13 Going On 30 (2004)

Director: Gary Winick (1)


Cast: Jennifer Garner (2), Judy Greer (3), Mark Ruffalo (4)


My favourite quote – “You can’t just turn back time.” 

Be prepared for a number of reflective entries throughout the year. You see, I’m turning 30 this November. 

Early this year, it hit me, I am turning 30 this year… but not yet. I’m ain’t 30 yet, not until the morning of 20th November 2012. But honestly what difference does a few months do? I have to face the facts. I’m 29 going on 30. 

This film still makes me cry when the 30 year old Jenna Rink loses the 30 year old Matt Flamhaff for good. And that’s also when he says two lines that resonates with me. “You can’t just turn back time.”  and “You don’t always get the dream house, but you get awfully close.”


Let’s talk about the first quote – “You can’t just turn back time.” This is a fact. But its my favourite quote in the film because of its context.


Do you have any regrets in your life? Mistakes you made in the past that you wish you didn’t make? When Jennifer Garner’s Jenna Rink asked her mother what she would change in her life if she could have a do-over, her mother told her that she wouldn’t change anything and that even though she made a lot of mistakes she doesn’t regret making any of them, because if she hadn’t have made those mistakes, she wouldn’t know how to make things right. Until some genius invents a time machine, we have to remember that you can’t just turn back time. So we must always remember that, and to live in the present. We can reflect on the past to improve ourselves, and plan for the future, but we must never forget to live in the now. What’s the point of looking forward or to the past when the present is what we should be focused on?


I have made mistakes, I wish I could turn back time sometimes. However, no use harping on something I can’t change. Best to not waste any more time and work on the now, so that another 30 years later, I won’t look back at my life and wish that things were different.


Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate my life. I know if I had done a few things differently, if I had the wisdom and advantage of knowing how my life would have turned out, I might do something different too at 13. However, this is my life. This is now. There are many things I want out of my life that hasn’t yet been accomplished. So I best get on it. Maybe I can accomplish it by the time I turn 30 in November. Most likely not, but you never know.


Now, the other quote “You don’t always get the dream house, but you get awfully close.” Well, I like it but I don’t like it. Confusing? Let me explain. This quote makes me feel like I should settle for something less. Which is why I don’t really like it very much. But! It also reminds me that sometimes, though we aim high, we might not get everything we ever dream of and we can’t just keep pining for something that might never be in our reach. Now I like this quote precisely because it reminds me that I shouldn’t settle for less than everything I want. And each time you get awfully close to that dream house, you’re just a short way off from THE dream house. Is this reverse psychology at work here? Its like the trying to hit the bulls eye on the archery target board. You keep trying and trying, figuring out what you did wrongly or differently to give you this undesired outcome. And you keep working on it to until you hit the bulls eye. Every time you missed the ‘X’, you shouldn’t give up on trying to hit it over and over again.


I’ve been meaning to re-watch 13 Going On 30 since January this year because I am going on 30 soon. So now, I’ve checked that off my list. And I’m glad I’ve finally gotten down to making this blog a regular feature in my life. Once this gets off and becomes more stable, I will focus on my other blog – a travel blog (click here if you wanna check it out, its still pretty empty unfortunately)


Now this film made me sit up and notice Mark Ruffalo and Judy Greer. And although I’ve watched Judy Greer’s performance in The Wedding Planner before 13 Going on 30, this film really sealed the deal for me when it comes to her acting. Judy Greer often plays the same type of woman on screen, sometimes sweet, mostly bitchy. But she really pulls it off time and again. I realised I am always drawn to quirky characters. (Think Zooey Deschanel and Krysten Ritter in Confessions Of A Shopaholic). And as for Mark Ruffalo, he may not be the drop dead gorgeous type of leading actor, he has a certain charisma and subtle attractiveness that draws me to him.


Jennifer Garner as Jenna Rink. She hit this one right out of the park! I loved her in this film. She was funny, vulnerable, sexy, and adorable all at once and she lights up the screen whenever she’s in a scene. I totally bought into whatever her character was going through and I loved watching Jennifer Garner’s Jenna Rink go through the changes, finally growing up and turning into the wonderful woman she always had in her to be. And I think this is why I love this film. Because if Jenna Rink can become a better person and figure out what she really wants and needs before its too late, so can I. And so can you. 



(1) Director Gary Winick has directed films like Charlotte’s Web (2006), Bride Wars (2009), and Letters To Juliet (2010). 

(2) Jennifer Garner has acted in films like Pearl Harbour (2001), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Daredevil (2003), Elektra (2005), Catch And Release (2006), The Kingdom (2007), Juno (2007), Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past (2009), Valentine’s Day (2010), Arthur (2011), and The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (2012)

(3) Judy Greer has acted in films like Three Kings (1999), What Women Want (2000), The Wedding Planner (2001)Adaptation (2002), The Village (2004), Elizabethtown (2005), American Dreamz (2006), 27 Dresses (2008), Love Happens (2009), Marmaduke (2010), Love & Other Drugs (2010), The Descendants (2011), and Playing For Keeps (2012). She has also voiced the character of Cheryl Tunt in the television series Archer (2009-2013). She has also guest starred in television series like Arrested Development, CSI: Miami, My Name Is Earl, Two And A Half Men, Californication, ER, House, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and Royal Pains.

(4) Mark Ruffalo has acted in films like View From The Top (2003), Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004), Collateral (2004), Just Like Heaven (2005), Rumour Has It (2005), Zodiac (2007), The Brothers Bloom (2008), Where The Wild Things Are (2009),  Shutter Island (2010), Date Night (2010), The Kids Are Alright (2010), Margaret (2011), and The Avengers (2012)


The Eclectic Reviewer says… I’m turning 30. This is reason enough why this film is a hit with me. But I think that the film appeals to everyone of all ages because it reminds you that its not too late to make changes in your life. Its never too late to fix what’s broken in your life. Even if you don’t have some magic wishing dust to help you along, you can still go up to people you’ve hurt before and say you’re sorry. You still can make up for the nasty things you’ve done to people who love and care about you. If you’re sincere, and show them the better person you’ve become, they might never forget what wrongs you did, but they can forgive you for it. (4.5 of 5)

Movie Poster from Wikipedia

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