Jennifer Garner relives marching band days in LOL birthday tribute to Reese Witherspoon

Suzy Byrne
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Reese Witherspoon turns 42 today, and while she’s gotten a lot of love from her celebrity friends, none compares to Jennifer Garner’s tribute.

The Love, Simon actress was a noted band geek growing up — she was born in Texas and raised in West Virginia — and she showed off that talent once again on Thursday in honor of Witherspoon’s big day. Garner posted an Instagram video of herself — in full marching band uniform (with shako!) — as she busted out her saxophone to play “Happy Birthday” to Witherspoon. Garner, 45, was committed — right down to the end, when she turned, military like, and marched off. Her smile made it clear that she was darned proud of herself, as she should be.

We have so many questions: Is this one of her old uniforms? If so, when was the last time she wore it? If not, where the heck did it come from? Does she do this often? Why did she do this specifically for Witherspoon?

What we do know is that Garner — who is old pals with Witherspoon, despite their never co-starring in any projects — has some lasting sax talent. In 2016, she showed it off during an interview with Vanity Fair. Well, when she stopped laughing.

That same year, she talked about playing “Sally” (that was the name of her sax, which she later lost) on Late Night With Seth Meyers. She described the importance of “walking heel-toe” and staying in formation. (Whoever taught her, taught her well.) She made it clear that “it’s not easy” being part of a marching band. (We’ve watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade enough times to know she’s right.)

Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner (pictured in 2013) are old pals, so Garner pulled out all the stops for her friend’s 42nd birthday. (Photo: Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Children’s Defense Fund-California)

Witherspoon has been pulling in a slew of birthday wishes on social media today, but — sorry to the others — they just aren’t as good as Garner’s all-in present.

Witherspoon’s Big Little Lies co-star Nicole Kidman called her “beautiful.”

Her A Wrinkle in Time co-star Mindy Kaling dubbed her a “kween.”

Sarah Michelle Gellar gushed about her youthful looks.


But after Garner’s serenade, we’re unimpressed in the best possible way. As for Witherspoon, she’s just enjoying her day. How can any day that starts with birthday cake be bad?

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