Movie Recommendation: Forrest Gump

'Forrest Gump' Film - 1994
Image courtesy of BBC. Full article: http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20150903-forrest-gump-love-it-or-hate-it

Over the weekend I decided to inhabit the warmth and coziness of the bricks and mortar and searched for a good movie on Netflix. Since that’s what seems to be what all the cool kids are doing, I might as well as join in on the fun. I’ve had a Netflix subscription for awhile; while it’s great for television shows, it has a mediocre movie collection. The best movie, by far, is “Beauty and the Beast” but my husband is not in agreement.

While trying to pick his brain for a movie he was in the mood for, there was a bit of tinkering before we finally settled on “Forrest Gump.”

In my mind, I am under the assumption that everyone over the age of 18 have seen this movie at some point, so I’m not certain how much of the movie I can give away. Do I really need to insert the gratuitous “Spoiler Alert” tag since the movie was made in ’94 and adorned with prestigious accolades, including Oscar wins? I’m not sure what the rules are on the internet for this sort of thing, so the road signs of internet decorum would be greatly appreciated.

Meanwhile, these are just some random tidbits about the splendor of this movie. Don’t proceed if you haven’t seen it but want to:

 

But first, a movie review:

“Forrest Gump is a movie heart-breaker of oddball wit and startling grace. There’s talk of another Oscar for Tom Hanks, who is unforgettable as the sweet-natured, shabbily treated simpleton of the title. The Academy is a sucker for honoring afflicted heroes. In Hollywood, it’s always raining rain men. Credit Hanks for not overplaying his hand. He brings a touching gravity to the role of an idiot savant from the South who finds strength in God, country, his childhood pal, Jenny (Robin Wright), and his good mama (Sally Field). When Forrest falls a few IQ points shy of minimal school requirements, Mama knows who to sleep with to bend the rules. Her son has a gift. As Forrest makes his pilgrim’s progress from the ’50s to the ’80s, he becomes a college football star, a Vietnam war hero, a shrimp tycoon and even a father.”

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine – July 1994

When I first saw “Forrest Gump” I was taken away by Forrests’ continued admiration for Jenny throughout his entire lifetime. At first sight Jenny and Forrest are the pinnacle of “opposites attract” and this becomes obvious as they get older. Forrest, a generous, down-to-earth, and spiritual character, espoused the very dream of living out the rest of his days with his one true love, even during times Jenny treated him like garbage.

I had a hard time imagining someone in real life being that oblivious to fame and wealth. In the movie, Forrest just so happens to stumble upon “Bubba Gump” Shrimp exclusively by serendipity. A promise that Forrest made to his pal and comrade, Bubba, during the Vietnam War, that Forrest was going to pursue Bubba’s dream and work hard to come to fruition. Normally, when people make such promises, they get shrugged off with hints of skepticism, but Forrest proved he was a true friend. It’s a reminder that you don’t need to make huge promises the way Forrest did, but little assurances matter. The tiny undertakings can be monumental in someone else’s’ life.

That is what makes this movie fantastic: outside of the historical references (Music of the ‘50’s, the Civil Rights issues of the ‘60’s, Vietnam War, The Watergate Scandal and Nixon’s resignation, et al) it presents a potpourri of subtleties on what could do to make us a better species.

By the end of the movie, I was just as smitten with it as the first time I’ve seen it. There is something deeply refreshing with the nativity and unique innocence of the main character, and it all revolved around love.

I am curious however, how Forrest would have invented, or even encountered the internet. What kind of selfies would Forrest take?

(Please note: the latter is NOT an open invitation for a Forrest Gump sequel. Leave well enough alone!)

Anyway, search for the movie on Netflix and decide for yourself.

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