Some things never change. Hollywood's penchant for chick flicks, for example. Some things do change. And, you will find none of them in this movie, for example.
13 Going On 30 is one of those watch-it-on-HBO types of movies. It keeps you happy throughout but at no point takes you to the wow-this-rocks-man level of entertainment, unless you happen to be taken to the wow-this-rocks-man level of entertainment while watching movies that keep you happy throughout but at no point take you to the wow-this-rocks-man level of entertainment.
Jenna (no, not Jenna Jameson) is thirteen who thinks it would be really cool to be thirty. Yeah, right. Tell that to any Indian woman and you are bound to see her turn three hundred shades of crimson before she swats you like an insignificant paramecium but not before plucking out each of your cilia with disdain.
Anyway, one day she gets her wish and is transported through a time portal, made entirely of wishing powder, into 2004. In other words, the silkworm turns into a butterfly (Jennifer Garner) without going through the murky phase of metamorphosis. She is 30, editor of a highly successful fashion magazine, has a wardrobe full of shoes and designer clothes, and is without Matt (Mark Ruffalo) - the one person she wants to be with but she does not know that yet.
Jenna's childhood friend, Lucy (Judy Greer), stabs her in the back sometime before the intermission. From then on, as we have come to expect in romantic comedies, situations conspire as the immortal Gods take a hand in the matter to turn our protagonists into a happily married couple. But, they do that without any freeway chase / airport scene. Puhlease! Call me a prude, call me non-progressive. But, give me that vital ingredient.
Jennifer Garner won the 2002 Golden Globe for her role as Sydney Bristol in Alias. Perhaps that was the moment she decided that she could keep all her acting abilities underneath the statuette on her nightstand. She is unconvincing as Jenna, the thirteen-year-old girl in the body of a thirty-year-old woman, but that is the kind of slack you cut any lead actress in a chick flick. Mark Ruffalo does his part well, of enrapturing all the women (and there were a lot of them) in the theatre.
So, go ahead and catch the movie. It might not give you one hell of a roller coaster ride but it does promise to take you on a pleasant journey. And, a word of advice. Keep your expectations minimal.