Writer: Cathy Yuspa & Josh Goldsmith Director: Gary Winick Starring: Jennifer Garner, Rated: PG-13 (no UK rating yet) Trailer:Quicktime, Various Sizes Tagline: For some, 13 feels like it was just yesterday. For Jenna, it was.
Before i get this review into full swing, i have to say a little something about Jennifer Garner. Not having seen Alias, the first time i saw Jennifer Garner in action was the good, but still lackluster Daredevil. I wasn't terribly impressed. She looked good, she moved well and the acting was good, but there was no it factor. I'd heard the buzz about Alias had created about her, but i didn't believe it.
Then a few weeks ago i took a chance, based purely on good word of mouth, and i bought Alias season one on DVD. Safe to say i was hooked by the end of the first episode. In just a few weeks i finished the first two seasons and now i'm caught up with season three. And now i believe the buzz about Jennifer Garner. In Alias, she convincingly shows us someone who is strong, confident and intelligent, while being emotional, torn in different directions, confused and a whole host of other things. She is, i think, the most convincing, strongest female lead since the whole 'girl power' thing started. Sarah Michelle Gellar brought us Buffy, undoubtedly a strong female character, but SMG does not have it, that quintessential quality that permeates the truest stars. Jennifer Garner has it. She has it in spades.
So, when i arrived in New York City, i saw posters and adverts for 13 Going On 30, a romantic comedy starring Jennifer Garner. And i thought to myself, she's great in Alias, but can she do comedy?
Last week i attended a preview screening of the film at the AMC in Times Square and i have my answer. Jennifer Garner can do comedy. Jennifer Garner rocks at comedy.
The film centres around Jenna Rink, who, when the film starts is 13 (in 1987, complete with bad fashion, bad fashion, bad music and tissue for boobs). Jenna has a good home, a great friend nextdoor and is apparently smart, but all she wants is to be cool. She wants to be cool so much, she is willing to pander to the cool, but bitchy, in-crowd. After a party that dies in it's own afterbirth, 13 year old Jenna wishes she was 30. And you know what comes next. When she wakes up, she is 30, and in this film, being 30 comes with a hot body, a great apartment and a job as a bigshot magazine editor. That's the setup anyway. The rest of the film follows Jenna as she discovers who she is, and who she wants to be, corrects the mistakes she made and finds the love she lost.
I know, it sounds corny, it sounds like a chick-flic. And to be quite honest, it is. But it's a damned good one. The film delivers pretty much everywhere. The performances are good on all parts; Garner is on top form, as is Mark Ruffalo, the love interest. The rest of the cast do well, rounding out the film. Visually the film is a treat. It's bright, vibrant and full of colour, fitting the tone and feel of the film, which is equally vibrant.
It is of course a comedy. and it delivers on that front too. The laughs are regular, from chuckles to roars, and it never resorts to farting (or sharting) to do it. The directing (by Gary Winick), is as good as you get from a film like this, as is pretty much everything else.
As you can tell, i really enjoyed the film, it was excellent. But don't take my word for it, take the rest of the audiences. At several points in the film and especially when the credits rolled, the audience broke into applause. This, to myself and lil_miss, was weird. At home (and i guess this is typically English), we sit and watch a film and sure, we laugh, but we don't applaud a film. What's the point in applauding a piece of film? The cast and crew aren't there, they can't appreciate the applauce. However, i enjoyed it. I've never seen an audience show such blatant appreciation for a piece of film making before, and i wish it was something that is English folk did.
All in all, it was an excellent comedy. A chick-flic to be sure, but if I, a Star Wars, comic, action, violence loving guy can love it, so can others.
PS - I'd put money on Garner being the top Hollywood female star within a few years of Alias finishing.She has the looks, and she's as good or better an actor than any of what Hollywood offers at the moment.
4 Replies and 3788 Views in Total.
Sydney You can lead the whore to culture but you can't make her think!
I love Alias.. I love Jennifer Garner and I'd love to see thsi film when it coems out over here. Thanks for the review