819. Big

Big film coverTitle: Big
Director: Penny Marshall
Year: 1988
Run time: 1hr 44m

“Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump) gave one of his most appealing, likeable performances as Josh Baskin, a 12-year-old boy who – thanks to a literal wish-fulfilment fantasy – wakes up one morning to find himself in the body of a gangly, awkward 30-year-old man. As innocent, naive, and sheltered as any average tween, Josh discovers adulthood comes with both freedoms and responsibilities. Luckily, his preteen point of view gives him all the advantage necessary to become a successful toy executive. He also gets the girl – except she’s a world-wise woman wonderfully played by Elizabeth Perkins – and an unexpected friend in the company’s kind, big-hearted CEO, played by Robert Loggia.”

Live blog

3:42 – They just ambling down the middle of a super wide street. Times was different.
6:52 – I don’t remember any of this pre-amble bit. Where’s Zoltar? We want Zoltar!
9:32 – …Zoltar is creepier than I remembered.
10:27 – How could you possibly sleep through that stupid kid screaming?
17:57 – “Josh? You look terrible.”
21:01 – Gotta love a hotel room that chains up the TV with rusty old steel.
28:00 – Oof, those shoulder pads!
29:33 – “I gave it to you yesterday. Oh here it is.” That’s my office in a nutshell.
40:22 – So simple but some of the best screen time ever.
42:45 – Did the milk photos of missing kids ever make any difference?
45:14 – Someone in the background just said ‘Transformers for girls.’ Psssh.
56:42 – God, I love his apartment.
1:00:09 – A glow-in-the-dark compass ring. Who comes up with this stuff?
1:06:12 – Is that a reference to her sleeping her way to the top? Never picked up on that before.
1:17:36 – An electronic comic book.
1:21:36 – Yay, proper big floppy disks.
1:25:41 – “I’m thirteen years old.” “Oh and who isn’t?”
1:35:55 – Poor Susan.

Conclusions

It is inconceivable to me that we haven’t already film-watched this movie, and Mr C spent a good portion of the first half trying to remember when we last watched it and why it hadn’t appeared on this site (turns out it was because we just caught the end.)

Anyway, admin aside, it’s a brilliant film. Tom Hanks is just wonderful and somehow totally believable as a teenager. The highs and lows of the film are perfectly proportioned – the big kid making his way in the world, having a lot of fun at the toy store, but also missing home and the lack of responsibility that comes with teen life.

The only thing that feels a bit weird in modern times is the relationship with Susan. In the same way that Back to the Future’s romantic storylines raise eyebrows now, so does this one. There are certainly worse things out there, though, and a film that hangs on the simplicity of a floor piano can’t really be criticised.

Rating: 5/5.

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