Film Deep Focus—“13 Going on 30”

Story posted November 14, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Giana Miller.

The movie ”13 Going on 30” was directed by Gary Winick and released in 2004. It stars Jennifer Garner as Jenna and Mark Ruffalo as her best friend Matt.

The film begins with Jenna, a young teen girl, dealing with the struggles of puberty. She constantly finds herself wishing she wasn’t dealing with the growing pains of middle school life.

She celebrates her birthday party that same day where she's humiliated by the “popular” kids at school. She wishes to be “30, flirty and thriving,” a phrase she read in a magazine. To her surprise, her wish comes true as she wakes up 17 years later to her life as a 30-year-old woman.

As she navigates through her new life, she realizes how different her future turned out to be compared to what her 13-year-old self presumed. She was very successful in many ways and had what she thought was “the perfect life.” Until she realized her version of “successful” wasn’t what brought her true happiness.

This realization shows her how much she took for granted during her life as a young teenager. She begins to relate back to her roots through prioritizing her important friendships/ relationships and enjoying life with a 13-year-old’s mindset.

By the end of the film, she changes her entire outlook on life. Through this process, she is able to reverse the wish and resume her life as a teenager. While everything was back to normal, she knew she needed to live those next 17 years a little differently.

This movie is full of heartwarming moments and a happy ending, what more could anyone ask for? The plot contains many different aspects that help keep the audience wanting more.

For example, one of the most iconic scenes is when Jenna livens up the party by getting everyone to dance to the hit song “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. She invites her best friend Matt to join and eventually the whole room is dancing. Her child-like view was able to be used as an advantage and significantly progressed the plot.

When it premiered, this film earned 22 million dollars in its first week then grossed over 96 million dollars. It also became one of the biggest selling DVD rental titles in 2004.

Not to mention, the soundtrack, consisting of many classic songs from the 80s, became a huge success charting inside the top 50 on the US Billboard 200.

Now that the movie is almost 20 years old, it can be found for free on HBO Max. Throughout the years, this touching movie has been capable of staying relevant for kids and adults of all ages.

This film is a great representation of a classic, light-hearted romantic comedy. It touches upon important topics regarding love and life and teaches a significant lesson about learning to appreciate your childhood. It shows that growing up may sound nice, but there’s just something way more special about being a kid.

Rating: 4/5

Giana Miller is a third-year majoring in Telecommunications. To contact her, email