Christa B. Allen is best known not only for her popular TikTok videos but also for the role that launched her career: the younger version of Jennifer Garner’s character in the 2004 comedy “13 Going on 30.” Well, Allen turned 30 on Thursday and she did so in the bossest way possible, with a five-part video series inspired by that film.
Allen didn’t recreate scenes from the movie (though she’s done that before). Instead, in the series titled “Vienna,” which she called a “response” to the film, she engaged in a lengthy and frank conversation with her 13-year-old self. (The teenage version was played by her friend, Lana Fleischli.)
For those who need a recap, in “13 Going on 30,” a 13-year-old (Allen) wishes after a particularly terrible birthday party that she could skip ahead to adulthood. She wakes up the next morning as a 30-year-old with no memory of the previous 17 years, and no knowledge of the kind of person she’s become. Eventually she’s forced to confront some particularly dishonest choices she’s made and relationships she’s ruined, until she manages to wish herself back to being 13. The film ends with a time skip back to 30, but this time she’s made several different choices, including ending up married to Mark Ruffalo.
In “Vienna,” Allen and her teenage self talk frankly about some serious topics — framed through a deconstruction of the film. That begins with the acknowledgement that the film’s moral seems to be “telling a bunch of young girls that their only two choices in life are to be wildly successful and alone, or to get married, have kids and decorate some cheesy house.”
But the videos don’t bash the classic film. Instead it uses that critique as a chance to talk about things like the way society chews up and spits women out, personal growth and not being worried about growing older.
For instance, Allen’s 13-year-old self advises that life isn’t about finding perfect things, “it’s about finding the perfect you, figuring out what makes you happy, what brings you real joy, how to be truly present.” And, it continues, this is a lifelong process; not something that has to be solved at 30.
“Slow down, look around and have some gratitude for the good things in your life,” 13-year-old Allen also says. We can’t disagree.
Watch the first two clips below, and the other three on Allen’s Instagram: