13 Going on 30 (2004) Review

When Jenna Rink is humiliated at her own 13th birthday party she makes a wish that she was 30. That comes true and she will quickly realise that wishing your life away is certainly not the best idea. 


She wants nothing more than to be accepted by those popular girls, even though they aren’t actually very nice at all. They are stuck up and only care about themselves, wanting Jenna to write a report for them. She also wants to be with the most popular boy in school and this forces her friendship with Matt (who is lovely) to suffer. 

When she hits NYC and is now 30, she achieved the majority of her dreams it seems. Although she is not a nice person anymore, whatever got lost along the way her morals also went with it all. I guess that can be rather thought provoking to think about what your 13 year old self would make of some of your life choices. My bet is that it would really shock yourself. 

Being reunited with Matt even though they never really spoke after the party and fall out from that was where she would realise her mistakes. He is still a super nice guy and about to marry someone else. Even though he had never really got over his teenage crush on Jenna. 

The way the film ends really is so satisfying and I personally think it has a lot to offer beyond the amusing moments that come along with this style of film and a teen going to an adult and missing everything in-between. 

I loved this film when I first saw it back in 2004 and now in 2020 I still love the film. Although it is probably for very different reasons. In 2004 I had turned 17 so not far past those teenage years of being at school. Now I am into my 30s and makes you look at this in a rather different way. Considering she still feels 13 and attempting to live that 30 year old life highlights that no matter what we thought in our teens you still have no idea about what you want at 30. This now makes me wonder if that is something you ever figure out in life? 

It also raises the question surrounding which friends will be the ones you actually have for life, even if you don’t manage to see them all that often as you age. But you will always know that they are around when you need them. Sometimes though I doubt that is something you can actually work out, as people change you just end up losing people along the way. This film certainly shows that you really need to think about who is actually a friend for the right reasons, the main one by being yourself.

Jennifer Garner is great in the leading role and manages to balance the innocence of being 13 into the messed up 30 year old. Especially when it comes to her boyfriend being naked, that really does have so much amusement. Her chemistry with Mark Ruffalo is brilliant and he certainly has a good nature for this type of rom-com. Something that he has been in a few times over the years. Then we get Andy Serkis and Judy Greer in the supporting roles and it really does make it all so good.

4 thoughts on “13 Going on 30 (2004) Review

  1. Love this movie. One of my high school bible teachers would put this on when we had nothing to do in class.

    This was the first film I saw Mark Ruffalo in and it seems like his career skyrocketed after “13 Going on 30.” Also I’ve noticed Matty is one of the few love interests in a rom-com not to leave his fiancée or significant other for the main character.

    You make some interesting points about when you were a teenager compared to now. I had no idea what I wanted when I was 13, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized what I do and don’t want.

    I like how Jenna has her dream job, apartment, etc, but as the movie progresses she realizes that’s not what she wants anymore, especially if it means losing her best friend. Of course in true rom-com fashion, she gets to start over and create a new path for herself. Super cute film.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah realising that to get the teenage dream she has become a horrible person and not what she wants to be. I think that is quite interesting to highlight that she realised the mistakes she made along the way!

      Liked by 1 person

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