1 Year, 100 Movies: #76 Forrest Gump (1994)

forrest_gumpFor 1 Year, 100 Movies, I will watch all of AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list (compiled in 2007) in one year- and will complete a goal on my 2013 Manifesto. Come along on the ride with me- oh, and please pass the popcorn!

Forrest Gump. Oh, this movie. Where do I begin? It’s a film that starts by Forrest (Tom Hanks) telling his life story to various perfect strangers on a bench as they wait for a bus. This movie is based off a book- and varies greatly from it- mainly with Forrest’s personality and events depicted. They sensationalize Forrest’s life- going to great lengths to insert him in pretty much all of the major events from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. He lives through desegregation, hippies, Woodstock, the first man on the moon and supposedly calls the police on the Watergate burglary.  He meets three U.S. presidents, is an All-American football player and played for the University of Alabama, witnesses George Wallace’s stand in the Schoolhouse door, competes internationally in ping pong tournaments, invests early in Apple, invents the slogans “Have a Nice Day” (along with the smiley face logo) and “S**t Happens” and marries a woman with HIV. If all that isn’t crazy enough then there are always these gems-Forrest teaching Elvis his signature hip swing, inspiring John Lennon’s “Imagine” and saving the lives of multiple men in the Vietnam war. I’m sorry, but you can’t outrun napalm. Also, wiping your face on a t-shirt does not create the smiley face logo. Sorry.

All the hokey situations aside Tom Hanks shines in this movie. His performance makes most of these unbelievable situations believable- and at least enjoyable. Other incredible performances- Gary Sinise as Lt. Dan Taylor, Mykelti Williamson as “Bubba”, Robin Wright as Forrest’s love Jenny, and Sally Field as his loving and supportive mother. The actors are the glue that holds the storyline together. At the end of the film Forrest and Jenny’s son is waiting for the bus for the first day of school with his dad. Once again I have to say Haley Joel Osment is a great actor. This is a really special moment and makes the movie- especially when that little feather that flew in at the beginning of the movie flies away.

In my humble, non-professional, average movie-goer opinion this movie earns:

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