As I was watching Big I couldn’t help but think of it as a more universal version of the notorious romantic comedy (okay, chick flick) Thirteen Going on Thirty. I loved Tom Hanks performance as the innocent thirteen-year-old Josh Baskin, who is transformed into his adult self overnight after his wish to be big is granted by mysterious fortuneteller machine. Hilarity ensues as he is mistaken for a kidnapper and chased out of his home by his mother.
After realizing that the grown man before him actually is Josh, his best friend Billy helps him to enter into the adult world by getting a job at Macmillan Toys and renting an apartment. Through Josh’s playful attitude and unparalleled understanding of toys, he is promoted and enjoys the luxuries of corporate earnings to finance every child’s dream home, complete with a trampoline and fire-engine red bunk bed. However, despite the benefits of adult life, Josh quickly learns of the hardships life has to offer as he is forced to grow up quickly in the business world as well as with his coworker, Susan, who takes romantic interest in the unsuspecting young man. After developing their relationship and formulating a plan for an electronic comic book, Josh tells Susan the truth behind his childlike demeanor, although she fails to understand the reality of the situation. Josh eventually finds out where the fortuneteller machine is and quickly runs to regain his childhood. Susan follows him and accepts Josh’s identity. Josh is reunited with his family and best friend to enjoy the rest of his childhood.
Big is an endearing film that easily withstands the test of time because of its universal themes and casting choice of Tom Hanks. If you’re are looking for a funny, heartfelt film that will enable you to remember your own childhood, Big is definitely the 80’s film for you.