Big (1988) / Comedy-Fantasy

MPAA Rated: PG for language and a scene of sensuality (I'd rate it PG-13)
Running time: 104 min.


Cast: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jared Rushton, David Moscow, Jon Lovitz, Mercedes Ruehl
Director: Penny Marshall
Screenplay: Gary Ross, Anne Spielberg
Review published December 15, 1996

Big 1988 Tom HanksA boy with low self-esteem (Moscow, Just Married) makes a wish with a fortune teller vending machine at an amusement park, wishing he were "big". Upon waking the following morning, the boy discovers he now has the body of a 30-year-old man (Hanks, Dragnet), although still 12 years old mentally. His mother (Ruehl, Last Action Hero) refuses to believe it is really him, accusing him of abducting her son, and soon the boy-turned-man has to get his own place and find a job to make ends meet.

If you can suspend the obvious disbelief of the main plot, this film will reward with a heart-warming tale of the innocence of childhood and the complexities of adulthood in the modern world. Tom Hanks deserved the nomination he received for his brilliant portrayal of a man acting like a young boy -- very convincing. Penny Marshall (Jumpin' Jack Flash, A League of Their Own) directs with ease, almost never missing a step in the duration. Credit the talents of everyone involved for making a longshot of a movie quite successful and entertaining. Funny, smart and full of heart.

Qwipster's rating:

1996 Vince Leo