13 Going On 30: 12 Other Movies To Watch If You Like The Romantic Comedy
From some classics to new picks.
I’ve always felt that there are certain films that are timeless. No matter what happens in the real world, you can always return to these films to make yourself happy, whether that be a whole saga like Harry Potter, or one movie, like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. One movie I feel fits in that category, for many reasons, is 13 Going on 30, starring Jennifer Garner.
For over a decade and a half, 13 Going on 30 has lit up the lives of movie fans everywhere, showing how sometimes, growing up isn’t all it's cracked up to be and that we should enjoy our youth while we have it and be thankful for what we have. If you’re looking for movies like 13 Going on 30, check out these picks.
What Women Want (HBO Max)
The classic romantic comedy, What Women Want, is the story of a cocky executive who suddenly has his life turned upside down when he is cursed with the ability to hear what women are thinking. He wants to get rid of it, until a psychologist ends up explaining how this could be his best experience yet.
I think for fans of 13 Going on 30, you’ll really enjoy What Women Want because it features that really cool fantasy element that we got in the movie. Except this time instead of a young woman aging up, we get to actually hear the thoughts of women - and how that changes the life of the leading man. Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt have amazing chemistry as the leading pair, and I could watch them in anything.
Stream What Women Want on HBO Max.
Rent What Women Want on Amazon.
No Strings Attached (Paramount Plus)
Next up, we have No Strings Attached. This romantic comedy tells the classic story of two friends who want to try and have a “no strings attached” relationship so they can enjoy having sex and not fall in love. But, of course, that doesn’t necessarily work out.
While No Strings Attached is a bit more risqué compared to 13 Going on 30, I still feel that there’s enough substance there for anyone to enjoy the movie and follow this messy, crazy romance. Plus, Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman play a surprisingly convincing couple, creating a movie that’s not only enjoyable to watch once, but again and again.
Stream No Strings Attached on Paramount Plus.
Rent No Strings Attached on Amazon.
It’s A Boy Girl Thing (Tubi)
In It’s A Boy Girl Thing, enemies who absolutely despise each other somehow end up swapping bodies. Seeing the pros of this, they use the strange situation to their advantage to ruin each others' lives - and discover more about themselves in the process.
I think what I like the most about It’s A Boy Girl Thing is the relationship between these two enemies (played by Kevin Zegers and Samaire Armstrong). It sorta reminds me of Jenna and Matt in 13 Going on 30, with how they fought as adults, but with extra spice for the leads here. It’s also always fun to see opposing forces at odds with each other in movies like this, because you always know they’re probably going to get together in the end. You can also stream it for free on Amazon, as it's definitely one of the best movies on Amazon Prime, in my opinion. So funny.
Stream It’s A Boy Girl Thing On Tubi.
Rent It’s A Boy Girl Thing on Apple TV+.
17 Again (Peacock)
In this funny Zac Efron film, 17 Again follows a man named Mike who ends up becoming his 17-year-old self again after a crazy accident. Now, with this in mind, he goes to his children’s high school to see what’s going on with their lives, while also reliving his glory days.
Think 13 Going on 30 but in reverse. It’s always funny to see Mike thinking about his time as a teenager and wanting to go back, and then watching 13 Going on 30 and seeing the exact opposite with Jenna’s character, showing how you should just be happy where you are now and not focus on the past or the future. Zac Efron’s charisma is off the charts in this one, and honestly, Matthew Perry as the older Mike works surprisingly well too.
Stream 17 Again on Peacock.
Rent 17 Again on Amazon.
Freaky Friday (Disney+)
The classic family comedy, Freaky Friday, is another of the wacky body swap movies. It's about a mother and daughter with two very different lives who fight pretty often. After a mysterious, magical earthquake at a Chinese restaurant, they switch bodies, which leads to them having to try and understand the life of the other.
I’ve always had a personal connection with Freaky Friday just because I love the chemistry between the two stars, and both Lindsey Lohan and Jaime Lee Curtis are fantastic in their roles. However, for fans of 13 Going on 30, you’ll like this film for the sheer fun it provides, mixed in with the fantasy element of body swapping. It’s always fun to try and see how other people live in each other’s bodies. This is definitely one of the best.
Stream Freaky Friday on Disney+.
Rent Freaky Friday on Amazon.
Miss Congeniality (HBO Max)
The romantic comedy, Miss Congeniality, is all about an F.B.I. Agent who has to go undercover at a Miss United States pageant, when they get a tip saying a group might bomb the event. Now, she has to blend in and embrace her inner femininity while also saving the day.
For fans of 13 Going on 30, Miss Congeniality feels like there’s a lot of the same humor to enjoy, but another big thing is that both movies have an incredible leading lady. Miss Congeniality is one of the best Sandra Bullock movies, and she's impeccable in it. Plus, her relationship with Eric (Benjamin Bratt) is not only hilarious, but sweet.
Stream Miss Congeniality on HBO Max.
Rent Miss Congeniality on Amazon.
The Princess Diaries (Disney+)
In this movie based on the novel series of the same name, The Princess Diaries is all about Mia Thermopolis, a teenager who finds from her estranged grandmother that she is, in fact, the heir to a small kingdom. Now, it’s up to her if she wants to become a royal or stay a normal teen.
I put The Princess Diaries on here because it reminds me a lot of the same heart 13 Going on 30 had. The movie teaches young girls to enjoy what you have, while still encouraging them to embrace the future and everything it could do for them. Anne Hathaway rocks it in her role as Mia, in both this film and its sequel, and this is also one of the best Julie Andrews movies, because she's amazing as well.
Stream The Princess Diaries on Disney+.
Rent The Princess Diaries on Amazon.
Mean Girls (Paramount Plus)
I can’t have a list like this without bringing up one of my favorites. Mean Girls, starring Lindsey Lohan, follows Cady Heron, a teenager who recently just came to America from Africa, and is trying to fit in. Soon, her life becomes entangled with the Plastics, the mean girls of her high school, and her world will never be the same.
If you low-key hated the Six Chicks in 13 Going on 30, oh boy are you going to love hating the Plastics in Mean Girls. The actresses perform their roles perfectly and truly create scenarios where you either want to laugh or scream. The Mean Girls cast is full of super talented actors and actresses, and the story, written by the legendary Tina Fey, is unbeatable. If you want a truly awesome comedy, check this one out.
Stream Mean Girls on Paramount Plus.
Rent Mean Girls on Amazon.
10 Things I Hate About You (Disney+)
Starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles, 10 Things I Hate About You is about a bad boy who is trying to get with an ill-tempered girl so that his friend can date her sister, causing hijinks, hysteria, and surprisingly fun dance numbers.
10 Things I Hate About You was one of the first films that came to mind when I started writing this list, because the romance reminds me distinctly of the one in 13 Going on 30, mixed in with some pretty hilarious jokes. Also, I feel like the vibe of 10 Things I Hate About You matches that of 13 Going on 30, where you know it’s a normal romantic comedy but they try to do things out of the box to make it even more fun. For 13 Going on 30, that was the “Thriller” dance scene. For this, it’s the stair scene. You know what I’m talking about.
Stream 10 Things I Hate About You on Disney+.
Rent 10 Things I Hate About You on Apple TV+.
The Parent Trap (Disney+)
In this heartwarming movie, The Parent Trap (starring Lindsey Lohan, again), is all about twin girls who were separated when their parents divorced, never knowing about the other. When they become close friends at a summer camp, they take it upon themselves to switch their lives in order to try and get their parents back together.
Out of all the roles that Lindsey Lohan has performed, this has always been one of my favorites, as she perfectly captures that cocky yet sweet side of her characters and somehow gives an absolutely stunning dual performance. For fans of 13 Going on 30, this movie is perfect, thanks to the loving relationship between the parents that evolves over time, and the adorable friendship between the sisters that will probably remind you of Matt and Jenna. I would re-watch this film ten times over if I could - even if there are some things that don’t make sense.
Stream The Parent Trap on Disney+.
Rent The Parent Trap on Amazon.
Legally Blonde (Starz)
Next up, we have Legally Blonde. This classic romantic comedy starring the talented Reese Witherspoon is all about Elle Woods, who wants to prove to her ex-boyfriend that she’s serious wife material. So, she studies real hard and gets into Harvard Law School, where her ex currently goes, trying to prove that she’s better than he thinks she is.
Legally Blonde is a classic for many reasons. Fans of 13 Going on 30 will love Elle, as she reminds me a lot of Jenna when she’s older. She doesn’t quite understand the world she’s in but she’s trying to make the best out of a strange situation and become a better version of herself because of it.
However, Legally Blonde is so much more than that, as it offers not only a super fun storyline, entertaining rivalries, and a brilliantly acted Legally Blonde cast, but a genuinely good protagonist that you want to root for. I mean, I can’t tell you how many quotes I know from this movie. Probably too many. Definitely one of my all-time favorite college movies. I need Legally Blonde 3 now.
Stream Legally Blonde on Starz.
Rent Legally Blonde on Amazon.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Big. In this classic 1988 comedy, we follow a young boy who wishes to becoming 'big,' and overnight, he is suddenly changed into a grown man, while trying to adapt to being in the world as an adult.
For fans of 13 Going on 30, this is probably an obvious pick, as it's the same basic premise. Boy wants to be older, boy makes a wish, boy ends up being older the next day, just as Jenna was. What I really love about Big, though, is Tom Hanks. I mean, how can you not love his childlike glee and wonder in this movie? It's truly one of his best roles.
Stream Big on Starz.
Rent Big on Amazon.
While you could spend time watching some of the best movies on Netflix, I personally think I’d rather spend my time watching some hilarious romantic comedies - and laughing just as much as I’ll be crying. Whether you re-watch 13 Going on 30, or find a new favorite through this list, you’ll have fun no matter what.
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
By Mike Reyes