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fun movie that needs to dig deeper
I watched the musical version of this before the original movie, and frankly there are a lot of changes made for the musical that make it work a lot better. This movie is very good fun, and Tom Hanks is delightful as a kid in a grown-up’s body. However, his love interest is not developed at all, and their relationship does not see much development either. This makes it so there’s still of bit of a skeevy factor with them sleeping together, since he is twelve, and this is never acknowledged. Still very good fun though.
|Debra Jo Rupp||Miss Patterson|
|Jon Lovitz||Scotty Brennen|
|Mercedes Ruehl||Mrs. Baskin|
|David Moscow||Josh Baskin|
|Josh Clark||Mr. Baskin|
|Kimberlee M. Davis||Cynthia Benson|
|Oliver Block||Freddie Benson|
|Erika Katz||Cynthia's Friend|
|Allan Wasserman||Gym Teacher|
|Gary Howard Klar||Ticket Taker|
|Tom Hanks||Joshua "Josh" Baskin|
"Have you ever had a really big secret?"
Josh Baskin (David Moscow) is a 12-year-old living in Cliffside Park, New Jersey, who, after being told he is too short for a carnival ride while attempting to impress an older girl (Kimberlee M. Davis), puts a coin into an unusual antique arcade fortune teller machine called Zoltar Speaks, and makes a wish to be "big." After the machine dispenses a card stating "Your wish has been granted," Josh discovers that the machine is unplugged and continues to operate despite a lack of power.However, the next morning Josh is shocked to discover that he has been transformed into a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks), and when he goes back to the plaza with the fortune teller machine, he finds that the carnival, as well as the machine, has moved on. Fleeing from his mother (Mercedes Ruehl), who thinks he is a stranger who has kidnapped her son, Josh then finds his best friend, Billy Kopecki (Jared Rushton), at the school they both attend; Billy is shocked at first, but Josh convinces him of his identity by singing a secret song that only the two of them know. With Billy's help, he learns that it would take a couple of months to find the Zoltar Speaks machine, so Josh rents a flophouse room in New York City and obtains a job as a data entry clerk at MacMillan Toy Company.By chance, Josh runs into the company's owner, Mr. MacMillan (Robert Loggia), at FAO Schwarz, and impresses him with both his extensive insight into current toys and his happy-go-lucky childlike enthusiasm. The two end up playing a duet together on a foot-operated electronic keyboard, performing "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks." This earns Josh a promotion to a dream job: testing toys all day long and getting paid for it. With his promotion, Josh's larger salary enables him to move out of the working man's hotel and into a spacious apartment, which he and Billy fill with toys, their own Pepsi vending machine and a pinball machine. Josh soon attracts the attention of Susan Lawrence (Elizabeth Perkins), a fellow McMillan executive. A romance begins to develop, much to the annoyance of Susan's competitive boyfriend, Paul Davenport (John Heard). Josh becomes increasingly entwined in his "adult" life by spending more time with Susan, mingling with her friends and moving in with her. His new ideas become valuable assets to MacMillan Toys; however, after celebrating Josh's 13th birthday with him, Billy notices a change in Josh and begins to feel annoyed and neglected, suspecting that Josh has forgotten who he really is.MacMillan asks Josh to come up with proposals for a new line of toys. Josh is intimidated by the need to formulate the business aspects of such a proposal, and Susan insists that she will handle the business end; that Josh need only rely on his affinity for toys to come up with a good idea. Nonetheless, Josh soon begins to feel overly pressured by this new life. When he expresses doubts to Susan and attempts to explain that he is really a child, she interprets this as fear of commitment on his part, and dismisses his explanation in frustration.Longing to return to the life of a child, Josh eventually learns from Billy that the Zoltar Speaks machine is now at Sea Point Park. In the middle of presenting their proposal to MacMillan and other executives, Josh leaves. After Susan realizes something is wrong, she also leaves and encounters Billy, who tells her where Josh went. At the park, Josh finds the machine and makes a wish to become "a kid again." He is then confronted by Susan, who, seeing the machine and the fortune it gave Josh, realizes he was telling the truth. Susan becomes despondent at realizing their relationship is over. Josh tells Susan she was the one thing about his adult life he wishes would not end, and suggests she use the machine to turn herself into a little girl. She declines, indicating that being a child once was enough, and takes Josh home. After sharing an emotional goodbye, Josh, now 13, reverts to his child form and is reunited with his family.
Theatrical : 1988-06-03 : United States of America
DVD : 2001-12-18
DVD : 2007-05-08