What do you get when you combine a happening '80s soundtrack with the storyline of a New York pre-teen who wants to become an adult? No, this isn't Tom Hanks' Big; it's the premise of 13 Going On 30, the new film from Tadpole director Gary Winick.
In the year 1987, 13-year-old Jenna Rink (Christa Allen) has already realized that being a teenager will be the worst time of her life. After receiving a package of wishing-dust from her best friend Matt Flamhaff (Jack Salvatore Jr.), she wishes that she could be "thirty, flirty and thriving."
As luck would have it, Jenna wakes up in 2004 to find that she is indeed 30 (now played by Alias' Jennifer Garner) and living in a posh Manhattan apartment. She's also apparently been very flirty and has the New York Rangers' star hockey player for a live-in boyfriend. And of course, Jenna is thriving: she and her best friend Lucy Wyman (Judy Greer) -- the coolest girl back in high school -- are the Style editors of New York's hottest fashion magazine, Poise.
Garner captures the humor and na‹vet‚ of a 13 year old stuck in a 30 year old's body just like Hanks did with Big. After another girl comments on how nice Jenna looks in her new dress, she excitedly grabs herself and proclaims, "It's because I've got these incredible boobs to fill it out!" She reconnects with an older Matt (Mark Ruffalo), who has become a photographer and is living in Greenwich Village.
Meanwhile, Poise starts taking a lot of heat from the competition, and Jenna needs to come up with some fast solutions, including getting a group of fashion yuppies to dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and collaborating with Matt on a redesign of the magazine.
Though 13 Going On 30 isn't quite a match for Big, it remains a feel-good movie with an unexpected degree of wit. Garner's acting makes you laugh and think back to your pre-teen days of stuffing tissues in your bra and wishing you could play seven minutes in heaven with that hottie from your seventh grade history class. Go take a two-hour study-break from finals, grab a date and head down to the theater for a trip back to your youth. Maybe you can even hold hands!