#79: Big

big3

How’s about a kiss?

Director: Penny Marshall
Year: 1988
Genre: Comedy

Remember Tom Hanks in the 80’s? The reason Hollywood fell in love with him and made him a 2 time Academy Award winning schmuck is because of his endearing nature and his wild approach to comedy. Big sees the perfect mix of Hanks’ loveable sensibilities and zany antics  placing him in the role of a 12 year old boy stuck in a grown man’s body. Along with The Burbs, Big has the privilege of showcasing Mr. Hanks at his best.

Big is not just an excuse to get a kick out of Hanks’ wonderful and iconic performance, the film is a phenomenal comedy/fairy tale in its own right. Don’t expect some silly high-concept comedy like Rob Schneider’s The Animal or The Hot Chick. Big is a substantial story about an inadequate 12 year old boy, Josh Baskin, who wishes he was “bigger” so that the boys wouldn’t pick on him and the girls would dig him. He gets a shock when he wakes up the next morning to find that he has the fully grown man’s body of Tom Hanks! Well, the adult version of himself as played by Tom Hanks, there’s no meta Being John Malkovich shit where the kid suddenly becomes a movie star. Though, that could be a pretty cool film in itself!

Big is a coming of age comedy to the extreme. Imagine learning to be an adult when you’re 12 years old just ‘cos you woke up with an adult body. Imagine the pressure! You’d have to pretend to know everything just so people didn’t think you were mental. In fact, it’s a pretty neat way of teaching you all the basics such as driving, paying bills, getting a job, investing, sexing, and more stuff I can’t even name because I’M still not man enough yet to fathom. Every high school should put all of its students through the Big test before sending them out into the world. If we kept churning out armies of “Bigs” the world would really be a better place.

In Big you will laugh HEAPS and, if you’re a pussy like me, you’ll cry just as much. If Grown Ups 2 is your next movie outing, then I strongly suggest you give the cinemas a miss this week and go and rent Big on DVD or Blu-ray.

May Tom Hanks teach us all to be the best adults we can be!

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