Finally Watched: Big (1988)

And I’m three months older than you are, ASSHOLE!

Big was one of those movies that I was sure I had watched, but actually never did because I was constantly getting it confused with Robin William’s Jack and Fred Savage’ s Vice Versa – and I’m sure I’ve only seen one of those anyway.

Frustrated by his unimpressible height, 12 year old Josh Baskin makes a wish on a Zoltar fortune telling machine at the local fair. What does he wish for?: To be big. He may have meant in height alone, but he got more than he bargained for when he made his wish with all the pent up frustration of a pre-teen and the next morning wakes up as a fully grown man… height and all. Life is hard at first, as you can imagine if you were suddenly to wake up twenty years older than when you went to bed. But when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, or in Josh’s case: You move to the city and you get a job while you and your best friend work out how to reverse the wish.

This film was just so cute!

Don’t get me wrong, it was also well cast, had a plot that flowed nicely from beginning to end and had a few kick-ass one liners…. but it was cute, and we have Mr Hanks to thank for that. When this movie came out he was 32 years old, and yet his reimagination of a 12 year old boy was stellar, from his movements, facial expressions and doe eyed naivety, innocence was perfectly captured.

There were parts of me that really wanted to have a problem with a number of things throughout the film…. Such as the fact that 12 year old Josh had been declared a missing person by his mother and that nobody followed his best friend to try and find him, that Josh should have tried a little harder to blend in with the grown ups at work, that it was so easy to waltz into a job, and of course the unexplained magic of Zoltar. However, I put such inconsistencies out of my mind and enjoyed the movie for the gem it was, after all movies like Big wouldn’t wash in today’s cinematic age, and really that’s a damn shame.

There’s an innocence in its simplicity – as is with the lighthearted movies of the time – still teaching us now, almost 30 years later, not to keep our inner child locked up too tight.



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