Suddenly 30

November 1st, 2004 Film, Film Reviews, Filmink

Director: Gary Winick

Cast: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer

Original trailers for Suddenly 30 called the movie by its original name, 13 Going on 30 (which it’s still called in the US), and didn’t exhibit any signs of the magical happenstance/time travel plot. Was it because they film hadn’t been cut together at the time, or did early US test audiences hate it, expecting Big II — This Time it’s About a Girl)?

Because in its simplest form, that’s exactly what Suddenly 30 is, albeit with two extra marketing hooks thrown in; it’s ostensibly a by-the-book romantic comedy and has the sort of retro music appeal Hollywood knows will draw in the punters.

But despite the straitjacket of constraints imposed by its marketability, Suddenly 30 is as charming, sweet and funny as it can be. 13-year-old Jenna desperately wants to be cool, and when she sinks as low as she can seemingly go, is fatefully sprinkled with magic fairy dust and wakes up a successful and beautiful 30-year-old woman in the shape of Jennifer Garner.

Tracking down her former best friend Matt (Ruffalo) and dealing with her present best friend Lucy (Greer), Jenna realises her perfect life isn’t so perfect, and that she has a lot of catching up to do.

Mark Ruffalo is shabbily lovable but Garner tries a bit too hard to play a 13-year-old stuck in a 30-year-old’s body despite her effervescence. A truly bizarre sight however is Andy (Gollum) Serkis as a senior executive magazine editor. He doesn’t say ‘my prescioussss‘ once!


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