Big

A while back, Dr B and I decided to have a day of eighties family movies. This would involve watching Three Men and a Baby, Big and Ghostbusters in one sitting. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to do it, but I bought them all anyway, so the other night we sat down with a box o’ ginger cookies and watched Big.

It’s easy to forget how great Big is, because i) it’s fluffy, ii) throughout the nineties it was on TV at least once a week and iii) it has that denim-on-denim mulleted ginger sidekick kid from Terminator 2 in it. But great it is. I challenge you to sit down with that movie and not have a good time.

And yet …

At some point between the last viewing of it and this one, I became a Grown Up. The fantasy elements of the film are now contrasted by the uneasy reality behind it all. I’d quite like Michael Haneke to retell this story as a psychodrama, told from Josh’s mother’s point of view. A happy family is torn apart by the sudden disappearance of the eldest child, the only clue to his whereabouts being intermittent calls from a strange man who sings down the phone (possibly the same man who has been spotted hanging around at the son’s school, staring dewy-eyed at the children). Mother is distraught, father is emotionally disconnected, and that annoying kid next door is up to something. Meanwhile a business woman in Manhattan deflowers a thirteen year-old boy. Not so family-friendly now, eh?

Still, as long as you try to ignore those slightly creepy aspects of it, it’s a brilliant film. If you haven’t seen it recently, go get it now and treat yourself.

Oh, one more thing: the opening credits are shoddily pedestrian. Like, cheap home movie shoddy. Shame on you Saul Bass, shame on you.