Friday, September 24, 2004

An Ode to Jennifer Garner

13 Going On 30 isn't an entirely new film -- in fact, it's been doing its rounds for a couple of seasons on the cinema circuit. In our unique vernacular here on LEADERSHIP called 'movie-speak,' that's like ancient history dude (as in "what have you done for me lately?"). But the wonderful Jennifer Garner -- its star and lead -- isn't. Not by a long shot.

Garner -- to all of us who know -- is none other than delectable bash-em-up spy-chick Sidney Bristow of TV's Alias series. While dropkicking booty on the small screen for the past two years, she's managed to comfortably squeeze into her shooting sked two feature-length films - the decent comicbook action flick Daredevil and, now, romcom 13 Going On 30. In all of her front kicking, backfisting, gun slinging, cloak and daggering glory, viewers shouldn't be blamed for having the tendency to forget Miss Garner is one of Hollywood's preeminent up and coming stars. We should definitely expect to see more of her in the coming months and years. God, I hope so.

Garner is also one of those special breeds of character actor who have the magical ability to brighten up even the grimmest of days. Had a bad day at ol' 9-5? Flip on the tube or pop in a DVD and check out one of Garner's dazzling thespian displays.

It must be the subtle cocking of her head. No, no perhaps it's that wide warm smile? Or could it even be -- horrors -- her lithe physique rumour has it she rises quotidian at 4 a.m. to tone and shape? (salivating not) Or maybe it's the commitment she brings to her job in those dedicated honest portrayals? It could even all of these put together. But feel good you no doubt will!

Jennifer Garner, as herself, is a delight to chat with and just plain ol' apple-cobbler peachy-keen West Virginian nice. Impressive yet is her consummate skill in subsuming all of this in becoming the punchy sweet Bristow. More astounding is 13's opening 30 minutes (constituting its entire first act): she plays a coy precocious 13 year-old not quite sure where she is (for those who haven't seen it, I'll avoid spoilers).

So here is today's winning idea:

1) Watch an episode of Alias.
2) Followed by watching one of her films.
3) Sit.
4) Sit some more.
5) Then spin.
6) Contemplate at length.

Chances are, if you follow my recipe to the letter, you're going to arrive at the same conclusion.

As a good friend (you know who you are) recently told me: Garner is "quite digressable."

But then again, I digress...


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