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?
Saw this movie again recently and found that it stands up well to repeat viewings. Tom Hanks meets a difficult challenge here - to convincingly show us how a twelve-year old boy would act if he were trapped in an adult's body and had to "pass" in a grownup world. He meets the challenge in spades, aided by a script that is by turns witty, clever, insightful, and touching, and by Penny Marshall's able direction. Much is added by Robert Loggia's sympathetic portrayal of Tom/Josh's boss, and by Jared Rushton as his friend Billy. The movie is much more than an exercise in slapstick or farce: it is really a disquisition on the wonder of childhood. In the end it is quite touching, if not moving, reminding us all of the innocence of youth and the aching sadness of recalling its loss. Too early to tell, but the film might very well be destined to become a classic.
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