13 GOING ON 30 “Whoopee! Now I can have menstrual cramps!”

13 Going on 30

dir. Winick

Opens Fri April 23

Various Adorable Theaters

So I know this gal who undergoes a strange transformation after taking Ecstasy. Her lower jaw clenches up, her hands turn into lobster claws, and she acquires a low-grade case of cerebral palsy. But the weirdest part? She's ADORABLE. There's nothing about the situation that looks real or true, yet when under the spell, she's utterly charming. And such is the case for 13 Going on 30, in which Jennifer Garner transforms from a dorky 13-year-old into a sexy 30-year-old with a clenched jaw, lobster claws, and low-grade cerebral palsy.

It's 1987 and 13-year-old Jenna wants nothing more than to grow up and become the editor of her favorite fashion mag, Poise. In her way is a group of horrid junior high bitches, and her fat next-door neighbor who carries a Casio and a huge crush. After a particularly traumatic experience, Lil' Jenna uses "wishing dust" to become Big Jenna--a 30-year-old knockout with a closet full of shoes, a hot boyfriend, and a dream job at Poise magazine. But what's this? She still has her 13-year-old brain! Which means she doesn't know shit about sexual relationships, backbiting co-workers, or how to insert a tampon. Even worse, Big Jenna has grown up to be a big beaver. Therefore, Lil' Sweet Jenna must correct Big Bitchy Jenna's past mistakes in order to reunite with her fat neighbor boyfriend (who has grown up to be sexy Mark Ruffalo).

"Waitasecond," you yell. "This is like Tom Hanks' Big, except for girls." You got it. And happily, there's no law against that. 13 Going on 30 is a goofy, candy-colored chick flick custom-designed for the 25-30 year old set that whips by so quickly you practically fly over the plot holes. Dissing on a movie this genial is like kicking a basket of retarded kittens. Bearing that in mind, I can make a promise to the fellas who get dragged kicking and screaming into this movie: You won't want to blow your brains out. Jennifer is charming, Mark Ruffalo is ruffalicious, and the entire production crew obviously took Ecstasy before shooting it. Shut off your brain, and take a 90-minute soak in a big tub of adorable.