Saw this movie last night. Saw the trailer a couple of times on other movies' DVDs and thought I'd give it a try. What a surprise it was. I was expecting some kind of dumb comedy, as the trailer surely presented it as one. But it's quite a pleasant little movie. The story, in capsule, is about a 13 year old girl who on her 13th birthday wished she was 30 (Why 30, you ask? Because before that she read an article in a Cleo-like magazine titled "Thirty, flirty and..." something, which was kind of funny). The next thing she knows she woke up as a 30 year old.
The movie could've easily played with this fish-out-of-water situation to comic effect, but surprisingly, after about 20 plus mostly unfunny opening minutes, it settles into a romantic drama mode, with some serious meditation on the kind of values that we young people of today have practically forgotten. What other recent adult or teen movie has its main character saying this to her mom, "I'm sorry I missed last year's Christmas"? With all us young people striving to be more and more 'independent', some of us HAVE neglected to realise the importance and value of family. The importance of being decent human beings towards each other, and even other people. These are only some of the things that this nice little film took the time to let us ponder about.
Yes, it doesn't 'flag' these things or say them out loud, but they're definitely there, if only you'd care enough to look. I won't go so far as to pronounce it as a 'very good' film. But a 'good' film it certainly is. The director, Gary Winick (of Tadpole, which I haven't seen), nails most of the film just right, except for the opening 15 to 20 minutes when the film can't seem to decide what it wants to be.
But the biggest plaudits must go to the 2 lead actors, Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo. They just have such a fantastic chemistry together. And they acted out their parts wonderfully, especially Ruffalo. I've been impressed with this guy ever since I saw 'You Can Count On Me'. Which now, come to think of it, the latter part of this film, i.e. after the opening 15 to 20 minutes, definitely has a similar tone to You Can Count On Me.
Closing statement? I came in expecting a dumb comedy of sporadic entertainment. I left feeling entertained and at the same time feeling that it's money worth spending. I also felt glad that I saw it. At least it made me think about a few things that I might have taken for granted before. (7 out of 10)