Sunday, July 27, 2008


Some movies can be watched over and over.

For me, "BIG", with Tom Hanks is one of those.

It's too bad he was nominated against Dustin Hoffman that year...had he not been, maybe he would have won.

To be able to access the feelings of a 12 year old boy and act them out in the body of a 30 year old man, is no easy feat. Who else but Tom Hanks could have pulled that off? The charm, the innocence, the honesty of his performance all make it perfect.

An adult longing to return to his youth, I suppose that's not a new plot.

But Big had a twist. It began with a young boy longing to be a grown-up...who soon learns through the eyes of his best friend...that the trappings of adulthood cannot replace the sweet innocence of childhood. (of course that is supposing you had a wonderful childhood).

I guess the movie touched that cord in me. Of course, past the age of 10, life for me was no longer innocent. But I have fond memories of my childhood, nonetheless.

Yesterday was my mother's birthday. I took her to a play and dinner to celebrate, and afterward we took a drive by the house we lived in from the time I was 5 until my father died.

We sat in the car...looking at all the things that remained the same. A little brick walkway that my not-so-skilled father put in himself. A lamppost with the address hanging from it, still stands in the front yard. An awning my parents had specially made for the front window still hangs. And most surprising is the original shingle roof, that is now considered a fire hazard in Los Angeles.

I have driven past the house before, secretly hoping the owners will walk out, and invite me in.

I have dreamed of going into the house, to capture, even if for one moment, what it was like when I felt "whole" as a child.

Maybe what the movie Big does, is remind us not to forget that innocence. Not to forget the child inside. Not to forget what it's like to play, and have a best friend, and a family...

and know that nothing comes before that...


Mildred Garfield said...

Beautiful post.

I'me been a fan of Tom Hanks since I first discovered him in "Bosom Buddies."

About going into the house you lived in - I had that opportunity - the house was up for sale - saw what it looks like now via the internet.

It was bad enough to see it on the realtor's site. To have been in the house would have been very disturbing.

Better you didn't get invited in.

ron said...

BIG is a wonderful film -- I loved when the "little kid" Tom Hanks goes to the party and eats the mini ears of corn on the cob just as he would eat big ears.

Wonderful, feel-good, warm and fuzzy post.

torontopearl said...

"ron," that last commenter, was me.

Arrrteest said...

My wife and I have both had the chance to visit our childhood homes and it was a good experience. I was driving past my old house and the owner happened to be outside. We ended up talking and he invited us in. He showed us some renovations he did in a particular room and pointed out a place in the plaster wall where the one of the workers signed there name and the year. He was actually able to contact the guy's son to attend a 100 year celebration of the houses construction! For my wife, we drove by her old house with our kids and the owners invited us in to see it. I think it was interesting to get in touch with your spouse's roots and I think it was good for the kids to see the place where their mother and grandparents lived.
For us, it was a positive experience.

Wendy said...

I love Big - one of my all time favorites!

I drive by my old house sometimes - never been in. The people who used to live in my current house came in & were a little disturbed. So maybe Mildred is onto something....

Claire said...

Amazing post. And one of my favourite movies - one I can always return to.


Val said...

Excellent movie, and even better - a great post.

nice moment to share with your Mom.

Elie said...

Big is one of my favorite movies too, and also one of those I can watch again and again. Besides the acting, the plot and message are just so wonderful.

HeyJoe said...

Nice post, mom. I'm all in favor of anything that allows us to recapture a piece of our childhood.

cruisin-mom said...

Millie: Loved Bosom Buddies. I can see where it would be difficult experience to see an old house.

T.P.: I remember seeing Big in the movies, and almost fell out of my seat during that seen.

arrteest: wow, you guys were lived out my wish!

Wendy: how could they be disturbed, your kitchen is so pretty!

Claire: yep, it is definitely one of those you can see over and over.

Val: awww, thanks :)

Elie: yes, it's just a great all around movie

Joe: it's most definitely a universal theme.

cruisin-mom said...

by the way, the most under rated Tom Hanks movies: Joe Versus the Volcano and The Money Pit. Tons of funny stuff in both movies, even if they're both pretty silly.

Elie said...

OMG, someone else who loves The Money Pit! I can hardly ever find anyone who's even *seen* it! Another sweet and hysterically funny movie, plus the chemistry between Hanks and Shelley Long was wonderful. It rivaled that between Long and Ted Danson on "Cheers", and that's saying a *lot*.

cruisin-mom said...

Elie: How funny is the scene when the bathtub falls through the floor and Hanks starts laughing uncontrollably?...that movie is HYSTERICAL! Shelly Long was great in those days...ever see Nightshift?

Val said...

oooh, i LOVED "THE MONEY PIT"!! Classic movie that can be watched over and over... the scene with him in the carpet in the hole in the floor - EXCELLENT!

HeyJoe said...

My wife loved The Money Pit. We actually have it on tape (yes we're old damnit!) I recall being very annoyed by the movie myself.

... Is the Window to Our Soul said...

For David it was great to have the experience, for me, it had the opposite effect. I know you want to relive those memories, but the reality forever skew those memories from childhood.

cruisin-mom said...

Val: I know, it's a good
"belly" laugh

Joe: Your wife is a smart gal. and yes you are old :)

Jaime: that's interesting that it was so different for you and David. I have mixed feelings, but I'd be willing to take the chance of disappointment

Elie said...

I liked all the slapstick scenes like the stairs collapsing, bathtub falling, etc. The supporting characters were also wonderful: Max, Curly, and that crazy band that dressed up like women.

But my single favorite bit was this dialog between Anna (Long) and Walter (Hanks) when they were breaking up - so perfectly delivered:

Walter: It's a big house, we'll divide it up! You stay in your half, I'll stay in mine!

Anna: That is such a dumb idea. Sometimes it amazes me you ever passed the bar.

Walter: I'm sure it does, you've never passed a bar in you life.

Anna: You are so much less attractive when I'm sober.

Walter: Thank goodness it's not that often then.

:-) :-) :-)