Andy Serkis: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked
4. Richard Kneeland - 13 Going On 30 (2004)
As we have seen, Serkis has dabbled in a number of genres throughout his career, balancing multi-million dollar action blockbusters with smaller, more dramatic efforts. One thing which definitely isn't his strong point is comedy dramas, especially those with a conscious 'chick flick' bent to them. All of which brings us onto 13 Going On 30, a perfectly workable comedy drama in which Serkis is utterly miscast. Directed by Gary Winick (Bride Wars, Charlotte's Web), 13 Going On 30 follows 13-year-old Jenna Rink (Christina Allen), who is bullied at school and wishes she could be "30, flirty and thriving". Through a magical plot contrivance, she wakes up one day to find herself aged 30 (now played by Jennifer Garner) with no memory of the intervening years. The rest of the film sees her struggling at her job at a fashion magazine, and dealing with the fact that her then-boyfriend (Mark Ruffalo) is now engaged to another woman. 13 Going On 30 isn't an awful film by any means. It's not up there with Big in the child-suddenly-becoming an-adult stakes, but it's nice to see that kind of story explored from a female perspective, and Garner acquits herself perfectly well in the lead. Serkis, on the other hand, feels completely ill at ease in a part much more suited to the likes of Martin Short. He simply doesn't seem comfortable with playing up the camper elements of the character, and looks for all the world like he's trying to give the part more heft that it really deserves. It doesn't derail the film by any means, but it is a missed opportunity.
Freelance copywriter, film buff, community radio presenter. Former host of The Movie Hour podcast (http://www.lionheartradio.com/ and click 'Interviews'), currently presenting on Phonic FM in Exeter (http://www.phonic.fm/). Other loves include theatre, music and test cricket.