Picture Me Big Time

Believe it or not (add Jack Palance-esque rasped ellipsis here), there is a whole cinema classification called “age-changing films” (aka “body-swapping”). Because I grew up in the 1970s, the classic of the genre will always be the original Freaky Friday (1976), but the 1980s* brought a slew of young-and-old-switch-bodies movies. There was the magic potion that switched Kirk Cameron and Dudley Moore in Like Father Like Son (1987), the oriental skull that switched Fred Savage and Judge Reinhold in Vice Versa (1988), and the (creaky) George Burns vehicle 18 Again! (1988). There was also Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) in which Kathleen Turner wakes up and is back in high school (a terrifying thought).
One variation on this theme was an Italian film called Da Grande (1987) in which 9-year-old Marco, smitten with his teacher, wishes he could be a grown-up…and, when he wakes up in the morning, finds himself in the body of a 40-year-old.
If that last film sounds a wee bit familiar, it’s because it was believed to bethe inspiration for the mega-hit Big (1988), with Tom Hanks starring as a 13-year-old who wakes up in the body of a 30-year-old.
Big will be screened at the Saratoga Film Forum, Saturday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Film Forum Family Flick series. In keeping (vaguely) with the theme of Big, the Family Flick screenings are run entirely by kids who choose the film, man the projection booth, sell the concessions, and generally run the show. The Family Flick series is sponsored by the Nordlys Foundation and all proceeds will be donated to charity. If you happen to know any kids who might be interested, let us know at films@saratogafilmforum.org.

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