& How to Watch Them:
Big (1998): After being too short to ride a carnival ride with his crush, Josh Baskin (David Moscow) makes a wish to be “Big” and turns into a 30 year old man overnight (Tom Hanks). He fakes an abduction to avoid scrutiny from his mom and flees to New York City, where, with the assistance of his best friend (Jared Rushton – look closely to spot how he wears a pin with a picture of his own face on his jacket), lands a sweet apartment, a job as an executive in a toy company, all the toys and ice cream he wants, and a hot girlfriend (Elizabeth Perkins). Watch for Jon Lovitz making a cameo as an office sexual harasser!
A League of Their Own (1992): During World War II, a group of women are drafted to play professional baseball to keep the men’s league afloat while the men are overseas. The story centers on two sisters from Oregon, Dottie and her kid sister Kit (Geena Davis and Lori Petty), a recovering alcoholic and sexist coach (Tom Hanks), and a lovable cast of teammates. Watch for Jon Lovitz making a cameo as a baseball scout!
Oh, Penny Marshall, how do I love thee?
I love thee for making Big, an endearing, inspiring movie for every woman who has ever tried to form an adult relationship with a man who is literally a child. And for the racquetball scene, a brilliant portrayal of white male fragility.
But I mostly and forever love thee for A League of Their Own, a movie that gave me all the feels the first time I saw it-- a baby gay 15 years from coming out, in my softball jersey, at the movie theater, opening weekend. I felt like Marla when she first walks into Harvey Field. I love the cast you brought together and the performances you brought out of them. I love Helen Haley innocently asking, "Has anyone seen my new red hat?” I love Doris, a pre-out Rosie O’Donnell, pretending to love male attention. I love Madonna teaching Alice to read with sexually explicit romance novels and Dottie’s smolder as she strides to the plate for the last at-bat in the World Series. And I really love the cameos from the real-life athletes finally celebrating their place in the history books, decades overdue. And I really, really love that this movie made you the first female director ever to gross over $100 million at the box office twice.
A League of Their Own showed me an unfair world where women had to trade kisses for fouls and be beautiful and “act properly” to even be given a chance, a world where black women weren't even allowed in the stadium, much less the dugouts. But also an inspiring and achievable world where women, together, can create something empowering and all their own.
So thank you, Penny. I hope you know how special it was, how much it all meant.
PS: Just between us, did Dottie drop the ball on purpose? Never mind, I know she did ... right?!