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It's true that Josh does display behaviour throughout the movie that may seem "idiotic". from other people's points of view, but that's because Josh is actually a 12-year-old in a adult's body (or an adult with the mental capacity and memories of someone who has only lived for 13 years, depending on how you look at it). This unusual situation, how it came about and how it affects his life, is pretty much the core premise of the whole film.
Second answer: Now, if in raising this question, it is being suggested that Josh's behaviour is simply "idiotic" even for the age of 12-13, then there are a few things to consider here: 1. This film is intended to first and foremost be a comedy, and as such exaggerations of people's words and actions are to be expected for comedic effect. 2. The film is written and directed by adults, who do perhaps not have the same perceptions on how kids that age behave as someone actually at that age might have. 3. For most of the film, the 12 year old is also being interpreted by an adult actor, which further calls for inevitable distortions, if not but for comedic effect and also due to that thing called "act your age". 4. This film is over 30 years old by now, times and views undoubtedly have changed in every aspect regarding to the question. Edit
Arguably, yes! Since Josh is actually a 12-year-old in an adult's body (or an adult with the mental capacity and memories of someone who has only lived 12 years, depending on how you look at it), 28 year old Susan could technically go to jail for having slept with him on the grounds of statutory rape. That angle is, however, never addressed in the film. Instead, the whole scenario is played out pretty much for laughs, and then with Josh even depicted in all smiles the day after, perfectly pleased and happy about it all. Response: As Josh is in the body of an adult, works as a professional in a company, it would seem a valid legal defense that Susan did not know (or would be expected to believe) that Josh was 12 or 13. Edit
After being told that he is too short to go on a carnival ride, 12-year-old Joshua "Josh" Baskin (David Moscow) makes a wish on a "Zoltar Speaks" fortune-telling machine and asks to be big. Zoltan says that the wish will be granted and, to Josh's astonishment, the next morning he has grown into the body of a 30-year-old but still retains his 12-year-old mind. Now unrecognizable by his mother, grown-up Josh (Tom Hanks) is forced to strike out on his own. With the help of his best friend Billy Kopecky (Jared Rushton), he takes the bus to New York, gets a job at the MacMillan toy company, shares a romantic interlude with co-worker Susan (Elizabeth Perkins), and tries to find another Zoltar machine so that he can wish his 12-year-old body back. But is that what he really wants to do? Edit
Josh walks out of the board meeting and catches a cab to Sea Point Park where the Zoltar machine is now set up. He puts in his quarter and wishes to be a kid again. Susan, who has followed him, catches up. Realizing that his wish has been granted and finally believing that he is really a kid, she asks how old he is. "Thirteen," he tells her, having just had a birthday. Susan offers to drive him home, but tells him to keep her phone number and: "Maybe in ten years...?" As they pull up in front of Josh's house, Josh bends over to kiss Susan goodbye, but she kisses his forehead instead. As he walks up the street to his house, his clothes start becoming baggy. Now back to being a 13-year-old, Josh turns to smile at Susan one last time, then runs into the house where his mother is overjoyed to see him home. In the final scene, Josh and Billy walk up the street together, pushing their bikes and chanting the words to their hand game. Edit
The space goes down, down baby, down, down the roller coaster. Sweet, sweet baby, sweet, sweet, don't let me go. Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock. Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock. I met a girlfriend - a triscuit. She said, a triscuit - a biscuit. Ice cream, soda pop, vanilla on the top. Ooh, Shelly's out, walking down the street, ten times a week. I read it. I said it. I stole my momma's credit. I'm cool. I'm hot. Sock me in the stomach three more times. Edit
On DVD, an Extended Edition of this Tom Hanks' classic has been released that contains nearly 30 minutes of new footage, making the movie over 130 minutes long. The Extended Edition shows a more distinct development of certain characters. There are for example scenes of the younger Josh (David Moscow), that give a better understanding about his wish to acquire adulthood faster. There are also scenes about the "adult" Josh, wishing to become a kid again and there's even more. In the UK, the movie was cut in order to get the PG rating from the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). A short scene in which you can hear the word "fuck" was left out. Edit
The additional scenes are:
We see a scene where Billy is at his home and his mother, played by Frances Fisher, is yelling at the family.
There is a scene whereby Josh's mother, played by Mercedes Ruehl, is talking to the police in the living room of their home, and is describing the "strange man" who came into their house and "exposed his heinie."
There's a scene where the boys are looking for the Zoltar machine and are visiting electronic/video game stores.
The scene in the coffee shop where Josh and Billy are looking in the paper for a job for Josh is extended a bit and has a few extra lines in it.
There's an added part where Susan's secretary is opening wedding shower presents in the office and Susan gets upset because her secretary isn't doing her job. In the same scene, Susan is playing with a doll sitting on her desk that has test recording sayings and voices from one of her co-workers.
In the beginning of the scene where Susan is going into Paul's office to tell him about a dive in sales of a particular toy, there are some children running down the hall to the toy test room. Also, at the end of this scene, we see Paul trying to convince Susan she's responsible for a bad idea/business decision that belongs to him.
There's a scene where Josh is calling his mother from the payphone in the hall of the flophouse in which he lives. The scene prior to this, he is in his room with Billy and insinuates he has a stomachache from all the eating they did. In the call to his mother, he tells her he's conducting a survey directed towards mothers to find out what they do to help their kids with a stomachache. She recommends Pepto Bismal every four hours.
When in FAO Schwartz, there are some added lines and small scenes throughout Josh's time in there.
There is an added bit at the beginning of the scene where Susan and Paul are having breakfast in on of their apartments while still in their robes, discussing Josh's appearance from nowhere. It ends with Susan putting down the carton of milk with Josh's picture on the back of it as a 12-year-old.
After renting his apartment, there is an added piece before they try to drop the water balloon on the delivery person where it shows the delivery person is there to deliver Josh's furniture rental.
There's a whole scene showing Josh and Billy renting a tuxedo for Josh, to wear to the company party in the following scene.
For the company party scene, there' s a bit added to the beginning showing Paul being Paul, a jerk. There are also small lines added here and there, not shown in the shorter version of the movie, generally of Paul getting drunker and drunker as the night wears on, and being more of a jerk.
When Susan and Josh are in his apartment for the first time, there is some additional scene showing them playing what looks like Risk, just before the movie shows them going to bed in the bunkbed.
There's an added scene where Josh is working really late and sees the boss in his office. He goes to talk to him and the boss starts telling him about how toys used to be simple. This ends up being a bit of an epiphany for Josh.
When Josh and Susan go on their first date to the amusement park, there are some small additional lines/scenes here and there.
The next day, after the first date/night together, there's a small added bit where Susan brings her secretary a late wedding present.
There's an added bit where Billy tries to call Josh at his apartment but no one answers, because it's empty, and Billy's parents are yelling at him to get off the phone.
There's an added bit where Paul is trying to learn how to do tricks with a yo-yo, perhaps in a bid to try to be more "youthful" like Josh.
There's a short scene showing Josh walking down the street when he stops to buy a Sports Illustrated. Nearby are some kids that are around 12 or 13 who are reading and sharing comic books. This leads into the next scene...
There's an added scene or two where Susan and Josh are working together and Josh shares with her an electronic toy that seems a bit like Simon, but more so. She meets their boss who kind of lets her know he knows about she and Josh and is happy for them. This segues into another unseen scene where Billy tries to call Josh and gets no answer, and you can hear his parents arguing in the background.
After Josh tells Susan he's really a kid, there's a scene where she wakes up and comes out of her bedroom. Josh's clothes are scattered all over the room and she starts picking them up. She finds his wallet and looks inside it. She finds the Zoltar card that says, "Your wish is granted." Then, the movie shows them walking to work and her wanting to buy some gum from a street vendor. He picks up Bubbilicious for her and she gives a look of finally starting to believe him.
Writer's note: There were other times in the movie that might have been part of the extended movie, but it'd been long enough since I've watched the movie I wasn't sure. For the same reason, I might have added things here that were in the original cut. If anyone else can add to this, please feel free. Edit