Big (1988) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult.

  • 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?

  • Tired of being pushed around, the typical twelve-year-old boy, Josh Baskin, is convinced that all his problems would disappear if only he were an adult. Then, as if by magic, Josh receives a helping hand from Zoltar, a mysterious fortune-teller machine, and just like that, he wakes up the following morning in the body of a thirty-year-old version of him. At last, Josh's wish came true beyond his wildest imagination; however, it seems that being a grown-up is not a walk in the park. Now, the new Josh will have to look for a job, and above all, keep his extraordinary secret safe, as the perks of childhood slowly fade away. But, is this what Josh truly wished for?

  • A young boy (David Moscow) makes a wish at a carnival machine to be big. He wakes up the following morning to find that it has been granted and his body has grown older overnight. But he is still the same 13-year-old boy inside. Now he must learn how to cope with the unfamiliar world of grown-ups including getting a job and having his first romantic encounter with a woman. What will he find out about this strange world?

  • A young boy named Josh Baskin (David Moscow) wishes at an old machine to be big, despite the fact that he does not believe that it is going to work. He is very surprised, therefore, to find himself big in the next day. Now he looks like a 30-year-old man, but he still behaves like a thirteen-year-boy. He decides to go with his best friend (Jared Rushton) to New York City to find the machine that can fix his wish. There he gets a job at a toy company and develops a relationship with Susan (Elizabeth Perkins). Currently, he must learn to get used to the adult world he always wanted to be part of. Would he still like to remain an adult?


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Twelve-year-old, Josh Baskin is in line to go on a ride at a carnival. Directly behind him is a cute girl he knows from school, who strikes up a conversation with him. When he gets to the front, he is smaller than the wooden cutout used to determine whether one is big enough to go on the ride, and he is extremely humiliated. Moments later, he puts a coin in a fortune-telling machine and is told to make a wish. In the wake of his embarrassment, he, innocently enough, wishes that he were big.

    To his astonishment, when Josh awakes the next morning, his wish has been granted. Though still a twelve-year-old child in every respect but physically, he is no longer recognizable to his mother, he must leave home and, once he learns that resolving his problem will take a long time, has no choice but to try to make his own way This means getting a job and mingling in the world of adults. As it turns out, the job he gets at a toy manufacturer is perfect for him, as his insight into what toys kids will like greatly impresses senior management, and leads to an executive position.

    Handsome with an understandably youthful exuberance, Josh is attractive to a female executive in his company, and the result is a romantic interlude which, due to his inexperience, he is largely incapable of handling. Eventually, he shares his secret with her, but, at first, she doesn't believe him. As she gets a closer and closer look at his behavior, however, she comes to understand.

    Finally, Josh finds the arcade machine that had granted his wish and wishes to have the original wish undone, returning to his mother after weeks away form home.

    The real beauty of the movie lies in the realization that an adult that manages to maintain the exuberance of youth is one to be greatly envied, and while the means by which this message is conveyed is highly unconventional, the message is delivered with insight and clarity.

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