they’re getting married. Especially INSANE girls that show up on their doorstep acting like the last 17 years didn’t happen.

Hmm, what else, oh I don’t know. How about the fact that Jenna gets the chance to reclaim her entire childhood at the end of the movie and instead makes a wish to get married to Mark Ruffalo. Like maybe there are other guys she’d meet between the ages of 13-30 that she’d like more than her middle school best friend. Or maybe, let’s think with our heads for a second and not just our vaginas, maybe she’d LIKE TO REMEMBER 17 YEARS OF HER LIFE. If Mark’s meant to be, he’ll still be meant to be in her alternate reality. This would be like if Tom Hanks in Big decided to remain a toy executive for the rest of his life simply because he was good at it. There’s some sort of value in experiencing your teenage and early adulthood years.

Right now, close your eyes, well not really because then you can’t read. But metaphorically close your eyes and imagine what life would be like if you went to bed as a 13-year-old and woke up as a 13-year-old in a 30-year-old’s body.  Oh yeah, that’s right. You have to remember that in any of these magical age-jumping movies, the kids still have their kid brains. Sorry Mark Ruffalo, you just married a preteen. I hope you have oh so much fun explaining to your wife why your master bedroom doesn’t need an inflatable couch and a cardboard cut out of Justin Bieber.

And aahhh, deep breath. Thus concludes my slightly delayed review on 13 Going on 30.Want another one? Leave the movie idea in the comments below.

You can read more movie reviews from the ’90s and ’00s by checking out Retro Reviews.

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    • Olivia Wilson

      The makers of this movie probably didn’t know very many (stable) 30 year olds.

    • Jill O’Rourke


    • SLF

      Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought that at the end of the movie she got to go back and relive the last 17 years? I assumed it just fast-forwarded to the happy ending, but she had to put in the work and be a good person before that.

      You made me re-question everything.

      • Jenni

        I’m pretty sure they go straight from the kiss to their wedding. And also, upon ANOTHER rewatching right now, is it possible she stole Matty’s childhood too?


      • Moonangel4evr

        WHAT indication is there to that? It all points to the opposite. Are they gonna run outside and transform into 30 year olds right there? Na. Makes sense she gets to get her do over.

      • CG

        No, she definitely did go back and get to relive them…or more likely she got to live them for the first time. The wish dust was probably teaching her a valuable lesson about her values…as wish dust (or other magical item) in body-switch/age jump movies generally does. Either way, she absolutely goes back to being 13; that is why you see her kiss Matty at 13 before the film jumps to their wedding.

      • Jenni

        Oh she definitely goes back to being 13…but does she ever do 14-29?

      • CG

        Yes, she does. Or at least I’m 100% certain that is what the filmmakers intended.

      • Jenni

        Okaayyy you win this round.

      • ARandomGirl

        By this argument…. I don’t understand what you mean. She doesn’t wish to marry Mark Ruffalo… she wishes to go back to being 13 and not grow up into a douchebag. And THEN she marries Mark Ruffalo.

      • …her?

        OMG That’s what I thought too!

    • Meredith Hirt

      As effed up as they made it seem, Judy Greer’s revamp idea was actually way more creative.

      How about a review of How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days? I mean, it’s great Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey end up together, but what kind of guy falls for a chick who buys him a puppy and a “love fern” in the first week of the relationship?

      • Jenni

        At least Judy’s was EXCITING! Why would I want to look at someone else’s prom? Especially when that someone else is probably a lot better looking than me.

      • Jenni

        Oh and yes to How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days…their relationship is built on literal lies. Also that taxi cab on the highway move was seriously unsafe.

      • CortCab

        That movie drives me crazy! I could buy into the idea that a girl would say that she could chase a guy away in ten days for a silly women’s magazine.
        But the idea that some ad man says he can make a woman LOVE him in ten days as proof that he is somehow suited for one specific campaign? That’s ridiculous even in rom-com land.

    • MeghanM

      Please make this a weekly column of delayed reviews.

      • Jenni

        I told myself if it gets more than one comment, then I would. SO MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

    • angelica

      I didn’t think those were huge flaws. When you mention Matt acting like Jenna wasnt a total bitch who ignored him for 17 years, yeah thats the only part I kind of agree with but his character is supposed to be the ultimate best friend and the nicest person ever. The nostalgia and his kind heart won over the negative bit.

    • EB

      Yes, the movie has it’s flaws and inconsistencies but what movie doesn’t. I always thought Jenna’s rebrand of Poise was about making the magazine more relatable to the average reader, not about reliving high school. She wanted to showcase normal, inspiring people rather than the models and trashy morals the magazine had represented in the past. It’s coming full circle because she, as a 13 year old, wanted to live the life of their unrealistic models.

      As far as Mark Ruffalo falling in love with a “preteen” who was mean to him 17 years ago, I don’t think it’s that ridiculous. Who doesn’t have that one person from their past that no matter what they did will always have a piece of their heart. Given the opportunity to reconnect I’m sure many would take it.

      • Moonangel4evr

        I loved the poise idea. It’s not about REliving school years. It’s about living them in the present but being YOURSELF. I agree totally. I watched it like 3 times the other day n cried each time. U think my horomones are off lol. But I don’t agree with some here that say they stay 30. It would have showed her 13 if so. I take it she gets her do over. I mean are they gonna run upstairs outside n transform into 30 year olds. Besides, you see the photos on the mantle she puts up. One was over 13. And when she said to Matt we are gonna be late, I’m thinking she meant about living life.

      • Moonangel4evr

        I mean to say *I* think my horomones are messed up. Sorry.

    • CortCab

      I have always found the sleepover/friendship with the random 13 year old neighbor girl to be the most disturbing part of this movie.

    • Jennifer mclean

      Ok I know that your putting logic into a sweet movie but its not needed. you say Matt married a preteen but he was actually marrying the girl he had always loved and not the monster she actually was before.

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    • smorga17

      You are hilarious. Please do a review of 27 Dresses.

      • Jenni

        I’m scared to get into Katherine Heigl because there are soooo many choices…but this seems like a good place to start!

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    • Bbitch

      whoever wrote this review is clearly an idiot and has no imagination and movies aren’t suppose to be “real” or something that could happen in real life that is why it is a movie.IDIOT

    • anonymous

      What is your problem? This a perfectly sweet and innocent movie, who cares if it might have a few flaws, it’s an effing movie. Honestly, who wastes their time to write a novel on why they don’t like a movie, get a job you psychopath.

      • anonymous

        And btw, the slumber party was at Jenna’s place, that’s why they were all dressed up in her clothes.

    • Liz

      The thing that bothered me about the ending is that she seems to have no ambitions other than getting married and having a “dream” house. Why not show Jenna and Matt as partners making their own magazine or blog with healthy messages and images. It’s like you are either ambitious and mean, or nice and married. You can’t be ambitious and nice, apparently it’s impossible in rom-com lad.

    • Moonangel4evr

      It leaves the movie open to a lil imagination I guess. But for me…..the clues I got…she woke up after falling asleep and realized what she really wanted. It showed her 13 again. Remember Matt saying “late for what?” The way I take it she meant late for life….living their lives. Yes, it fast forwarded to the different route she took with the things that really mattered. As for the redesign if poise….I didn’t take it as reliving high school years. THAT is a magazine that current highschoolers read. It’s tryin to make them see real people and look up to real people, not pcychodelic looking clowns. It’s nothing about reliving high school years. It’s avour enjoying them while you have them but being YOURSELF while doing so. I love the idea.

    • Taratylerfan

      Tara Tyler ! I went to high school with Tara Tyler who is the model in all of the photos onJennifer garners .. presentation , she was told that she was doing a shoot for the cover of poise in the movie and nothing else, and then they used all of her photos to represent the negative image the fashion industry portrays and they slapped words like “absent” on her forehead on the collage style board of her photos . Tara Tyler is beautiful inside and out and incredibly intelligent, I remember her very well even after all these years

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