Big is a 1988 comedy film about a teenage boy who is aged to adulthood by a magical fortune-telling machine. It stars Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jared Rushton, David Moscow, Jon Lovitz and Mercedes Ruehl. The movie was written by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg, and directed by Penny Marshall.
The movie takes place partially at Playland amusement park in Rye, New York, in the United States.
Tom Hanks was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role.
The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
This film is number 23 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".
The main characters are:
After being humiliated while trying to impress an older girl at a carnival, Josh goes to a wish/fortune-telling machine, called Zoltar Speaks, in the shape of a gypsy and wishes that he were "big." The next morning, Josh wakes up to a reflection in the mirror he does not recognize: a full grown man's reflection. He leaves his family, rents an apartment in Manhattan, and gets a job at the MacMillan Toy Company. With his boyish charms and insight into what would sell to kids, he quickly rises up the ranks of the toy company. As he does so, a romance with one of his fellow employees, Susan Lawrence, begins to develop. As Josh sees his friendship with his 13-year-old best friend, Billy Kopecki, start to fade as his relationship with Susan begins to grow, he is faced with a choice: return to his old life with his family and friends, or stay as an adult with Susan. Ultimately, he rejoins his best friend and together they find the Zoltar machine and wish him little again. Later, while in school, Josh and Billy are in class, when the teacher introduces a new girl. She looks exactly like Susan only younger.
One of the film's most famous scenes features Josh and his boss, MacMillan, playing a duet on a giant foot-operated piano in the FAO Schwartz toy store, playing Chopsticks and Heart and Soul, which was parodied on a Simpsons episode when Homer plays an off-key rendition of "Rock Around The Clock" and a near-perfect rendition of the Simpsons main theme.
Big was received with almost unanimous critical acclaim. It was (and still is) generally considered the gold standard when it comes to movies in which a child is trapped in an adult's body. Many critics praised Tom Hanks for his "believable" and "adorable" performance.
Big was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Tom Hanks) and Best Writing, Original Screenplay.
In 1996, Big was musicalized for the Broadway stage. It featured music by David Shire, lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr., and a book by John Weidman. Directed by Mike Ockrent, and choreographed by Susan Stroman, it opened on April 28, 1996.
For more information, see Big, The Musical.
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