I didn't expect to get much out of 13 Going on 30 and while I am admittedly not the audience for a film of this nature, the romance comedy is a good deal better than most of the other offerings in the genre. Good amounts of charm and really nice performances by the leads make it a likely a must see for any fan of romance comedy films. Jennifer Garner is proving her own here and this film is just another step forward for the actress who likely will get bigger and bigger projects to work on.
The film is sort of a chic version of Big. It opens in 1987 with Jenna Rink being the typical geeky girl with few friends who desperately wants to fit in with the cool crowd. She is granted some access in exchange for homework and thinks she is on her way. Her friend, fellow outcast Matt, likes as is, but she wants to be cool and invites all the cool kids to her birthday party. Matt gets the diss and as it turns out, so does Jenna as the cool kids skip out. Crying and oh so sad, Jenna hides in her closet and dreams of being a cool adult girl like the ones she reads about in Poise magazine. Some fairy dust later and she wakes up in 2004 in a posh NYC apartment with a boyfriend she doesn't know, a job at Poise along with her cool girl idol Lucy, and not a clue of about the years between 13 and 30. Being confused and with no friends that she remembers, she looks up Matt only to find out how badly she hurt him concerning that birthday incident. She goes on with her live, learning to appreciate Matt and so forth, learning those life lessons in quick fashion before the film comes to the appropriate and predicable ending.
13 Going on 30 is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a fine looking transfer in every way with no serious complaints. Good colors, a rather consistently sharp image, and good black level. If you want to point out negatives there are some slight moments of softness along with a couple of artifacts in a few scenes. Some slight enhancement as well. Few things though that do little to mar a fine looking transfer.
Dolby Digital 5.1 audio is include for this release. The mix is mostly set in the fronts with the rears tending to just be there for ambience and little discrete effects. A few moments make good use of all channels, but most of the time it is all fronts. Though simple audio it is effective enough and gets the job done.
Extras begin with an audio commentary from director Gary Winick. The film was his first big budget picture and his charm and awe about come through in fine form here. He goes through what he thank turned out well and what he would have done differently. A second audio commentary has the producers chiming in about stuff.
Next are 18 deleted scenes. Some are extensions, some are completely excised moments. No commentary for them, just the scenes. Beyond that is a making of featurette which is mostly fluff and backslapping stuff along with I Was a Teenage Geek which has the stars reminiscing about being geeks when they were young.
Also onboard are a Rick Springfield music video, an image gallery, a blooper reel, and trailers for other Columbia properties.
13 Going on 30 isn't my type of movie but it was charming enough for cynical old me to not have gone nuts in agony watching it. Most people with real feelings will fine it quite enjoyable and heartwarming. Given I can't stand such stuff most of the time, I will say that it is a good film for most of you readers out there. The DVD certainly is a fine offering in all areas so if you like goodhearted comedies with a message and fine performances, then this is the film for you.
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