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6/14/2004 -- Two new DVD reviews have been posted. We take a look back at the 80s, gay-themed classic, Torch Song Trilogy, and the Oscar-nominated Tom Cruise/Edward Zwick epic, The Last Samurai.

6/10/2004 -- Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's official. You can now reach this wonderful site via www.tailslate.net. This address is just one of several new things you'll be seeing here. Stay tuned for more!

6/3/2004 -- Take a journey into the past. Thousands of years into the past, with the debut review by Kurt Davis of the prehistoric classic, Quest for Fire.

6/1/2004 -- With the 48 Hour Film Project coming to New York City this month, we're offering one woman's personal experience with the project during last year's contest in Washington, D.C. Read the Diary from the 48-Hour Film Project.

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FILM REVIEW
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13 Going On 30
Star(s): Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, Christa B. Allen, Andy Serkis, Kathy Baker, Phil Reeves
Director: Gary Winick
Writer(s): Cathy Yuspa, Josh Goldsmith, Niels Mueller
Company: Sony Pictures

13 Going On 30 Image by Darisa Diaz

Look out Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner is making her case as America’s next sweetheart. Garner is the kind of “girl” you wish was your best friend. She doesn’t seem to realize she’s dazzling. She has an incredible glow that surrounds her when she smiles, dimples and all. 13 Going on 30 banks on this glow and builds an entire film around it.

In 13 Going on 30, thirteen-year-old Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) receives wishing dust for her birthday from her adoring, but not-quite-cool tubby best friend Matt Flamhaff. Jenna already knows what she wants, she wants to be 30! She’s sick of not fitting in, tired of having to stuff her bra and wishing she was part of the Six Chicks (think tween versions of Heathers).

And poof, some movie magic makes all her wishes come true. Jenna wakes up seventeen years later in the body of Jennifer Garner, a total hottie who is also Executive Editor of Poise magazine and now only 13 years old. From here, 13 Going on 30 draws most of its laughs as Jenna tries to acclimate to her new body and career, boobs, heels and all.

Though her fervor is on high, Jenna soon realizes that being “30, flirty and thriving” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. All she really wants to do is be with Matt. But Matt’s engaged to someone else and Mark Ruffalo plays him as a distrusting photographer who isn’t quite sure Jenna’s not on any drugs. Oh yeah, somewhere in all this, Jenna, in a stunning feat of time management skills, attempts to prevent her magazine from going under.

Jenna knows she has a major life overhaul to do after hearing that she ejected Matt (Mark Ruffalo) from her life after her thirteenth birthday. Not only is she stuck with a clueless professional hockey player boyfriend who seems to have taken too many hockey pucks to the head, her new best friend and former Six Chicks, Lucy (Judy Greer), is the ultimate backstabber.

Major “ew!” on both counts.

The most amusing and funniest part of 13 Going on 30 is Jennifer Garner, who plays a thirteen-year-old in a thirty-year-old’s body with such grace and innocence that you have to love her. Her enthusiasm is full-on infectious during the hilarious Thiller dance number where a flamboyant Andy Serkis, no longer the scary Gollum but now a Poise Editor-in-chief, almost outdoes her. Hmm, a dance number. Sound familiar? Does it sound reminiscent of Tom Hanks dancing out “Chopsticks” on a floor keyboard?

Make no mistake, this is an updated version of Big for the new millennium. The only difference being 13 Going on 30 tends to focus more on the romantic comedy than the comedy. As a romantic comedy, it is very funny and intensely sweet. It balances these characteristics so well in a way that Reese Witherspoon’s Sweet Home Alabama never seemed to figure out.

13 Going on 30 gives Jenna the wonderful opportunity to go back and forth between 13 and 30, not just redesigning a magazine but redesigning her life. It’s like The Butterfly Effect without the creepy factor. Sure, none of this could ever happen in real life but it’s hard to think about that when Jennifer Garner is smiling down on you from the big screen. And besides, who doesn’t wish they could go back and fix all those mistakes they made in the past and still wake up looking like Jennifer Garner?

In 13 Going on 30, Jennifer Garner gives such a gleeful performance straight through to the happy ending that the misty-eyed heartache that goes on in-between is completely overshadowed. This is a feel-good film through and through. It is easy to see that Garner is primping for bigger and better things. TV might be too small to hold her after this lead actress debut.

Damn, and I really liked Alias.

Darisa Diaz is a native New Yorker with an obsession for film who will watch anything (bad or good) for the sheer thrill of being entertained. She currently works as a freelancer writer and juggles various "admin" jobs to pay the bills. She has also labored long hours at CosmoGIRL! and Seventeen magazine.

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