And here we have, once again, someone who watched the movie with apparently both eyes on their popcorn:
I can’t believe a person with an IQ higher than Gump himself could watch the movie and come away with this message.
Let me ask a straightforward question; how is Forrest Gump HAPPY? His life isn’t a happy one at all… Jesus, how can you pay attention to the movie and come away with the idea he’s happy, much LESS happy because he’s slow? The love of his life is a flake who breaks his heart repeatedly. When he finally wins her heart, she dies, a loss he finds almost impossible to bear, but he has to soldier on because he’s now responsible for his son. His best friend dies in his arms. He has few other friends, really, except an irascible jerk. He finds it difficult to understand his purpose in the world, his place, and it clearly troubles him. When we leave Forrest, he’s not happy of dancing in victory; he is simply sitting, having just sent his son to school, living an ordinary life.
Forrest Gump is, of course, wildly successful in some ways, especially in finance, but it doesn’t bring him happiness. For all the money that’s pouring in from his seafood empire and investments, what he really wants is to have his wife back, and believe me, I know - I lost mine to her own idiocy rather than death, but I can tell you that when Forrest cries over his wife’s grave, he’d give every penny back he had to get her back.
The story of Forrest (and Jenny, and Dan, and Bubba, and Mrs. Gump) is nothing more than an allegory for the story of America post-WWII. The generation before the war provides moral support but is gone. The other characters symbolize America’s strengths - Forrest is honestly, virtue and hard work; Dan is honor and bravery and sacrifice; Jenny is adventure and risk. There’s no good or bad there, there’s just what America is, and how those things come together and sometimes work and sometimes don’t.
To get out of it that Forrest is happy because he’s a retard is like getting out of “The Godfather” that Michael is successful because he’s Italian. Forrest isn’t happy… he’s content at the end, but clearly not overjoyed. He loves his son, but he misses his wife and he’s still not quite sure why God put him on the earth (though it’s hinted that his purpose is now to care for his boy.) He is, in other words, a lot like America; rich, strong, but not wholly contented with its situation, mourning its losses, and wondering how to pass what it has on to the next generation.