Director: Gary Winick
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy
Greer, Andy Serkis, Kathy Baker
RunTime: 1 hr 30 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Date: 26 August 2004
It is 1987 and Jenna is a 13-year-old girl on the brink of
womanhood. The problem is that adulthood is just not arriving
fast enough. She's suffocated by her dorky parents, ignored
by the hip kids in school and the cute guy she has a crush
on, barely knows her name. No longer content to spend time
only with her best friend and neighbor, Matt Flamhaff, Jenna
invites the cool kids to her 13th birthday party. But the
party is a disaster. Jenna is humiliated when she's locked
in the closet for a game of "Seven Minutes in Heaven"
and everyone deserts her. Alone in the closet, Jenna makes
an earnest wish. If only she could be all grown up, she'd
have the life she's always wanted. Miraculously, her wish
comes true. The next day, it's 2004 and she's 30-years old.
What's more, she is a gorgeous successful woman (Jennifer
Garner) with a great job and a fabulous Fifth Avenue apartment.
She is finally cool and popular. The only hitch? She has absolutely
no idea how she got there. Initially frightened but gradually
enchanted by her new life, Jenna soon realizes there's something
missing - Matt. When she looks him up, she is horrified to
discover that she and Matt (Mark Ruffalo) are no longer in
contact and he is engaged to be married. Jenna learns that
having it all is not enough and decides to take a second chance
at first love. Now her biggest wish is that it's not too late.
This film bears a striking resemblance with films such as
Tom Hank’s “Big” and Jamie Lee Curtis’s
“Freaky Fridays”. Nonetheless, the originality
of the plot matters not when the cast manage to pull your
heartstrings at each and every turn.
One plus point about the show was that it doesn’t dwell
on the silly time travel element. Instead of abusing special
effects or advance physic theories, it presents a plot filled
with morale and ethical issues in all stages in life. In a
clever way, the film manages to squeeze in a truckload of
overdone life advice in 1 1/2 hours of candy floss movie.
Jennifer Garner shone in the role as a “fish out of
water”. She was awkwardly clumsy yet surprisingly charming
in her role as the 13-year-old trapped in the 30-year-old
body. She accomplished all the right mannerisms of a 13 year
old and yet manages to not go over-the-top or too cute on
the audience. Mark Ruffalo, recently seen as the unlucky policeman
in Collateral, plays Jenna’s best friend, Matt who been
there for Jenna most of the time. Both Mark and Jennifer were
able to strike a spark of believable chemistry between both
of them with the right affection without being overly sexual.
I didn’t want to catch this film. The reasons being
that this is a girly teenager film filled with the typical
Hollywood Cliché formulaic predicaments plot (that
are done to death) and I am not really a fan of Jennifer Garner.
But I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the
film. The film seems to target the girls aging from 12 to
18 but I am sure working ladies who have to face with everyday
workplace problems will find no problem relating to this film.
I had fun watching this and would like to recommend this film
to guys as a simple romantic comedy that is not over-ambitious
and isn’t likely to fall flat on its face.
by Richard Lim Jr