By: Henry J. Fromage (Five Beers) –
I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but for a large portion of my childhood my family didn’t have a television. Besides clearly making me a resounding success unconcerned with the fluff of pop culture and media, it also created a surprising hole in my movie-watching experience. As a result, I didn’t see nostalgia-driven classics like Star Wars, Back to the Future, or Kazaam as a wide-eyed adolescent, but rather a jaded quasi-adult.
This was popular with the kids, right?
Some of these films hold up, while other need some rose-tinted peepers to qualify. Which category will Big fall in?
Big tells the story of a 13 year old Josh, who’s fed up with being small and marginalized. At a carnival, he encounters a fortune telling machine possessed of Satan, which grants him his wish… to be big. The next morning he wakes up in his tighty-whities with Tom Hanks’ body. Hilarity, hijinks, and emotional devastation ensue.
You can see why this is a childhood classic for so many. Besides justifiably iconic scenes like Hanks and Robert Loggia playing “Chopsticks” on the giant piano at FAO Schwarz, or Zoltar’s red eyes boring into your soul, this movie represents some potent wish fulfillment. What thirteen year old doesn’t want to become a toy company executive… and bang a coworker?
Actually, that’s a pretty good question. It seems like Hanks acts simultaneously a bit too young (shouldn’t he be outgrowing Transformers?) and a bit too old (relatively mature sex drive) for a thirteen year old. He’s basically Buddy the Elf with more PG-inappropriate urges.
Or, considering Zooey Deschanel, more appropriate ones
For all his parents know, Josh was kidnapped by a 30 year old man trouncing around in his underwear, and yet they appear to make no attempt whatsoever to recover their son. Periodic phone calls, in which they never actually hear their son’s voice, but are assured their son is just fine by the apparent kidnapper himself, are enough to keep them at bay.
It seems a bit nitpicky to harp on a movie for being dated 30+ years after its release, but when you allow your hair, makeup, and wardrobe departments to commit this atrocity, you aren’t counting on posterity.
That ending… not only is it corny as all hell, but what happens next? Adult girlfriend Susan now understands that she’s been sexually molesting a child for the last few months… that’s got to leave a mark. Meanwhile, Josh has a lot of ‘splainin’ to do, at least to his parents, and probably to authorities. Also, he did an awful lot of growing up way out of line with what a normal person should. Best case scenario, he ends up in the porn industry. More likely, his parents more or less correctly assume he spent his time away getting diddled, judging by the outsized carnal knowledge and desire he’s now displaying, and spend all of his college tuition savings on a barrage of psychiatrists.
Which can only do so much
I can understand how this is a childhood classic for many, but if you consider the implications for even a few minutes, it’s straight horrifying.
Take a Drink: every time someone talks about toys
Take a Drink: whenever someone freaks out
Do a Shot: whenever Hanks does something 13 years old have no business doing