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Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.


Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris


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Movie review

She doesn't need an 'Alias'

By BILLY NORRIS
Published April 26, 2004

photo
[AP]
Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner, who stars in the TV series Alias, perform in the romantic comedy 13 Going on 30.

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Movie: 13 Going on 30

Rating: PG-13 for some sexual content and brief drug references

Summary: On her 13th birthday in 1987, Jenna Rink (Christa B. Allen) wishes that she could skip the adolescent, braces-in-mouth, peer-pressure-influenced phase and go straight to being 30, flirty and thriving. Thanks to a bit of magic dust sprinkled on a dollhouse made by her longtime friend and neighbor, Matt (Jack Salvatore Jr.), she awakens in 2004 in a New York apartment as a 30-year-old woman (Jennifer Garner). Once acclimated to this surprising new life, she realizes that she has everything she ever wanted. She's the editor of one of the nation's top fashion magazines, she lives in a beautiful apartment and she has a handsome boyfriend. But she also realizes that the path she took to bring her to this place was not always the kindest one. She reignites a friendship with Matt (Mark Ruffalo), who had a major crush on her, but who she kicked to the curb in middle school. She quickly realizes that he's a really great guy, and that she has not been a very nice person as an adult.

My View: This one caught me off-guard. I was not expecting to enjoy it nearly as much as I did. It captured that fairy-tale spirit that Freaky Friday had. It was a fable with a moral at the end, and that was really nice. The story was filled with physical humor, funny dialogue and sentimentality that wasn't over the top. Jennifer Garner grasped the essence of the teenage mentality completely and held onto it through the entire film. As her character experienced life as an adult, she did a wonderful job at expressing her awe, as would any 13-year-old being thrown from the late 1980s to 2004.

Recommendations: This movie carries a PG-13 rating that leans closer to a PG. Not only will this one hit its target of a young, teenage female audience, but it also will prove enjoyable as a date destination or just a fun time for a bunch of friends - male and female. This one is great for a Saturday night outing.

Grade: B

Billy Norris, 16, is in 10th grade at Seminole High, and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

[Last modified April 23, 2004, 14:31:12]

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