13 Going On 30 2004 ***

The perennially underused Jennifer Garner gets a showcase for her acting (and dancing) skills in Gary Winick’s engaging fantasy, peppered with neat cultural references and gags. Garner plays Jenna, who makes a wish on her 13th birthday, and awakens to find that she’s a 30 year old woman. He life appears complete, but she’s haunted by the idea that she’s missed something, and tracks down her old boyfriend Matt (Mark Ruffalo) in an effort to see what she might have missed. Most actresses struggle with physical comedy; garner takes to it like a duck to water, artfully suggesting a child’s mentality in an adult body. Ruffalo is a perfect foil; the scene in which they dance to Michael Jackson’s Thriller is something of a delight to behold.


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