Forrest Gump (1994)

“The best thing about visiting the President is the food! Now, since it was all free, and I wasn’t hungry but thirsty, I must’ve drank me fifteen Dr. Peppers.”“The best thing about visiting the President is the food! Now, since it was all free, and I wasn’t hungry but thirsty, I must’ve drank me fifteen Dr. Peppers.”

“The best thing about visiting the President is the food! Now, since it was all free, and I wasn’t hungry but thirsty, I must’ve drank me fifteen Dr. Peppers.”

You know the age-old saying don’t judge a book by its cover? The film Forrest Gump, well, the character Forrest, Forrest Gump is the epitome of that (without realizing he’s stealing James Bond’s famous saying). True, Forrest may not be a smart man as he says to Jenny followed by “but I do know what love is.” He isn’t stupid, people have counted Forrest out from the very beginning. His life is an interesting one to say the least, as a child, kids wouldn’t let him sit with them or Forrest would get teased and chased because he is different. Forrest Gump is based on the 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom. I always love the scene when he’s running in his leg braces and they start to break apart, by his reaction he realizes that nothing is wrong with his legs at all. Given the circumstances he would always find the way by extreme luck to make the best of his situation, even if he doesn’t know what’s going on. There’s always been one person who looked at Forrest like an equal, and that’s Jenny. Played by Robin Wright, Jenny never wanted Forrest to love her since she never saw him in the same way. Jenny loves Forrest still in a more platonic way while always being his girl.

This film flawlessly moves through the decades of history highlighting all the major events during those times in the United States through his point of view. This and only one other film stand out to me by moving through time, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (*GASP* he mentioned another David Fincher movie! Yeah, get over it). These moments have us asking what would Forrest do? He’s teaching the KING his dance moves, breaking down the barriers of segregation in the Deep South, meeting presidents of the United States, discovering scandals and talking to rock stars. Every time I watch this film, I’m always amazed at the dubbing quality and the recreation of these incredible moments with Forrest in the background. It’s like playing Where’s Waldo with Forrest Gump. Although a simple man, Forrest (Tom Hanks) is an incredibly dense character with so many layers to him that you don’t see it coming. His mama (Sally Field) instilled not only these unforgettable one liners like “Life’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get” but, she raised him to be a better man without the help of a father figure at first. If there ever was a father figure in Forrest’s life, it’s Lieutenant Dan Taylor (Gary Sinise). I love Forrest and Lieutenant Dan’s relationship, it’s like Lieutenant Dan (I literally cannot just call him Dan, fight me) recognized Forrest’s need for guidance and took him under his wing. Any person would realize you’d have to tiptoe around Lieutenant Dan (he has a mean temper) but Forrest’s lack of understanding in that fact allowed for some leeway. Some of my favorite scenes are when Lieutenant Dan and Forrest are on screen together. A shining example or is include New Year’s Eve and the hurricane. It’s a shame Gary Sinise didn’t win best supporting actor I mean the man had to act like he didn’t have both of his legs.

One thing this film teaches you (other than how to be a decent human being and not to judge a book by its cover but by its character) is that there are so many shrimp dishes. Bubba (Mykelti Williamson) becomes more than a brother in arms to Forrest. They went to war together, were going to start a business together, and they bonded in one of the worst places imaginable at the time. Bubba’s death scene is heartbreaking as Forrest is holding him in his arms as they say their goodbyes. The real sadness of this movie is Forrest saying goodbye to his best good friend, his momma and the love of his life all in about a 10 year period. That’s a lot to handle in such a short period of time. All have molded him into the man he is. Forrest, with all his “shortcomings” is fearless. He runs into war to save everyone in his platoon (mostly Bubba, he just happens to find the others first). It’s heroic, he cares more about everyone else than he cares for himself. A true example of being completely selfless and acting in the interest of others.

Forrest Gump is a film that can be re-watched 1,000 times and it’s charming every single time. This is one of my favorite movies. Tom hanks plays Forrest in a way that the audience doesn’t take pity on him, it’s quite the opposite, you root for him every step of the way. We want Jenny to stop pushing Forrest to the friend zone, we want Lieutenant Dan to treat him like his equal and so on. Forrest Gump proves that even though you may not have the highest IQ, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be allowed the same opportunity as everyone else. The line from the stranger on the bench sums it up “we were sitting next to a millionaire”. That’s the beauty of Forrest as a dense character, he won’t brag about being wealthy nor shot it down anyone’s throats. Hell, he doesn’t even own a car, he just runs anywhere and everywhere. “That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of the town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County.” The imagery of the backdrop while running cross country or when he’s on the boat is breathtaking.

I’ve seen this movie maybe a hundred times (no exaggeration) and believe me when I say I will never get old of this movie, It will always be one of my favorite Tom Hanks performances. Have you guys seen Forrest Gump? Please tell me you have, it’s basically on all the time on cable. Does this film pull at your heart strings the way it does mine? Comment below or shoot me an email telling me.

Forrest Gump is directed by Robert Zemeckis is rated PG-13 and has a 2 hour 22-minute runtime. Forrest Gump was released on July 6th, 1994 and can be purchased digitally on Itunes, Vudu or other retailers.

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*I do not own these photos used in this article; all rights reserved to the copyright holder*

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