Comedy

Big (1988) – Celebrating 25 Years On

Tuesday evening marked a watershed moment in my marriage. Over dinner I made a reference to Big. A movie synonymous with mine and my friends’ childhoods. Many a Christmas holiday was spent with a viewing of Big. Of all the kids movies of the time, Goonies etc. it dealt with an dream close to all 8 to 12 year old boy’s hearts; imagine if I could eat all the ice cream I wanted and go to bed whenever I want AND touch a hot older lady’s boob. Holy shite! That’d be amazing. Then this happened:

Wife: “Never seen it”

Me:“…………………………………….what?”

Wife: “I’ve never seen Big.”

Me:“How have you never seen Big?”

Wife: “I don’t know, I’ve just never seen it.”

Me: “Are you sure? Tom Hanks, dancing on a piano, spitting out caviar? You know…….Big!!”

Wife: “Yeah. Never seen it.”

Me: “…………………………………………………who ARE you?”

I was stunned. How do you go through life without seeing Big?!? How had I not known this BEFORE I asked her to marry me? It should be part of your wedding vowels.

“Do you take her, to have and to hold, till death do you part, even in the event she hasn’t seen The Goonies, Big and Innerspace?”

“Oooooohhhhhhhh, mmmmm…………can I think about it?”

I knew what had to happen. I had to pull out a copy of Big. The next night I made her watch it and you know what? She freakin’ loved it! And I enjoyed it as much as the previous countless times I had seen it. I also realised it was now 25 years old. When did that happen?!? So in celebration here as some cool Big related things:

Big

Did It Hold Up After All These Years?

Absolutely. There is something magical about this movie that never seems to get old even after all these years. As an 8 year old boy I wanted to have the opportunity to make lots of money so I could buy loads of toys and eat all the ice cream I wanted and touch boobs. As a 28 year old man I still want to earn lots money, eat all the ice cream I want and touch boobs.

The only thing that changed watching it as an adult though was how weirded out I was when I thought to hard about the fact Josh and Susan had sex. I mean, regardless of the fact he was in a 30 year old’s body, she still technically had sex with a 12 year old boy. And this seemed not to affect her one iota.

Where Are They Now?

Penny Marshall (Director)

Penny Marshall

Up there with Nora Efron as one of the big heavy-hitting lady Directors of the late 80’/early 90’s. Also responsible for A League of Their Own, which was awesome in spite of Madonna. Hasn’t directed a major motion picture since 2001’s Riding In Cars With Boys. Remarkably has 58 acting credits to her name. Spending her twighlight years turning up in random TV shows and movies.

Tom Hanks (Josh Barkin)

Tom Hanks

We all know the Tom Hanks story; went on to become one of not only the most bankable stars in Hollywood, but also the most affable. Remarkable just how young he looks in Big compared to nowadays. Also nice to be reminded of just how naturally talented he is for comedy.

Elizabeth Perkins (Susan)

elizabeth-perkins-02

Career making role for young Elizabeth Perkins. Rocked some stellar 80’s hair and shoulder pads. Had a steady career in rom coms and TV shows. Particularly memorable as yuppie, pill popping, backstabber Celia Hodes in the amazingly entertaining Weeds. Currently in TV series How To Live With Your Parents The Rest Of Your Life alongside Sarah Chalke (Scrubs).

John Heard (Paul)

John Heard

Although best known outside of Big as Macaulay Culkin’s Dad in Home Alone, John Heard has rarely stopped working since 1985. Turned up in a number of bug TV shows in recent years including Battlestar Galactica and Prison Break. Also had a brilliantly sleazy role in The Sopranos as a washed out cop. Will still always be Pete McCallister to me though.

Robert Loggia (MacMillan)

Robert Loggia

One grizzly Italian dude, Robert Loggia is a cult figure in American TV and movies. Given that Big was 25 years ago Loggia already looked pretty old in 1988. At 83 he is still working as hard as ever and currently has 5 roles in current or post production.

Jared Rushton (Billy)

Jared Rushton

Had a career in the late 80’s/early 90’s that suggested he may be a child star in the making. Honey I Shrunk The Kids should have been his catapult to big things but he stopped acting in 2000. Joined a band with his brother in 2004. Seen some pictures of him recently. Looks like he spent his royalties on Papa Johns.

Fun Facts

  • Movie took a whopping $120m (not adjusted for inflation) off of just an $18m budget
  • We nearly got Robert De Niro in the lead role but his salary demands were too high. Thanks God. Can you imagine how potentially terrible this movie would have been with Bobby D grouching up the place.
  • Penny Marshall became the first female director to ever direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million at the box office with this movie.
  • The football jersey Susan is wearing to bed is a NY Jets Jersey with #99 on it. At that time Mark Gastineau wore #99 for the Jets.
  • According to Monica Rushton, Jared Rushton (Billy), David Moscow (little Josh) and Tom Hanks (big Josh) were put in a room with a bunch of toys to play with. Having silly string, they tried to use it to gross each other out and that is how the silly string scene between Jared Rushton and Tom Hanks appeared in the movie.
  • The musical version of “Big” opened at the Shubert Theater on April 28, 1996, ran for 193 performances and was nominated for the 1996 Tony Awards for the Best Original Book and Score.
  • According to actor Robert Loggia, on the day they filmed the famous keyboard scene at F.A.O. Schwarz, he and Tom Hanks noticed that doubles dressed like them were on hand just in case the two could not do the dance moves correctly. It became their goal to do the entire keyboard number without the aid of the doubles. They succeeded.
  • A comic book adaptation was released by Hit Comics in 1988.

Available in all sorts of formats

Dylan

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