‘Big’ and Growing Up Too Fast

Big is a movie about wish fulfillment done right. A refreshingly sweet and funny film that is multi-layered with comedy, drama, fantasy, and a small subplot of romance. Plus, how can you replicate the charm of Tom Hanks as a big child? Looking at the films of today, I can’t immediately think of one that has this magic that can be relate to not just children but adults.

I never watched this Tom Hanks classic until a few weeks ago but how relatable this movie is makes it timeless.


Children grow up so fast.

Everything is simpler when you are a child. All you have to do is obey your parents, go to school, have sleepovers and ride bikes with your friends outside, etc. You have so much time in the world to do everything. Parents beam at you with such pride over watching you grow. Unfortunately, we can’t be between the ages of 4-12 forever. When you look at your parents, your mind can’t help but wonder…How it would be to be an adult?

So when young Josh Baskin puts a coin into an antique fortune teller machine and makes a with to be “big”, what’s the worst that could happen? Josh waking up to see that he’s a fully grown adult was hilarious along with his mother unable to recognize her only son (I mean, come on, would you in that situation?). Watching him make that wish, I wondered “Why rush to be an adult?” Because trust me, it doesn’t get any easier when you are 6 foot and however many inches tall.

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Being an adult is not as easy.

Once you cross into the 18 and over club, you’re officially an adult. It means that you have responsibilities: car payments, a full-time job, rent payments, roommates, balancing work and a social life. We’ve all had those moments growing up when we wish you were grown up; have your own car, job, your own place to live, etc. You’d think you were living the high life and no one can tell you want to do; if it were only that easy. There are days we wonder if we’re doing everything right, why are we failing so much, what exactly is the right decision, but most importantly….Why didn’t our parents tell us about all of this?!

Josh found this out as an entry level data clerk for a toy company. Luckily, he still has the mind of a child so he has insight about what children want and like. As we watch Josh move up the corporate ladder (wish it was that easy in real life!), his now larger world gets more complex with a growing romance, more success with the company and busy schedule, he begins to forget how it is like to be a child. The pressure of the work has him longing for his old life and he does go back to it. Being an adult, I’ve had those days where the day in, day out adult schedule has taken its toll , looking for answers or wishing I hadn’t skipped so many naps as a child.

Being an adult is hard work. All of what Josh goes through is how all adults feel throughout the grown-up phase of our lives. We long to go back to simpler days. Unlike Josh, we can’t turn back the hands of time. If only we could…

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Lesson: Keep hold of your inner child.

What I got from Big is to enjoy the younger years of your life and don’t rush to grow up. Look back on any lessons that you learned from there and carry it with you as you grow. Life does get hard sometimes but it’s not the end of the world, no matter if you are a child or an adult. But most importantly, don’t let the adult in you forget the inner child deep inside of your heart. That little guy or girl will get you through some tough days. Keep that inner child healthy.

So when you are down, gather your friends for a get-together. Do something crazy. Play with silly string. Remember to be a child once in a while to let go of the stress that adult life brings us.


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