There are plenty of stock film endings, which can be dusted off for service in your bog standard rom coms or sports films. Two in particular feature (poorly) in 13 Going On 30, aka Big For Birds (with slightly less of the creepy paedophilia angle). In 13 > 30 Jennifer Garner follows the Josh Baskin route of wishing to be 30, and wakes up thirty. Luckily this time the conceit also allows for the seventeen years to pass so her parents are not so worried, except by her becoming a bitch in the meantime. And the discrepancy between nice young Jenna and the unpleasant woman who has all she dreamed of is the motor that drives the film. That and a desperate number of musical montage numbers to pad the lack of gags and how serious this has all become.

Like the Bruce Willis family friendly flop The Kid, the film highlights that our thirteen year old selves would be disappointed with the grown-up us. Too right, I earn a good wage and blow barely any of it on sweets. Instead we ditch our best mates and become all business… However as a fantasy 13 > 30 also has to toy with the less likely truism of all Hollywood comedies: that the naive, know-nothing about business character will actually be a better business person that all them book-learnin’ professionals. So here comes the difficult stock ending one: Jenna has to redesign the fashion mag she works at. Much like Josh in Big having to invent a new toy, it all falls down at the boardroom stage. Josh’s interactive e-book-esque comic was a rubbish idea that life has moved on from. And Jenna’s redesign boots out the models and celebs in favour of “real people doing real things”. When these real things include supporting the local college football team and trying on comfortable clothes it is clear that this direction could only have been designed by the Dove marketing men as a joke. It is an embarrassing sequence in a film hewn roughly out of solid, cringeworthy rock.

But wait, we have not got on to stock ending two yet. Namely, her childhood friend who she NOW realises she always loved and he always loved her (blah blah) is getting married. Off she goes to tell him don’t marry her, take me*. The only way films usually manage to pull these moments off are if the bride/groom is a bitch/actually loves someone else/is gay (cf The Guru). Whilst you might root for the on screen couple, splitting a long term relationship on the strength of your old flame acting like a thirteen-year-old is a bit rough. Which is probably why it is just as well Mark Ruffalo does not dump his bride even if she is a bit rubbish to ask him to move to Chicago. Again this being a fantasy it allows a bit of time travel and an ending that REALLY MAKES NO SENSE. (If Jenna & Mitch have been dating since they were 13 why do they take 17 years to get married?) Its like The Butterfly Effect but bad (I can say that with a po-face). As for Hollywood portrayals of thirteen year olds, I think I’ll stick with Catherine Hardwicke’s thirteen.

*Not fuck me, she is mentally thirteen, something that yet again all age swop comedies tiptoe around. There is a slumber party where 30 year ond Jenna hangs with five 13 year old girls, dancing to Love Is A Battlefield which is a Michael Jackson courtcase waiting to happen. Which of course she would win so where’s the problem?