13 Going on 30
In this romantic comedy/drama, Jenna (Shana Dowdeswell) is a wholesome girl on the verge of becoming a teenager in 1987. She invites a group of the popular kids from school to her 13th birthday party. Her next-door neighbor and best friend, Matt (Jack Salvatore, Jr.), embarrasses her when he tries to make her birthday special with a gift from his heart that includes a packet of fairy dust to make all of her dreams come true.
Jenna is mystically transported 17 years into the future and finds herself in a 30-year-old’s body. She receives all of the things that she thought were important: beauty, success and popularity. Adult Jenna (Jennifer Garner) soon discovers, “I don’t have any [real] friends, I don’t talk to my parents, and I’m not a nice person.” She finds her old childhood friend, Matt (Mark Ruffalo), and hopes that he can help her set things back the way they were when life was simple and less superficial.
“13 Going on 30” has a sweet innocence, but it also has a breadth of unacceptable content, which may especially alarm parents since the movie is highly appealing to young girls. Jenna’s boyfriend runs around her house in nothing but a towel and then pulls it off to give her a little show, but she quickly opens an umbrella to cover his nakedness. She often grabs her adult breasts in disbelief that this new body is really hers. Each adult situation is distasteful to Jenna and her 13-year-old mind. The film also contains sexually related dialog, crude language and profanity. The redeeming value of this film is that Jenna does the right thing and presents a clear message that being who you are is better than being what others want you to be.