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  • Paul Davidson

I Am Jaded

So I saw 13 Going on 30 tonight.

First let me start off by saying, the 80’s are alive and well in 30 somethings’ movies. Second, let me say that Jennifer Garner is adorable but contrary to what Extra and Access Hollywood and the rest of the media says, she is not the next Julia Roberts. Third, I am one huge jaded writer who can’t enjoy a movie anymore.

Don’t get me wrong. I love going to the movies. I love to get there early (which some people can’t stand) so I can get in line somewhere near the front, get my exact middle seats and sit there for an hour playing “The Movie Game.” I love opening night. I love when people shout out ridiculous things amidst the excitement, as the movie starts, causing raucous laughter. I love trailers and a full house where everyone reacts.

Then again, I noticed tonight that I’ve started heckling the “reactors”. Some examples of reactors:

1. You know, if Jennifer Garner is 13 at the beginning and turns 30 for the movie, she’s most likely going to have to go back to 13 just like in the movie Big. Yet, when that moment comes, people in the audience let out these “reactions” that are like deep “Oh My God” sounds. (They don’t say it, it’s that oh my god gasp you all are familiar with.) Like, you know, they never saw it coming.

2. The reactors love to make that “reactor-sound” when the evil antagonist actually makes a move to do something evil towards the main character.

3. The reactors love to talk “out-loud” to their fellow movie pals and tell you (and everyone else) what’s going to happen next.

4. There were audible gasps in the theater when a couple, that isn’t a couple, does a couple-y thing for the first time, as if they never saw it coming — not even in the ads or trailers when we see it.

See, I’m jaded?

I’ve written so many screenplays that there’s such a structure to things, that it’s ingrained in my head. I’ve studied structure so long that I know that all things come in threes. There’s an introduction of an element, it pops up a second time to remind you so that the third time when it pays off you haven’t forgotten about it. That’s why, when I see something RANDOM and OUT OF THE BLUE in the first half hour of the movie, I know it’s going to play a part later on.

In the world of movies, nothing is on screen that doesn’t play an important role in the movie as a whole. Nothing.

Did I mentioned I was jaded?

Nonetheless, all jaded-ness aside, I found the movie to be cute and different from that old Hanks movie that we all love so much. Garner’s got a career now and in the future since, well, she can make people laugh and kick ass all at the same time.

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