Couch Potato

I Like to Watch (Instantly): Big, Stripes

Notable 1980s comedy titles from the Netflix Watch Instantly world

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Directed by Penny Marshall

Cast: Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, John Heard, Jon Lovitz, Mercedes Ruehl, Jared Rushton, David Moscow, Josh Clark, Kimberlee M. Davis, Oliver Block

A less flabby Tom Hanks stars in this lighthearted comedy about Josh Baskin, an unappreciative teenager turned into a 30-year-old man by a devilish Zoltar machine in a carnival one night, and the misadventures that befall him in his newfound maturity. With no one believing his transformation and with nowhere else to go, Josh seeks help from his best friend Billy (Jared Rushton) to find the machine again and reclaim his body. Yet, it's not going to be easy. In his journey, Josh has to learn how to live alone, to find a job, to act like an adult and to fall in love. Overall, Big is a pure and sincere tale with a heartwarming feel, hilarious antics and, hard as it can be found in modern-day flicks, moral lessons. And as always, Hanks does a marvelous job of portraying his bizarre role, making this film a must-see for audiences, young and old alike.

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Directed by Ivan Reitman

Cast: Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, John Candy, Sean Young, Warren Oates, P.J. Soles, John Larroquette, Judge Reinhold

Ghostbusters' very own Ivan Reitman directs this scandalous classic. Having lost his job, his car and his girlfriend, a depressed, but nonetheless naughty, John Winger (Ghostbusters' Bill Murray, for the record) enlists in the U.S. Army, and talks his best friend Russell Zimskey (Harold Ramis) into joining him. The two then find themselves in a diverse platoon led by Sergeant Hulka (Warren Oates), and with his hilariously defiant attitude, Winger becomes the platoon's black sheep quite easily. But when Sgt. Hulka suddenly gets injured, Winger has to acquire the discipline and courage to lead the other soldiers for them to graduate. Murray is cast perfectly as Winger, whose sarcastic calm brings viewers big laughs. The script is a standout – both witty and raunchy. And the plot is an excellent sociopolitical parody. Just the way I like it.