starring Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Christa B. Allen
screenplay by Cathy Yuspa & Josh Goldsmith and Niels Mueller
directed by Gary Winick
by Walter Chaw Threatening at any moment to veer off the populist tracks and become something legendarily, unpleasantly subversive, the middling 13 Going on 30 is really little more than a collection of "I Love the '80s" vignettes presided over by Jennifer Garner's peculiar, mannish mien. It's also peculiar that the genre of body-swapping/quick-aging jibber-jabber is making a resurgence now a couple of decades after the last spate (18 Again, Vice Versa, Big), and peculiar again that with Mark Waters's Freaky Friday and Gary Winick's 13 Going on 30, the genre is being re-imagined through the prism of young women. (Perhaps not so strange when you consider that the key demographic slavered over by studio wonks has shifted from the pre-adolescent boys of the mid-'80s to post-Titanic pre-adolescent girls.) It's clear that this film is meant to satisfy some sort of wish-fulfillment fantasy for 13-year-old members of the babysitters' club, but with Eighties references that can only be amusing to people who've passed the third-decade mark, it manages mostly to be a wish-fulfillment fantasy for thirtysomething men who want emotionally immature, sexually malleable women who happen to resemble television starlets.