Everyone loves Big… we thought. The 1988 supernatural comedy about a boy (David Moscow) whose wish to grow up magically lands him inside the body of his older self (Tom Hanks) has drawn some ridicule in recent years, with critics bringing to light the possibly problematic relationship that ensues between Josh and an adult woman (Elizabeth Perkins).
While never explicit, it’s implied the pair have sex in the film, leading to questions over whether the film romanticizes what could be considered a form of child molestation or statutory rape. Then again, maybe folks are overthinking it. This is a childhood fantasy, after all, so one might expect a 12-year-old boy’s vision of being a grown-up to involve some sort of sexual exploits.
Moscow, who made his film debut as young Josh and visited Yahoo Studios to celebrate the Penny Marshall-directed film as it returns to theaters for its 30th anniversary, admitted he doesn’t think Big could be made the same way today.
“I think people would jump on it,” Moscow, now 43, told us. “If they did make it, the press, before it even came out, would be ripping it to shreds. The religious fanatics would be out there talking about it. People would demonstrating. I don’t think you could.”
Say Big was remade in 2018 (because what isn’t these days?), you can bet Josh’s relationship with Susan (Perkins) would be altered, if not eliminated altogether.
“That would go,” Moscow said. “It would be sort of like the other body-switching comedies where it was more about the father and the son flipping.”
In other words, maybe they’ll just remake Vice Versa instead.
Big returns to theaters July 18 as part of Fathom Events’ 30th anniversary celebration.
Watch David Moscow talk about being studied by Tom Hanks for the film:
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