13 Going on 30 tells a heart warming tale about a young girl who wishes to be something she is not, and when that wish is granted realizes that her life wasn’t so bad when she was 13. The movie starts out with Jenna taking her school picture, it turns out awful. She is visibly upset until she sees her best friend Matt, affectionately called Matty, Flaffham. They hug and talk and then from down the hall, all of the students part to the side to reveal the “Six Chicks”, obviously the most popular girls in school. They say hello to Jenna and call Matty “Beaver” and he bites back wittingly to each mean gesture that they give him. Matty leaves and Jenna and the six chicks are alone, they tell her they can’t go to her birthday because they have to do a project proposal, but not only can they not go, but the most popular boy in school Chris Grandy, can’t go either. Jenna, desperate to be part of the six chicks tells them that she will write their proposal.
Jenna, getting ready for her birthday party, is listening to Rick Springfield’s Jesse’s Girl and then turns around and kisses the TV. She is startled by her door opening and her parents walking in, her father with a camera. What you see in the previews does not air in the movie. Her mother shoos her father away because of Jenna’s self confidence after Jenna flings herself on her bed in embarrassment. Her mother takes out the Kleenex out of her shirt and gives Jenna a small pep talk, Jenna says she wants to be “thirty, flirty, and fun”, her mother tells her she will be soon enough.
Matt and Jenna are seen downstairs in the basement where the party is to be held. Matt has a gigantic box with a pink bow in his arms. He places it on the table and takes the top of it off, revealing a Barbie Dream House like doll house, affectionately called “Jenna’s Dream House.” Inside Jenna is taking a bubble bath and Matty is pointing at a dashing Rick Springfield sitting at the kitchen table. Matty is protecting Jenna from anything that Rick might try. Jenna is obviously touched as he sprinkles wishing dust onto the house and he tells her to make a wish, until the door bell rings. She grabs the house and shoves it into the closet; Matt looks hurt, but understands her want to be popular.
Jenna runs upstairs and tells Matt to put music on. As her father reaches for the door she reminds him that he promised to stay upstairs during her party. He retreats upstairs as she opens the door to show six, very well endowed thirteen year old girls, staring at her. She smiles and invites them in telling them that the party is downstairs, the girls throw their coats in her arms – Jenna is un-phased as if it is normal. She hears a car from down the street and turns to look and a bronze colored car with three very good looking boys in the car. She smiles dreamily ad they get out of the car and walk towards her in slow motion. The party continued downstairs as Matty is rocking out and everyone is watching him with disgust, except Jenna who looks mortified. Tom Tom the leader of the six chicks walks over and takes his cassette out and puts in Madonna’s Cherish. Matt looks angry, and walks over to Jenna and tells her that he’s going to go get his Casio to play.
“Whatever Matt, it’s not like I need a play by play,” Jenna says repeating what the six chicks had said to him previously. Crushed Matt leaves and Tom Tom suggests they play Seven Minutes in Heaven; Jenna agrees but asks for a bit of direction in the game. Tom Tom tells her exactly what it is and puts a blindfold around her eyes and directs her towards the closet, telling her that the popular boy Chris Grandy likes it going to second base. Immediately Jenna takes the tissue out of her shirt. As she stands there waiting we see the Six Chicks and the boys grabbing the paper she wrote for them and taking food before leaving. Matty comes down and Tom Tom tells him that Jenna is waiting for him in the closet before leaving. Matty puts his Casio keyboard down and opens the door. Jenna says that she thought he wasn’t coming, and reaches out for him. Matt laces his fingers with hers and she says “Chris, say something,” Matt says that it’s not Chris, but Matt. Jenna grabs her hands back and she takes the blindfold off and sees that everyone is gone. She asks him what he did and freaks out. She goes back into the closet, visibly upset. He tries to talk her out and she sits in the closet alone and sad. She repeats to herself, “I want to be 30. I want to be thirty, flirty, and fun”.
The wishing dust from the house falls down from where it is in the closet and soon consumes the screen and we pan down to a larger form sleeping messily in a bed, her feet on the pillows her body tangled in sheets. She moves around a bit before she falls on the floor with a thud. She moves towards the door and tries to open it. She pushes the sleeping mask up onto her forehead as she opens the door and calls for her mother. She exits her room and looks utterly confused, when she hits a mirror she looks into it and screams before falling over the counter behind her. A man exits her bathroom and leaves the screen as she stands up and begins to mess with her face, obviously confused by this transformation.
Her hands quickly travel from her face to her breasts. She squeezes on to them and moves to the couch, still clutching her new possessions tight. She flips through her mail, all of them addressed to Jenna Rink; she realizes that she lives here. She hears a ringing sound, I believe of Minuet, obvious to the audience it is a cell phone, but to Jenna it’s noise that comes from nowhere. She searches for it before she hears a man’s voice call out for “Sweet bottom”. She grabs an umbrella and declares that her parents will be home any minute and he’ll get in trouble.
He walks out, “Hey Sweet bottom,”
Jenna is shaken, “You’re naked!!!”,
“Well, not yet.”
She undoes the umbrella and throws it at him before grabbing her coat and a pair of shoes and running out the door. Outside she’s confronted by the hustle and bustle that is New York City, the ringing is still going on and she cannot figure out where it is coming from. She asks people on the street before someone calls out her name.
“Jenna, get in the car”, Lucy (played by Judy Greer) tells her. Jenna says she doesn’t get into the car with strangers. Finally Jenna obliges and gets into the car, as the “naked man” from her apartment has stuck his head out of the window and threatened to come down and get her. While in the car she learns that Lucy is her best friend and they soon arrive at work, where Jenna learns she now works for her favorite magazine “Poise” and is one of the editors. She and Lucy go upstairs where the “Eminem is on the phone and he wants a decision now” scene comes in, she is whisked off to a meeting with her boss (played by Andy Serkis) and sends her secretary in search for Matt. Poise (which looks just like Instyle) is being copied by another magazine named Sparkle (looks like Glamour); each month their covers feature the same super star, but Sparkle always has the one up on Poise. Jenna asks if she can use the bathroom and finds her office, astonished by all of the pictures she learns that she’s friends with Madonna. Her secretary comes in and tells her that she found Matt and that he lives in the Village, Jenna asks what Village? Greenwich Village.
So Jenna goes to find Matt and then does, she tells him that she doesn’t remember anything past her 13th birthday and he thinks she’s on drugs. She begins to hyperventilate and he sits her down. She asks for water, fresh air and a fluffy pillow. He brings her those things before walking her home. When they get to her apartment he leaves and she invites him upstairs to show her what happened. She looks at a picture and finds out she was the leader of the six chicks and prom queen in high school and that Lucy is actually Tom Tom. The phone rings and she learns that she has a limo for a party; she invites Matt saying it’ll be tons of fun.
Cut to Jenna getting dressed for the party, she gets ready and leaves. In the elevator there is a young girl, Jenna introduces herself. The little girl looks stunned, Jenna never speaks to her. Jenna says she likes her shoes or something and the little girl says she likes her dress, the line “it’s cause I’ve got these incredible boobs to fill it out” comes here.
Jenna leaves and goes to the party. She finds Lucy and she orders a lemonade, but quickly changes it to a pina colada…not virgin…she has ID and can show it to them. Soon Jenna is a bit drunk and goes downstairs
“It’s 11 o’clock on a school night and I’m going to party, it’s so cool!” Lucy is upset because people are leaving; they soon see the editor of Sparkle Magazine crashing their party. She comes over and insults them, telling them that they should rename their magazine Poison, Pitiful, maybe something more Pathetic. The Sparkle lady goes away and their boss comes over and he wants to know if he smells, Jenna says no. He is upset because the Poise Party is a flop; Jenna suggests that they play other music, something with a melody. He tells her to play whatever she wants. She hands Lucy her pina colada and her purse before going up to the DJ. He quickly changes the record and soon the beginning to Thriller starts to play (the crowd in the theater went WILD here); she looks around awkwardly before bobbing her head to the music. She sees Matt in the crowd and makes him come out onto the dance floor and soon the two begin to dance to the song, followed by many others. Matt becomes uncomfortable and leaves. Here is where I’ll start going into less detail.
Jenna and Lucy have dinner; this is where she hits on the young boy. They leave and outside Jenna sees “Naked Man” and freaks out. Lucy tells her that it’s only her boyfriend Alex (I think). A door opens down the street and Matt appears with a brunette on his arm. Jenna goes and says hello and Matt introduces her to his fiancée, Wendy. Jenna is thrown back before Alex comes across the street. Jenna is visibly proud she has a boyfriend, but doesn’t know his name. Jenna introduces Matt and Wendy to him, but cannot introduce them to him. Matt already knows who he is and Alex offers to give him an autograph but Matt declines and walks off with his fiancée. Alex takes Jenna home and he starts to kiss her, she is uncomfortable. She wants to play a game, Battleship. They sit on the couch and he starts licking her ear, she’s grossed out. He gets up to do a dance for her and this is where the strip tease comes in.
The following scenes may be out of order, just because I went to bed after typing the above half of the synopsis. Jenna goes to work and learns that Poise is going to have to redesign. Jenna is up for it, but Lucy gives her a weird look. Jenna goes back to her office and her secretary gives her messages from the day, all of which are nasty. When in her office she begins writing down some notes in very cute Lisa Frank folders. The phone rings and her secretary informs her that Alex is on the phone and wants to know when he can see Jenna again because she seemed uncomfortable last night. Jenna tells her that Alex can see her in about a zillion years. The phone rings again and it’s her secretary again, telling her that someone from the art departments husband is here to see her. Jenna thinks it’s nice of someone’s husband to stop by and lets him in. He immediately walks over to her and kisses her, she is flabbergasted. He tells her she wasn’t being that way when they shook some drawers last week, she kicks him in the groin and he leaves. Jenna goes down the hall in the office and hears Lucy scheming to get her own idea and to leave Jenna out of it because she’s been acting really weird lately. Jenna is hurt and gets on train and goes home. She stands in front of her house and stares at it before going inside (she calls her house when she first discovers she’s not a 13 year old anymore, but her parents went on vacation…without her!). She opens the door to her room, or what used to be her room. There is now a treadmill and a computer; she goes downstairs, the last place she remembers being and starts to cry and bang against the shelves, causing a ruckus. Her parents get home and her dad and mom go downstairs, her dad armed with an umbrella (it must run in the family) the open the door. “Daddy!” Jenna hugs him and her mother asks what’s wrong. Cut to night time, there is a huge storm out, thunder, lightening. Jenna is scared and crawls into bed with her parents.
Soon it is morning and Jenna is eating a pancake with a chocolate syrup smiley face and strawberry halves surrounding it. She tells her mom she’s sorry she missed last Christmas. She looks through her old year books, and sees that all the pictures were taken by Matt. A light bulb goes on. Jenna hires Matt for a photo shoot for Poise, they have a great time. At night she tells him she wants Razzles…remember it’s both a candy and a gum. So they go and get some and end up walking. She tells him that he’s the sweetest guy she’s ever known, after she fights with him to show her his tongue (I showed you mine; now you show me yours). He says he bets he can still beat her in the swing jump. So they go to the swings and jump…when they land they land tangled together.
And the kiss and the camera pans out and you hear a voice over “and I just floated home on a cloud.” The little girls appear that you see in the trailer. They all complain about how boys don’t like girls with braces…Jenna has some advice, “we are young. Heartache to heartache, we stand. No promises or demands. Love is a battlefield.” Cut to the Pat Benetar video and then back to the girls who are all dancing with Jenna. Jenna’s photos turn out great and her design is going to go to corporate. Lucy is livid. So Jenna goes out to do something and Matt comes in to tell her something and Lucy is in Jenna’s office (Lucy soon finds out that Jenna is working for Sparkle, and if she helps their circulation get to 1 million she will be their new editor in chief, this is revealed to Jenna earlier, but she doesn’t get it). Lucy has Matt sign a release. Jenna goes to see him, but his fiancée answers. The wedding is closing in. Jenna goes to the office and is preparing to present it to corporate when the boss comes in…Matt signed the pictures over to Sparkle via Lucy. Jenna goes to Lucy’s office and they have a fight, Lucy tells Jenna she knows that she was working with Sparkle and then she leaves. Jenna is upset and realizes she needs to stop the wedding or at least tell Matt she loves him. She goes home and goes up to Matt’s room to tell him. He’s startled, but he can’t hurt Wendy’s feelings he loves her. Jenna starts to cry, but she tells him it’s because she’s happy for him. Matt gives her the Jenna’s dream house; she promises she won’t fling it at him like she did when she came out of the closet on her 13th birthday. Jenna tells him that she loves him, that he’s her best friend. She leaves and sits out in front of her parent’s house staring at the dream house… “I now pronounce you man and wife”. Jenna stares out into space and the wind starts to blow, and the wishing dust that Matty put on the dream house so many years ago beings to fly….
Jenna’s adult face fades and her thirteen year old one becomes visible. She smiles and takes the blindfold off and opens the closet door in time to see Matt reach for the knob to open it. She hugs him fiercely and they fall on the floor where she kisses him,
“Wow you know what you’re doing!” he says. She gets up and Tom Tom, aka Lucy, is standing on the stairs she forgot something. Jenna looks at her and says, “you can be both the pot AND the kettle” (referencing what Lucy told Jenna before she left Sparkle). Jenna tells Matt to come on and they head towards the door.
The door opens on the outside of the house and adult Matt and Jenna walk out…Matt in a tux and Jenna in a gorgeous wedding dress. There are long lines on each side of the door clapping and throwing rice. They stop at the end and kiss, Matt holds out a digital camera and they take a picture. The camera freezes on the picture and then pans out, it’s in a frame. You follow to the right and there is another frame, of Matt and Jenna when they are little, then a hand drops in a picture of Jenna’s parents…you follow the hand up and you see it’s Jenna, in a house unpacking boxes. She looks around and smiles. She goes outside and you see Matt unloading a moving van. They both stop and sit on the couch on the lawn. The house is pink, just like her Jenna’s Dream House, Jenna cuddles up to him and the camera pans out. The End.