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.
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.
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.