A 1996 film by Francis Ford Coppola
starring Robin Williams
as a young boy named Jack who, due to an extremely rare disease that is never officially named, ages at four times the normal human rate. The film explores his unique situation, from being the only 10-year-old who can buy pornography, to being mistaken for his elementary school's principal, to all the medical problems he must face as his expedient aging continues. As one might guess, the entire film is chock full of Tear Jerker
This film provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Robin Williams has played an adult Peter Pan (aka the boy who never grew up) with a son named Jack.
- Artistic License - Biology: There is a rare disease called Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome, in which a child from an early age exhibits rapid aging of the body◊, but not the mind. The longest they usually live is to their early 20s. The movie disease seems to match this pretty well, save for the looking like a normal adult part. Depending on your interpretation, this may be justified by Rule of Symbolism and An Aesop about doing what you can with the time you have.
- A doctor does specifically mention progeria, and that it's not what Jack has, stating that Jack's condition is completely unprecedented.
- Award Bait Song: Star by Bryan Adams.
- Bar Brawl: Jack is mistaken for an adult, and gets into a fight.
- Cool Teacher: Jack's tutor.
- Good Parents: Given the situation and circumstances, Jack's parents are practically saints.
- Homeschooled Kids: Jack is one intermittently; his parents want to protect him.
- Hot for Teacher: Why not develop a crush? She's Jennifer Lopez!
- Precocious Crush: Jack doesn't realize that he is too young for her, and after his heart is broken, he has a heart attack.
- Kiddie Kid: Jack acts a few years younger than his age, probably due to his sheltered lifestyle.
- Man Child: Jack, of course.
- Mood Whiplash: Between being the fun kid-friendly comedy it was marketed as (see below; heck, see the poster on this page) to the bleak, depressing Tear Jerker it really was.
- Never Trust a Trailer: It was pretty much marketed as Big WITH ROBIN WILLIAMS!.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Completely averted; Jack can't help but grow up.
- Protagonist Title
- Rapid Aging: At a ratio of 4:1, most of the movie showing Jack at age 10 with the body of a 40-year-old.
- Shrinking Violet: Jack, when he first goes to school.
- Visual Pun: The pair of females sitting making derogatory comments about Jack's mother's weight at the start of the film are dressed as catgirls... they're being catty.
- Younger Than They Look
- Zerg Rush: Jack's schoolmates approach his house in waves, asking his mother to let him out to play.