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26th Apr 2024

There was almost a different ending to 13 Going On 30

Jody Coffey

13 going on

“To being 30 — I’ve decided it’s going to be totally awesome”

The film 13 Going On 30 is one that has stood the test of time. One that many revisit as they near their 30s.

Jenna Rink has long been a reminder that turning 30 doesn’t mean it’s the end, as she depicts the humorous exploration of your teenage years as well as your 30s.

Getting the opportunity to skip past her awkward teens into her 30s reminded us all to appreciate the present moments and our loved ones.

While it took Jenna (Jennifer Garner) time-jumping by 17 years to realise her love for her childhood best friend, Matty (Mark Ruffalo), she got her picture-perfect ending.

The romantic comedy finishes up with a sweet ending that sees Jenna marrying her childhood sweetheart.

Credit: 13 Going On 30 Film

One of the final scenes sees the couple in their wedded bliss while Madonna’s, Crazy For You — a callback to the Seven Minutes In Heaven scene — plays them out.

Truly, this song is emblematic of the Gary Winick-directed movie and Jenna and Matty’s Razzle-fuelled love.

However, it almost wasn’t even a part of 13 Going On 13. Crazy For You, as well as some other cornerstones of the film, were late additions that only made the cut due to reshoots.

Speaking to Cosmopolitan, the film’s creators shared that the start and end of 13 Going On 30 had to be shot again because the actress playing the 13-year-old Jenna Rink did not look enough like Garner.

This meant they had the chance to rewrite and change some of the opening and final scenes.

Credit: 13 Going On 30 Film

For one, the music supervisor for the film, John Houlihan, told the magazine that they originally had a different song in mind for the on-screen newlyweds.

“The very final song of the movie is a reprise of Madonna’s “Crazy for You,” and it really works, but that was a last-minute idea.

“We had Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” as the final song when they burst out the door, and then at the end we realised, ‘Wait a minute, it’s their song when they kiss, and we might as well just let that blossom.’

“Since it was the end, we wanted to make it an uplifting, big moment. So I pitched Gary [Winick] the idea of having our composer overlay a 60-piece orchestra on top of Madonna.

“It’s a great happy ending for the 30-year-old versions of the characters to be listening to the music they listened to at 13.”

13 Going On 30 made every young girl in the early 2000s want to work for a fashion magazine. However, she almost didn’t have this job.

“We knew we wanted Jenna to work in some very glamorous profession, like the fantasy of what you would imagine a kid who’s a little bit shallow and into appearances would have done with her life,” screenwriter, Jason Goldsmith, shared.

“Based on the original script, she was actually more in fashion than a fashion magazine.”

Credit: 13 Going On 30 Film

The film’s editor, Susan Littenburg, revealed that the newly cast young Jenna (Christa B. Allen), almost didn’t do the Thriller dance in her basement that would later link up with Garner’s iconic dance as the 30-year-old Jenna.

“She didn’t dance in the original, so when she dances later, it’s a callback,” Littenburg explained.

Speaking about the basement party for Jenna Rink’s 13th birthday, it initially had an entirely different set-up.

“If you remember the birthday party in the opening of the movie with the kids, one of the concepts we had originally was that her very embarrassing parents had set up a bounce house in the front yard that was good for an 8-year-old’s birthday party, and she’s mortified by this,” Goldsmith shared.

“And then our last image of the original script, I believe, was the same thing. They run out of the house as kids and get into the bounce house together — this bounce house she was mortified by—and then as they’re bouncing, they become adults and you realize they’ve stayed together.”

Credit: 13 Going On 30 Film

Instead, he shared that, as the script evolved, they wanted to bring back that dream house where Jenna and Matty unpack before starting their married life together.

“That was how the ending poetically came together. In the end, they got their own dream house.”

Littenburg added: “When they were trying to figure out how to end the new version, we were brainstorming in the room and I said, ‘Gary, I’ve got it. They should just open the door and be married,” and “He was like, ‘No, no, no. They’ve got to come out as kids and then become married.'”

“And I was like ‘No, it’s going to be so clean. They just run up the stairs and when you cut to the door, they’re coming out and rice gets thrown on them—they’re married already.”

As fans of the film will know, that’s exactly how the iconic film ended.