Some things that have been bothering me about 'BIG'...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Inspector Hammer!, Nov 30, 2002.

  1. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Let me just say first off that I love this film. It was the first time we caught a glimpse of what Tom Hanks would eventually evolve into, one of the great dramatic actors we have today. Plus it's just an all around sweet story. A scene that never fails to make me smile is seeing him and Robert Loggia dance 'Chop sticks' on that massive keyboard.
    There is however a couple of aspects of the film that have bothered me for some time, since watching it again last year actually. I've seen the film countless times since it's release but my gripes became evident upon that viewing last year and they are as follows...
    1. The portrayal of a boy who is suppposed to be 13 just isn't accurate. The kid who plays Josh in the beginning of the film is fine, it's only when Tom Hanks becomes Josh that this problem arises. O.k., he's thirteen right, but he still has an interest in toys!? Now, I know that he's old enough to still be in touch with those child feelings and know what a kid would and would not want to play with so I can kind of excuse that, but he seems to have a genuin interest in playing with them and that I can't really buy, not from a kid his age. Which leads me to my next point...
    2. His apparent lack of interest in girls.
    In the beginning of the film when he's goofing off with Billy with the baseball cards they see the cute blonde from school and Josh seems to notice and obviously like her. He see's her again at the fair and again, he obviously likes her.
    Now...
    When Tom Hanks becomes Josh, he behaves more like a 9 or 10 year old instead of 13. Notice the scene when he's got Elizebeth Perkins up in his loft and she's trying her damndest to seduce him, he seems completely uninterested and even more so UNAWARE of her sexual advances towards him! I would think that a boy of 13 would be painfully aware of what she was getting at, especially when she's in his bunk bed looking hot as she was. Instead, Josh shows her his "glow-in-the-dark compass ring"!? [​IMG] It's not consistant to how he was acting in the start of the film.
    My only guess is that Penny Marshall wanted to withhold that until later in the film when Josh and Susan's relationship got deeper, still, it just doesn't make sense to me.
    And also, would a 13 year old do that disgusting bit with the cream covered cherry? I doubt it.
    As I said though, I love the film, and despite what it sounds like, I love Tom Hanks' performance even more. These are just things that i've noticed about the film even though they do bother me just a tad. While I watch the film I can push them aside and still enjoy it very much.
     
  2. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    I agree, Hanks seems to be playing a younger child at first. But he definitely reacted like a 13 year old when Perkins turned off the light on the night they slept together.

    I have a friend who doesn't like the fact that they sleep together because she considers it a bizrre form of child molestation. Come to think of it, I guess she's right :p
     
  3. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    I too thought that Hanks was acting much younger than he was supposed to.

    It wasn't just the fact that he plays with toys and had no interest in girls, but his overall general demeanor.
    He seems to be too clueless and immature for a 13 year old.

    I'm guessing Hanks and Penny Marshall couldn't portray the more subtle aspects of a 13 year old, so they opted for something more extreme and easier to pull off.
     
  4. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Ricardo,
    that's a very interesting angle, I hadn't thought about that before! True, he has the mind of (supposedly) a 13 year old, but then again the body of a 35 year old. I can't decide if what she did was wrong or not.

    Marc,
    yeah, I believe that was the very thought of Penny, just to make him more kid like. They went a little too far however IMO. What they should have done is have that kid do a run through with all of the scenes that Tom would be in, tape them so that Tom could study his mannerisms and then have Tom do the scenes and re-enact what the kid did.
     
  5. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    That's what you get for thinking, John Williamson.
    :p)
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Yeah, I guess so Dome. Damn adult intellectual mind, IT NEVER SHUTS UP! [​IMG]
     
  7. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I never got how he explained his disappearance to his mom- he said he was kidnapped but treated OK, then they let him go, and his mom didn't call the police?
     
  8. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Well she must have notified someone of his disappearance, wouldn't she have had to call the police in order to get his picture on that milk carton? Or is that like a whole different organization from the police?
     
  9. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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  10. Louis C

    Louis C Supporting Actor

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    It's pure escapism, and when I view the film that way, it's fun, but I had to suspend a great deal of thinking to get into it.
     
  11. Jason_Els

    Jason_Els Screenwriter

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    For those of you who might not remember....

    Puberty happens at different times and not all 13 year olds develop at the same rate. While we can suppose that Josh has started puberty at least, mentally he may not be remotely ready for anything. At 13 you have the urges of a man and the mentality of a kid. It's confusing, unnerving, and you're just beginning to test the waters of sexuality. I know at 13 it practically took a girl to hit me over the head with a sign to know she was interested in me. I had no instincts for such things then.

    Being a teen is always like that and one of the things most frustrating for a parent. One minute they seem responsible and adult and the next they're doing irresponsible, silly, kid stuff. Josh had to keep it together and learn some survival skills of far more importance than sex.

    Josh is 13, away from his family for the first time, in a man's body, and left to fend for himself. Even at 13, sex would be the last thing on my mind. Remember that to Josh, she's a million years old and probably a woman he would ordinarily call, "Mrs.". It would be like your friend's mom coming on to you. Best to pretend you didn't notice even if you did.
     
  12. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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  13. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Also keep in mind that the teens of these days are a little more mature or should I say experienced compared to when this movie was made. And I was still interested in toys at 13. I liked sports, skateboarding and surfing more but still had to have my GI Joe, Transformers and Star wars stuff. Heck I still like toys and I'm 28! And I just sit back watch and enjoy this movie, this is a movie I can watch over and over again and enjoy everytime. Hanks is a brilliant actor.
     
  14. Eric Bass

    Eric Bass Second Unit

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    It's worth mentioning as well that a teen's interest in girls is very hormonal, and those hormones would not be raging in a 35 year old body.
     
  15. Jon W H

    Jon W H Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Kevin M

    Kevin M Producer

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  17. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    Another aspect worth mentioning would be that those teenage boys can get awfully shy in certain situations as well... and rather pretend like nothing happens...
     
  18. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    In other words, i'm way off base here. [​IMG]
    All the explanations i've read here are plausable one's so who knows, they could be right. [​IMG]
    Dome's right, I think too much, or is it that I didn't think enough in this case? :b
    Hey, i'm 30 and I LOVE toys! In fact I have toys all over the place in my theater room. Nothing says "i'm a film lover" like an 18" figure of 'Ash' from Army of Darkness sitting on top of your left front speaker and an 18" figure of 'Michael Myers' on top of your right speaker! [​IMG]
     
  19. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Forgot about the milk carton picture, but nothing else seemed to be made of his being kidnapped (of course the movie ended when he came home, IIRC)- If he told his mom what really happened, he'd probably have gone in for some science experiments too (am I taking this too seriously?) [​IMG]
     

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