Combustible Celluloid
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With: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jared Rushton, David Moscow, Jon Lovitz, Mercedes Ruehl, Josh Clark, Kimberlee M. Davis, Oliver Block, Debra Jo Rupp
Written by: Gary Ross, Anne Spielberg
Directed by: Penny Marshall
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 104
Date: 06/03/1988

Big (1988)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

On Top

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Tom Hanks gave his first great performance as Josh, a kid who falls under a spell and wakes up in a grown man's body, with none of the knowledge or experience that comes with it. Not unlike in Being There, his naïveté manages to charm everyone, including potential love interest Elizabeth Perkins. To this day, the movie contains many memorable lines and moments including the giant keyboard, the baby corn, and "I get to be on top!" Along with Hanks and a good script by Gary Ross and Anne Spielberg, director Penny Marshall somehow managed to elevate Big (1988) well past a normal, brain-dead, high-concept summer blockbuster and into something genuinely affecting. Her achievement is all the more notable when you consider that three other "age switching" movies came out that same year (Like Father, Like Son, 18 Again!, and Vice Versa).

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