When I was 13, I got grounded for going to see a movie that my parents specifically told me I wasn't allowed to view. Now you would think this movie must be something awful, something so corrupting and evil that my virgin eyes and ears should never, ever be exposed to.
Take a guess at the forbidden movie:
a) 9 1/2 weeks
b) Debbie Does Dallas
c) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The correct answer is D. I'm not even fucking kidding with you about this. Now, I had the type of parents who, like, went to the movies about once every decade. So the one movie they decided to go see in the 1980's was the super popular Tom Hanks' vehicle "Big". I remember my mom talking about the movie the next morning.
"That movie was raunchy. Definitely not appropriate for you kids to see. I mean, there is actually a scene where Tom Hanks' character touches a breast!"
The following weekend, Amy and I went to see a movie with friends. Of course, the movie we wanted to see was sold out. Everybody agreed on the movie we'd see instead: Big. So Amy and I just look at each other with our sister stares that speak volumes. I mean how fucking embarrassing to actually say to your group of friends that you are trying so hard to impress that your whacko mom has forbidden you to see a movie as innocuous as Big? We both just shrugged and bought our tickets.
When my mom found a ticket stub the next morning, let's just say the shit hit the fan. And yes, we were that stupid to not hide the ticket stubs. Fucking morons. I don't know. I was just riddled with guilt and fear. My mom was the queen of freak outs over the most inconsequential things. I mean one time my sister skipped school and when my mom found out about it her screams could be heard round the world. In my house, it just wasn't worth it to break the rules. When I did something wrong, the whole neighborhood basically suffered the sounds of the wrath of Rita. But mostly it was me.**
Today, I was switching through channels and came across the movie Big. I nestled on the couch to watch it. I was just really curious to see if my disobedience was really worth being grounded for two whole fucking weeks. Here's what I discovered: My mom was right. Big is a vile, horrific movie not fit to be viewed by a grown adult, let alone a child at the nascence of her adolescence.
Why? I'll tell you why. The whole premise is revolting on 3 levels. We have a 12 year old boy, a child named Josh who turns into a man overnight. Ok, fine, whatever. I'm suspending disbelief. I know it's a fantasy movie, in the tradition of Freaky Friday. But there are just some feelings I can't suspend. First of all, compassion. Compassion for Josh's poor mother who thinks her son was kidnapped and for the entire length of the movie is in anguish that he is in the hands of a crazy criminal. How exactly is that quaint or funny? While Josh is out having the time of his fucking life, his poor mother is left to deal with not knowing when or if she would ever see her beloved child again. The scene where "adult" Josh is on the phone with his mom and she doesn't know its him but thinks its actually his kidnapper? And then he starts singing "Memories" to her so that she knows that her son is still alive? It breaks my heart. When she starts sobbing hysterically into the phone, I just about lose my mind. Sick, sick, sick.
Secondly, I feel revulsion. Josh is supposed to be a child. A 12 year old child. He might be in a man's body but he is portraying a child. And yet he has a sexual encounter with an adult woman. Again, there is not a single thing quaint or funny about that. What's particularly gross is that Josh is so obviously not a man. His character is naive, gullible, silly, playful. I find myself nauseated at the idea of it. The woman obviously realizes there is something "off" about Josh and yet she continues to send him come hither stares and tries to sleep with him. Then the pen-ultimate moment that had my mom all pearl-clutching and whatnot, when she takes Josh's hand and puts it on her own boob. That's like hand rape. Hand rape and child molestation all in one fell swoop. Revolting.
Thirdly, I feel disgust. Disgust at the shamless plug within the movie for F. A. O. Schwartz. They present the store as a wonderland, a mecca of joy and levity. I went there for the first time about six months ago and it scared the shit out of me. Monstrously sized plush toys staring at me with their $1000 price tags. Creepy eyed dolls, shelf after shelf of blocks, legos, action figures. My daughter picked up a rice crispy treat and begged us to buy it for her. "Sure", we said. And then we went up to the counter and the woman behind it said, "That'll be $8.50." WHAT?!? Yep. That's $8 for a small rice krispy treat on a stick.
You know who the most tragic figure of all is in this movie? Billy. Poor little Billy. He has the best line in the movie when he says to Josh, "I'm 3 months older than you are, PAL." He's so great. And yet, YET, this child makes constant trips to New York City and his parents don't give a shit. How does this happen? How does nobody notice that this child is missing? And why does nobody think it's weird that Josh is walking around creepily watching kids at the end of the movie? Whatever. I'm so over this movie and it's revolting, disgusting, horribleness. Not to mention the fact that the Zoltar machine is the stuff of nightmares.
**My mom has little to no recollection of these incidents. It makes sense to me, actually. She was a zombie under the influence of a brainwashing cult. I have a great relationship with my mother now that she's normal and not under the influence of Jehovah's Witness doctrine.
2 hours ago