Sunday, July 21, 2024

‘13 going on 30,’ 20 years 


By Kolin Kriner

“13 Going On 30,” directed by Gary Winick, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. With that, I wanted to take the opportunity to take a deep dive into the true theme hidden behind this fun and ditzy rom-com. 

The story of this film is rather simple on paper. Jenna Rink, initially played by Christa B. Allen, wakes up one day in the body of her 29-year-old-self, played by Jennifer Garner. 

The movie is packed with fun scenes, fashion and great characters that all revolve around Jenna’s struggles as a teenager in her older self’s body.

The movie, however, really has a much deeper undertone than that. The story means much more when you put yourself in Jenna’s position, because in reality what this film is, is a story about growing up into someone your future self would be proud of. 

All of Jenna’s struggles contribute to this problem. Being thrown into a successful career, you’d assume Jenna would be happy with where her life ended up, but as the story progresses, she realizes that she’s lost so many connections and personal values over the years.

Putting the film into that perspective rather than the rom-com on paper, it’s really teaching a lesson about staying true to yourself. 

You can tell by Jenna’s interactions with other characters that her fun and childlike self are out of the ordinary for those around her. She got to look into the future and see how successful she was, while simultaneously realizing that everything she’d amount to would be at the demise of who she is and what she believes in. 

I think this movie is brilliant through and through. It is overall such a fun watch and has aged incredibly well. 

The lessons the movie teaches are still in effect today. As college students, we tend to look so much towards the future that we forget to have fun and be free in the brief moments we have to do so. Live in the present and be true to yourself — that’s what I learned and I’m sure you will too.


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