A huge hit in 1988, Big made Penny Marshall an A-List comedy director. Written by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg (Steven’s sister), Big captured audience imaginations with its unique twist on the old switcheroo plot and made the already popular Tom Hanks into a gigantic movie star.
Josh is a normal boy who wishes more than anything he could just be a grown up and make his own decisions. While at a fairground with his best friend, he makes just that wish on an old novelty machine. The next morning Josh finds his wish has come true and his kid brain transplanted into a grown up body. Unsure of what to do, Josh runs off to the city where he lands a job at a toy company, eventually becoming a successful marketing executive. But as Josh learns about responsibility and grown up love, he also learns what he is missing by not being a kid anymore.
Big is just about as charming as you can get, but not in a schmaltzy way. Thanks to the genuine writing and innocent portrayal of a grown up kid by Hanks, Big ends up being a very funny, very touching and very good comedy. The way that Hanks conveys that he has the brain of a 12 year old is just staggering and fascinating to watch. From his mannerisms to his head movements to his speech patterns, Hanks literally becomes a 12 year old for the role and fully immerses himself in it. And it is his honesty in the role that really sells the story. Big is timeless and fun and has not lost any of its charm in the 25 years since its release.
The Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment is a very nice upgrade from previous editions. Not only is the picture clean and sharp, but this 25th Anniversary edition contains both the theatrical and extended cuts of the film as well as tons of great special features for fans to reminisce on the film. Big is a classic comedy that will last forever. Essential collection material here. Highly recommended.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.