Guest Author - Caitlin D Neely
On Jenna Rink’s (Jennifer Garner) 13th birthday she makes a wish to be 30. When she wakes up the next day she discovers her wish has come true. She’s a 30 year old magazine editor living in New York City. She enjoys her new life until she learns that she’s grown into a woman that no one likes and that she’s no longer friends with her middle school buddy Matt Flamhaff (Mark Ruffalo).
Jennifer Garner makes this film with her portrayal as a 13 year old living in a grown woman’s body. She’s masterful at playing innocent and naïve. The little girl in her even gets embarrassed when forced to curse. I really can’t imagine anyone else playing this part. Garner has a childlike play fullness to her but also the acting chops needed to handle her character’s growth and emotional rollercoaster. Plus, she makes you laugh and she makes you cry. And I’m not easily coerced into crying during a movie.
The supporting cast is great to. Ruffalo is cute and goofy as Matt Flamhoff. I was really pulling for him the entire movie and hoping he’d find his way concerning his relationship (to a different woman, not with Garner). Judy Greer plays mean well as Lucy Wyman. She’s like a hungry cat ready to pounce at any moment. Her character quickly reveals herself as a mean, conniving woman and Greer handles that with ease.
I also have to add that I love the combination of 80s and current music. The soundtrack goes along fantastically with the film. You can tell the songs in the background were each carefully chosen. They all bring something to the scene. I love “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield and “Why Can’t I?” by Liz Phair. I could listen to the entire soundtrack all day long.
The film has plenty of funny moments but also more emotional ones. I think the writers and director did a good job of balancing the two. They really let us know what Jenna Rink is going through. Plus, after watching this movie, I think all of us will think twice the next time we wish we could fast forward through a moment or even life.