“We overtly mention 13 Going on 30,” Family Switch director McG told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on Monday, August 28.
He explained: “There’s a meta sort of runner in the movie because I like showing the audience that kind of respect. We get it, we get it.” EW teased viewers can “expect a new generation of Six Chicks” roaming the high school hallways and taunting the new teenage characters. (The Six Chicks were the popular clique who terrorized the young Jenna Rink in 13 Going on 30.)
In the hit 2004 comedy, Garner, now 51, played the adult version of Jenna Rink, a 13-year-old girl who is granted her wish of being 30, flirty and thriving. Throughout the film, the teenager gets a taste of what her life would be like as an adult — the good, the bad and the romantic.
In Netflix’s Family Switch, Garner isn’t going from teen to adult — instead, she’s trading places with one of her children.
In the upcoming film, both Jess (Garner) and Bill Walker (Ed Helms) magically swap bodies with their kids — daughter CC (Emma Myers) and son Wyatt (Brady Noon) — after crossing paths with an astrological reader (Rita Moreno) at Los Angeles’ Griffith Observatory.
“We hope that it’s surprising and light and more intelligent than you might think,” McG said, pointing out that the family’s mystical experience lines up to major life changes for each character. “I mean, my favorite way to make movies is to synthesize highbrow and lowbrow, where a kid could watch it and understand what’s going on, but a parent could watch it and ingest the material on a totally different, more sophisticated level.”
Family Switch isn’t the first movie starring Garner that has paid homage to 13 Going on 30. In 2021’s Yes Day, Garner wears a piece of jewelry that she previously donned in the early 2000s rom-com.
“Yes Day marks the sixth movie I’ve done with Jennifer, and it seems we’ve done a wedding dress in all of them!” costume designer Susie DeSanto, who worked on both films, told PopSugar in March 2021. She explained that Garner wore her 13 Going on 30 pearl necklace with crystal flowers during her Yes Day wedding scene.
That same month, Garner revealed where she thinks Jenna Rink would be today. “[She would] still be whimsical and have a little bit of fun. She would have to still have some 13-year-old in her,” Garner said during a March 2021 appearance on Good Morning America. “But, oh, gosh, I have to go back and watch this movie. It’s so fun … Is Poise still going? Is it all online? What’s happening?”
Family Switch premieres on Netflix Thursday, November 30, yet another nod to Garner’s 13 Going on 30 with the numerical date.