Making the Grades
Remember the maxim: "Be careful what you wish for or you just might get it"? Well, it's too bad thirteen-year-old Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) didn't. Impatiently waiting for puberty to turn her into a woman, she dreams of being just like the cover girls featured in her favorite fashion magazine -- Thirty, Flirty and Thriving.
In an effort to jump-start her adolescent life, the junior high student invites the school's coolest clique to her birthday party. Painting her face with makeup and stuffing tissues down her shirt, Jenna is willing to do anything to be accepted into the group. Consequently, she is gullible enough to play Seven Minutes in Heaven, a game that involves being blindfolded and locked in a closet while an unidentified male does whatever he wants with you. When she discovers the in-crowd has abandoned her to her equally unpopular neighbor Matt Flamhaff (Jack Salvatore Jr.), the devastated girl makes a desperate wish.
The next day Jenna awakes to find she has an adult body (played by Jennifer Garner), a New York apartment, and a naked man in her shower. Like a page out of the Rip Van Winkle fairytale, seventeen years of her life have gone by and she has no recollection of any of them. Anxious to make some sense out of the situation, Jenna looks for a familiar face. With a little work, she tracks down Matt (Mark Ruffalo) and is surprised to learn that they are not the best friends they used to be.
Although believing her amnesia may be the result of drugs or drinking, the patient man kindly fills the missing gaps in the confused woman's memory -- for auld lang syne, if for no other reason. By the end of their discussion, the nearly giddy girl realizes she is an attractive thirty year-old who is flirting with fame and romance while employed as an assistant editor for a thriving fashion magazine.
But that bubbly "what more could I ask for" feeling slowly fizzles as the ambitious career woman discovers more about the person she has become. From her vantage point near the top of the corporate ladder, Jenna compares her past with her present, and begins to realize she may not have all she really hoped for.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about 13 Going on 30.
At thirteen, Jenna was willing to do anything to become popular. How did that attitude influence the choices she made over the next seventeen years? Do you believe decisions you make in your youth can profoundly affect the rest of your life, like they did for this character?
During a mother/daughter talk about making mistakes, Jenna expresses feelings of regret, while her mom sees learning opportunities. Why do the two women view such experiences so differently? Can regrets ever be turned into learning experiences?