Josh Baskin would do anything to be big to hang out with his crush at the carnival. He finds a Zoltar machine, and he wishes to be big. After Zoltar tells him, "his wish is granted", Josh notices the machine is unplugged. He wakes up the next morning in an adult's body but he still has the same personality. With the help of his best friend, Billy, Josh learns how to act like a grown up. But as he gets a girlfriend and a fun job, he doesn't want to be a kid again. Will Josh stay big or become a 13 year old boy again?
This movie captures the innocence of youth beautifully
I saw this film again yesterday for what must now be the tenth or so time and it's a film that makes me stop whatever I'm doing and immerse myself in the unfolding story. Never mind the fact that I am by now familiar with the premise, which incidentally far exceeds similar ones of the genre released at this time - Vice Versa and 18 Again (the latter being truly dire).
I think this is one of Hanks' finest hours and see it as the pinnacle of his early pre-90's career. His later performance in Philadelphia would eclipse this role, although this was obviously more serious in its message.
It takes real talent to act the young boy in the body of a thirty something and Hanks' copes admirably, from the comical leaping around the bedroom when he is trying to put on the jeans of the child on discovering his transformation to the child-like reaction displayed on Perkins' advances toward him. He captures the essence of youthful innocence both in the company of his younger peers and older 'work' colleagues.
Elizabeth Perkins complements the performance of Hanks' and it seems a shame that on searching the database that her career perhaps hasn't mirrored the success of Hanks' since making 'Big'.
I don't know why, but I always shed a tear at the end of the film. Perhaps it is the longing in all of us to want to return to the days of our youth and that we cannot turn back the clock as one can in the imaginary world of film.
As I grow older, and watch my children grow-up it makes me realise that time is a precious commodity and that life is a gift that should be cherished and nurtured carefully. This film somehow reinforces these feelings.
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