Throwback Thirty – Big (1988)

big-movie-poster-1988-10202661175_star_rating_system_1_starΒ If I were to ask you what the creepiest film you’d ever seen was, I imagine that the answer would probably be something from the horror genre. A film littered with jump scares and freaky characters. Possibly something with a terrifying clown or children’s toy that appears out of nowhere and brandishes a knife. I say, you’re wrong. If you say anything other than any number of age-changing comedies then I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Any film that sees a child become an adult is inherently weird but it gets more complicated when the inevitable romance occurs. I’m a massive fan of the book Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov but find that I’m constantly having to defend it to people. Apparently a well-written novel about a paedophile that isn’t, really, that graphic is too much. A film where a woman starts a relationship with a boy in Tom Hanks’ body? Well that’s one of the greatest comedy films of all time.You know the Calvin Harris song ‘Acceptable in the 80s’? Well, I have a theory that it was a song written about the Tom Hanks film, Big. Now, Big was just one of many age-change films that came out in the 80s but it is the one that is continually named as one of the greatest comedies or even greatest films ever made. It’s not that I really hate this film but I can’t ignore how fucking creepy it is. It’s fucking dreadful. It celebrates a romantic relationship between a grown woman and a 13-year-old boy. Yes, that 13 year old boy is in the body of Academy Award winner Tom Hanks but it’s still fucked up. But, I guess, it was just acceptable in the 80s.

In the film, Josh Baskin makes a wish on a fortune-telling machine during a visit to his local carnival. He has just been humiliated in front of the girl he has a crush on by being too short. The next morning, Josh wakes up as an adult man. He attempts to find the Zoltar Speaks machine in order to reverse the wish but is told it will take weeks to track down. In the mean time, Josh gets a job at a toy company and quickly gets promoted. He also catches the eye of his sexy coworker Susan. This is when things get creepy.You see, despite everything he says and does screaming “child in an adult body”, Susan can’t help but fall for Josh’s naive charms. They begin dating and, after one night on the town, have sex. Yes, that is the part that always blows my mind. A grown woman unknowingly has sex with a child. Then, when she finally hears the truth, she starts making jokes about it instead of being absolutely horrified. She even suggests he keep her number for when he’s older. How can anyone not think this is creepy?

I get the whole “Tom Hanks is really charming and plays a 13 year old boy really well” argument in favour of this film. He is charming and he does embody the mind of a young boy really well. He’s funny and sweet. But it’s still not enough to make it okay that a grown woman shags a 13 year old boy. Nobody is charming enough to make that okay. Not even Stephen fucking Fry. Nah, Big is, without a doubt the creepiest film in existence and anyone who thinks otherwise needs to rewatch it.

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