Big is a great 80s film that provides great social commentary on the process of growing up and trading in one’s youth for adult responsibilities. In the movie Tom Hanks is hindered by his size and age so he makes a wish to a mysterious carnival game to be big. Little did he know that the wish would actually come true, and the next morning he woke up as an adult. He ends up running away from home and getting a job as with a toy manufacturing company in order to sustain himself.
Throughout the movie we see the transition of this man with the heart of a boy gradually become a true adult worried about work and deadlines. I think this movie takes an interesting spin on the nature vs. nurture argument because it shows that it is not necessarily being physically older that makes a person who they are but the fact that they are molded into that person by their environment. At the beginning of the movie Tom Hanks’ only concerns are playing baseball, flirting with girls, and being with his best friend, however the pressures of the work place along with the social status quo set forth by his coworkers and others his age gradually change Hanks priorities as well as smother his boyish heart. This is relevant to the time because during the 80s people were becoming much more work oriented and life was becoming more fast paced compared to the peace loving hippie ideals of the 70s. I also believe these ideas still hold true today and that if we let it, life can quickly strip us of our love, passion and youth.
The climax of the movie is when Hanks childhood best friend comes to his office to help Hanks become a child again but is shooed away because Hanks had ‘deadlines’ to meet. His friend responded by saying “I’m your best friend and that used to be important.” Although we often wish we could be older or get to the next step in life, it is important that we take the time to appreciate where we are in life right now because we will never get this time back. We must be careful what we wish for.