Why I liked Forrest Gump! Anyone agree? What about those who Disagree?

Inspired by coments this thread:

Where this was said anbout the movie:


I thought Gump was lame because the main character never actually DID anything. Everything happened to him or around him. Forrest didn’t really have anything that made his character compelling - no major passions or convictions. Basically there was no reason for me to CARE about his character, and because of that I just couldn’t care about the story of his life.

I also thought that it was Tom Hanks worst performance - and I LOVE Tom Hanks’ acting. But I can’t say that I blame him, I don’t think he had enough to work with.


I hate it because the moral of the story is to close your eyes and not pay attention to the world around you. It’s not just about the stupid, retarded guy; don’t forget the activist girlfriend suffers throughout the film and winds up getting a horrible disease and dying. In other words, I think it’s a pandering suckup movie that cynically offers foregiveness to baby boomers who have gone a hundred and eighty degrees away from the social activism of their youth.

Lynn Bodoni-

Well, I don’t know about EVERYONE, but I didn’t like it because I can’t stand to see mental retardation glorified. I don’t LIKE to watch movies about stupid people, or about people acting stupidly. Thus, I didn’t even think about watching Dumb and Dumber, for instance.

I TRIED to watch Gump a couple of times, I just couldn’t stomach it.

Yeah, this does weed out a lot of movies. On the other hand, I don’t get irritable about spending money on movies I don’t like.

(note from me, MyFootsZZZ, I don’t know if she meant “stupid people” in an offensive way, or she was talking just talking about the way movie portrayed people with mental retardation)
My take on the below normal IQ issue:

The man is simple, not “dumb”. I don’t think there’s an accurate way to measure a person’s stupidity. I think he was just different. He had a simple brain and was very honest and that is what led to much of his success. Now of course it wasn’t realistic, but there are times when a simple mind, in REAL life, comes in handier than a “normal” one. You don’t let all the factors bog you down in decisions making… He did what he thought was right (or taught by others). A simple mind can often see the simplest solution to a problem, which is often the best solution. It prevents you from thinking too much. It’s not as if Gump didn’t WORK for most of what he got. It’s not as if he wasn’t charitable when he got it. Many of the things in the movie didn’t just ‘fall on top of him’. Sure ‘God’ helped him out by crashing all the other shrimp boats, and gave him the gift of ping-pong, but it’s not like Gump didn’t also LOSE a lot as well.

It seemed like a “You’re OK, I’m OK” type movie. I just personally beleive that people with different learning abilities can be capable of big things, and however well it came across in Gump, I think that was one of the messages. Hey, maybe I’m wrong, what do I know? I talked about it in this thread: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?threadid=143387&highlight=cube

I alwaus thought that the GF wasn’t very nice to Forrest because she didn’t tell him that he had a son and wouldn’t live with him til she got AIDS.

Well…I can’t believe you didn’t mention the symbolism of the feather in the movie…that was his life…just blown around from moment to moment…

Love that movie…

I hate this movie for so many reasons, and other posters have said it much better than I ever could, especially Cervaise.

But…(you knew there’d be a but, right?) there are a few issues I’d like to address with the film. First, the character of Jenny. She does absolutely everything possible to make the audience despise her. She knows Forrest is and always has been in love with her, yet she treats him extremely poorly and even refuses to tell him he has a son. She then refuses to have anything further to do with Forrest until it becomes apparent that she is very ill and will soon no longer be able to care for herself. She treats herself and other people like garbage, becomes a drug addict, and then we are supposed to forgive all of this because she was abused as a child? Sorry, try again. Abuse may be a reason, but it’s no excuse. Forrest’s love and understanding transformed her into a good person? I think not. She simply once again took advantage of him.

Now on to Forrest Gump himself. Let us not forget he is retarded. This whole movie smacks of pandering PC ‘inspirational’ bullshit. “Aww,” we’re supposed to say, “mentally defective individual beats the odds, and through his simple honesty and strength of heart he becomes rich and famous. Yippee hooray! We should all take a lesson from this, and live our lives more like those inspirational retarded folks do!”

This is about the most vomitously offensive sentiment I’ve ever heard.

Forrest as a character is basically a stock-in-trade moron whose antics would normally be laughable and sad, but instead are elevated to some spiritual level through…uh…what again? Oh, yeah, his ‘simple honesty and strength of heart’. Great. And I just love the message here: “Hey, it’s okay to be dumb as horseshit! Just sit back and watch life pass you by while periodically making nonsensical analogies disguised as Really Deep Thoughts™.”

I’m betting that the people who think ‘Forrest Gump’ teaches important life lessons are the same people who think "The Matrix’ is ‘deep’. Congratulations, idiots! You’ve been effectively sucked in by yet another cinematic dry-hump!

‘Forrest Gump’ is just another example of the glut of emotional pornography the movie industry has been dumping on us lately. I’m not impressed by the dime-store philosophy.

And Tom Hanks should be drug out into the street and shot. He may like to think of himself as a ‘serious actor’, dealing with ‘serious issues’, like astronauts and World War II, apparently, but I remember ‘Bosom Buddies’, okay? He ain’t fooling me.

To properly enjoy a movie (most of the time), you have to suspend logic and belief. Don’t try to over-analyze. It’s like trying to explain humor.

That having been said, I could have done without the entire running sequence.

Well, that’s a little harsh, but on some levels, I agree. Forrest Gump was a sappier version of Steve Martin’s The Jerk.

I liked the movie; thought it was funny. But then, I didn’t go into extensive Zen meditations about the deeper meanings of it. Those deeper meanings, apparently, went right over my head. (Yeah, sometimes I’m just lucky that way.)

Jeez, ratty, were you born the paragon of virtue and pillar of society you are today, or did you maybe, oh, I don’t know, do something as ignoble as delivering papers or mowing lawns in your youth? Give the man some credit-he grabbed the chance to do a network sitcom as a struggling actor, and genuinely grew to become a highly admired and principled member of the film community. And he was robbed when Russell Crowe won the oscar.

anyway, back to the topic-
If you really want a Gump overload, read the book. There’s a whole other movie in those pages. How they left out the chess playing monkey from the tropical island is beyond me…

Bearing in mind that I like plenty of movies that others would think of as crap and that I bear no one who actually likes this movie any ill-will, my buddy summed up Gump nicely:

It’s high-brow for the low-brow.

I think you’re missing the point if you look at the movie as an extended after-school special offering the inspirational story of a genuine retarded man beating the odds. It’s a fairy tale, an adult version of Pinnochio going from adventure to adventure.

The movie says to me that we are all, to greater or lesser degrees, Forrest Gumps who cannot fully understand or control our lives. Is a brilliant person all that different from Forrest when facing the terror of the battlefield or the mingled joy and worry of parenthood?

I didn’t come away from the movie thinking that the message was to turn off my brain and get through life as a simpleton. It was, instead, to show some grace under pressure and focus on the basics of hard work, love, charity and friendship _ not the most complex philosophy in the world, I admit, but worth thinking about when life is rough.

And let’s not forget the basics of moviemaking _ it was an entertaining story that skillfully mixed humor and drama, combined with some wonderful acting (just watch Hanks’ eyes when he learns about his son!).

It had a nice soundtrack.

…and parts of it were filmed in my hometown!

I liked this movie and the novel it was based on when it was Being There.

All the saccharine that they added to it left a bad taste in my mouth.

:smack: “…when it was based on…”

Sarcasm doesn’t come off that well when you make embarrassing typos.

It’s even better when you “correct” your post after misreading it.

If my mental functions continue to deteriorate at this rate, I’ll be on top in no time.

I liked the movie all right; I think it was nicely paced, good breakout movie for Hanks, and held my attention fine. The only thing I didn’t really care for (and this was almost a deal breaker for me) was the way they forced too many of the historical references into Forrest’s life.

Early on in the movie it didn’t seem to break the flow of things too badly: a crippled Forrest inspiring Elvis’s moves at the rooming house? Sweet. Meeting JFK? Fitting for the unassuming Forrest. But so many others were so painfully contrived. Forrest invented the smiley face? What the hell does THAT add to the story? Forrest coining “shit happens”? Come on, that’s stretching it. It was like the writers were desperate to cram in all the crap they could, culminating in, of course, Jenny contracting “a virus”. The story itself had plenty of merits without shoehorning in all the references where they often didn’t really fit.

Didn’t care for that business much at all, no sir, not at all.

I disliked the ending where the girl friend had to die because she elected to lead her own life rather marry the mother fixated dope, Gump.


What I didn’t like is that the REAL best picture that year should have been Pulp Fiction!!!


Same for me. I don’t go to movies looking for life messages and profound meanings. I go to escape and be entertained for a couple of hours. I thought the happy face shirt and the “Shit happens” were contrived even for this movie, but I found it entertaining and a pleasant way to pass some time. And I did think Jenny was a bitch.

I agree with Clark K; the movie was entertaining and well-crafted and that’s good enough. It’s no masterpiece and it’s message isn’t particualarly deep but so what?