I am a huge fan of movies. I see lots of movies because I enjoy seeing them. I get movies in the mail, I DVR them, I go to the theater occasionally, et cetera. As many movies as I’ve seen though, there are literally thousands of movies out there and I haven’t seen most of them. I know there are a lot of movies that I should see and people give me suggestions all the time and the best I can usually say is, “Yeah, I’ll put it on my queue,” and maybe I’ll see it a year from then. A lot of the time the movie came out either before I was born or while I was too young to appreciate it and it can be hard to see these movies because eventually everyone has already seen them, except me.
Now that I got that out of the way, sixteen years after its release, I’ve finally seen Forrest Gump. Of course, ever since the 4th grade I’ve heard all the cliché lines from the movie over and over again; “Stupid is as stupid does;” “Life is like a box of chocolates;” and as a runner myself “Run, Forrest, run” to no end (and I had seen countless Bubba Gump shrimp restaurants before I was ever told it’s inspired by the movie). Still, the movie didn’t seem silly or over exposed to me. I’m a little disappointed I hadn’t seen the movie earlier because it’s now one of my favorite movies of all time, but I am happy I was old enough to understand it when I saw it. I mean, there was no way I’d understand the awesome Midnight Cowboy reference in the middle of them film up until a few months ago when I saw that long overdue classic.
Whenever I see a movie I like (and sometimes when I don’t) I’m forced to head over to Wikipedia to read all about the movie, production, cast, director, writer, and anything else I wind up thinking will be interesting. Well Forrest Gump’s Wikipedia page has a few things worth mentioning. There is a section of that page called “Political interpretations” and discusses how it is a pro-conservative film. This is funny to me because the only point in the movie that I thought was actually political was when the Army recruiter is trying to get Gump to register by asking him if he had given any thought to his future. My interpretation of this was they were insinuating that only mentally challenged people with no futures would join the Army (not that I endorse this idea, just what I picked out from it). One example cited on the Wikipedia page showing the film’s conservative tone is that Jenny ends up ruined because her “life is full of countercultural embrace.” While that might be true, the movie makes it clear that the reason for her behavior is the fact that she was abused by her father, a viewpoint I think more commonly shared amongst liberals as to why someone would have trouble adjusting to society.
Another thing (and something that caught me off guard) is the mention of a possible sequel based on the book’s sequel Gump and Co. The film was apparently canned due to not being relevant after the September 11th attacks, but I would go a step further and call it just a bad idea. The basic premise of the sequel seems to be a breaking the 4th wall of sorts similar to the movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back where it is admitted that a movie was created based on the story of the main characters. Strait from the article: “During the course of the sequel novel, Gump runs into Tom Hanks, and at the end of the novel is the film’s release, including Gump going on The David Letterman Show and attending the Academy Awards. It is mentioned Hanks plays Gump, and Forrest seems to have a positive view of the film.” Uh, what? I’d say this is the worst idea since Julia Roberts’ character in Ocean’s Twelve, Tess, impersonates Julia Roberts because they look alike, but it’s the same terrible idea. Dear Hollywood, I know this seems clever but it is the worst idea ever and ruins the entire idea of suspending disbelief.
If that wasn’t enough, I read the synopsis of the book and I had to check an old revision of the Wikipedia page because I was sure it had to be a prank, but it wasn’t!
As in the first book, Gump stumbles through important American events in the 1980s and early 1990s. He plays football for the New Orleans Saints, sells encyclopedias door-to-door, works on a pig farm, and helps develop the infamous New Coke. He accidentally crashes the Exxon Valdez, helps destroy the Berlin Wall, and fights in Operation Desert Storm with his friend, an orangutan named Sue. He meets many celebrities, including Colonel Oliver North, the Ayatollah Khomeini, John Hinckley, Jim Bakker, Ivan Boesky, Ronald Reagan, Saddam Hussein, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Tom Hanks (who plays Forrest in the movie).
What? Alright, I’m just glad they never made that movie because it would have made a ton of money for all the wrong reasons and probably would have stolen $20 strait out of my wallet ($10 for the movie, another $10 for popcorn and a cherry Icee).