I think we can all agree that Big is one of Tom Hanks finest roles. I know, I know, he’s won awards and gotten more critical acclaim for a lot of his other movies, but that’s not the point here.
I know that Cast Away was great and Sully was amazing and Captain Phillips was absolutely breathtaking, but can we talk about Big for a second instead.
This movie is an absolute trip. It is actually an Academy Award nominated film, so technically it’s on the same level of awesome as those other classics, but this one has a plot that leaves you screaming “WAIT WHAT?!” at least a dozen times.
Let’s go through this movie and see if we can’t try to make sense of it, or if we can’t we can at least we can try to come to terms with the nonsense that this glorious movie gave us.
So wait, the 13-year-old boy turns into a 30-year old?
Yes, this movies entire plot is based on the fact that a 13-year-old boy wished to become “big”, and the magical Zoltar machine dispensed a card that said “your wish is granted”. When formerly little Josh Baskin wakes up in the morning, he’s a 30-year-old man. Then hilarity ensues.
How did Josh’s family not notice a 30-year-old running around their house?
First of all, he steals his dad’s clothes. Does his dad just not notice that there are clothes missing?
Second of all, wouldn’t you hear all the thumping and screaming and stuff? Maybe go check on your kid? I know teenagers are noisy sometimes, but this seems like it’s taken to another level.
This would have been a very different movie if he was caught, but still. It goes to a wild place.
How did they pick up that machine so fast?
It was completely gone by the time he woke up to go to school. He was awake at a reasonable time and went right to find the machine right away but it was gone. What kind of company actually comes before 9 am because they are the ones I want to make appointments with. My appointments always say between 9-5 and then show up at 6:30.
Why would he think his mom would recognize him?
He’s suddenly a 30-year-old man asking to come into their house, why would his mom believe him? Did she not teach him stranger danger? I know that he’s not actually a stranger, but it’s still a weird assumption.
However, she could have tried to ask him some questions that he wouldn’t have known if he wasn’t him right? That’s how it works in these movies, you have to prove that you’re them by singing a song or revealing a secret.
I guess she’s way too freaked out to give him the chance – and for good reason – but it would have saved a lot of the future issues if she had just taken in this young man and taken him to get a psych evaluation.
Billy trusts it’s him just based on a song, why doesn’t he convince the Baskins?
Is there seriously no way that another human has heard them sing this song? Even if you do trust that it’s him, don’t you think he could have maybe called Josh’s parents and been like, “Hey listen, I know it’s totally insane, but he knew all the words so it’s him. Be cool and let him stay in his room.”
Why do they go to New York?
Is there no hotels in the suburbs? Yes, they’d be a lot more expensive, but why do they have to go to the creepiest place ever?
Also, finding a room that fast in New York City? Are you kidding me? Even one like that…
How does he get a job so fast?
Data entry is a good entry level job, sure, but how did he get that job so quickly? Does he have any form of identification? How do they verify who he is? I guess identity theft just wasn’t as big of a deal back then.
How does he get promoted? Seriously, that’s not even fair.
Was the company even looking or a new VP of product development? When Mr. MacMillan walks into the toy store was he looking for some young toy prodigy to give him all kinds of ideas, or was he just so impressed by Josh that he was like “YOU! JOB! NOW!”
Not only does he give him a huge promotion, but he gets a huge raise, a nice apartment, and all kinds of awesome perks.
Sure he’s talented, but I bet there were a lot of employees in that company who had a lot of good ideas. The least they could do would be have an interview process. It’s just not fair to give him the job outright because he knows how to play Chopsticks on a piano.
Why did he write letters to his mom?
I know he missed her, and she was worried about him because he literally let her believe that he was kidnapped (I know, she wouldn’t believe he was an adult now with a job and an apartment in New York) but it almost seems more cruel to let her have some contact right?
Like, she thinks this crazy man who was in her house wearing her son’s underwear is keeping her son at a place that is “a lot like camp” but won’t let him leave. It’s just a really heartbreaking time for his parents.
How did Josh get an apartment?
Now this part I can’t remember if the apartment is a perk from the job or if he leases it himself. I know he’s got a really good job now, but how does he manage to get such a huge place in New York City without any kind of credit rating?
Jobs come and go, and usually you need a security deposit, or first and last months rent, and some kind of security that you’ll be able to continue to pay for it.
Specifically for situations like this, when after a couple of months the man-child living in your building just disappears, leaving behind his trampoline and stuff when he moves back to the suburbs.
Seriously, what’s Josh’s credit score like now?
He had been using his same name, so why he disappeared from his adult life all those financial responsibilities are still there, right?
Once he actually turns 18 and tries to get a credit card he’s going to realize that his credit score is -234.
How does Josh even handle being a kid again?
Can you imagine finding out that you are some kind of toy store prodigy who can create and market the best and most innovative toys all with an 8th grade education, and then having to go back home and take that math test the next day.
“Mom, I know how to track corporate expenditures and monthly sales, why do I need to know how to do algebra!”
He knows how much money he was making too. He made WAY more than his parents did that’s for sure. Imagine having to go back to your parents house, live under their roof after that experience? Impossible.
Okay, time to address the elephant in the room. What the heck happened to his girlfriend?
She finds out that her boyfriend is actually a 13-year-old boy and instead of getting away from him immediately, she helps him get back to his kid body and then drives him home.
Hey lady, he got to New York on his own, he can get home on his own. Maybe you should do your best to distance yourself because when he walks in the house his mom is going to run out looking for the kidnapper and see you.
I can see it now, Mama Baskin chasing Elizabeth Perkins down the street while Billy and Josh shrug and start singing their little song again. Roll credits.
Why didn’t Susan go back and destroy the machine?
If she knows that the weird fortune telling machine is a literal genie, why doesn’t she either buy it and take it home, wishing for millions and millions of dollars or destroy it so it doesn’t ruin more lives?
That seems a little shortsighted if you ask me… At the bare minimum ask to win the jackpot. Get yourself some kind of financial bonus because you are going to end up needing a lot of therapy for what you did to that kid.
If that machines still out there… Where is it? And can I have the address please?
Anyways, as ridiculous as the movie is, it’ll never stop being amazing. I can pick it apart and question it all I want, but it doesn’t change the fact that I absolutely adore it.
Who else loves this movie?
Tom Hanks is a true treasure. I don’t know that any other actor could have pulled off this role as well as he did. But it’s not the only reason why we love him, there are so many things he’s done in his life that prove he is a national treasure.