T Nation

Stupid Is As Stupid Does...

I did a search before I posted this, because I thought for SURE I had brought it to all the Forum Movie Lovers!

Anyway…I can’t tell you how much I’ve debated with other Movie Lovers that Forrest Gump WAS A LOVE STORY…PERIOD!!!

People got too bogged down in the special effects (which, by the way, “raised the bar” a bit for these types of effects…)

Forrest just “fell into” life events…his focus was always on Jenny…so…

Any thoughts? (By the way…anyone know how faithful the movie was too the book?)

I’m not too sure what you mean by “special effects.” I think you’re talking about the historical fictionalizing (portrayed through the special effects; i.e., “film” of forest meeting the presidents, etc.). Anyway, if you want to suggest that Forrest just “fell into” life events, you could just as easily argue that Forrest “fell into” Jenny. His love for her is undeniably rooted in the fact that she was the only one who offered him a seat on the bus. She was the first person that didn’t reject him. Thus, I think you could make the case that the movie isn’t a love story at all, but a story about fate’s omnipresent and inexorable power over man.


Question:(boy, you’ve got my mind working…!);

Is this saying that we merely:

a)ACCEPT fate (i.e. everytime Jenny left, Forrest would simply say “…and then she was gone…”), without “going after her” or in other words, “fate is the end all” so we have no power over it?

b) We “accept” are fates by moving on (even though I don’t think Forrest really “moved on”…thoughts of Jenny litterally kept him alive in Vietnam, and filled his every waking thought, OR

c) EVEN AS FORREST POINTED OUT WHILE OVER JENNY’S GRAVE (as he contemplated on whether we actually DO have control over our fates OR are we just “feathers blowing in the wind”?) Maybe life is a combination of both fate AND many things that we have control over. ADDITIONALLY:

“I may not be a SMART man…but I know what love is…”. Even though Forrests’ love for Jenny was unrequited, I think that it was deep, real, and unconditional. Are you saying that one can DEFINE why they love someone, and that his reasons for loving Jenny were not valid? (offering him a seat, showing him kindness, talking to him, being his best friend…and let’s not forget…there was a sexual attraction for Jenny by Forrest…) can’t agree with you there, bro…(or at least whomever holds that hypothesis…)

Wow, nate (and others!); this is VERY cool!I LOVE movies (sometimes!) that make me think (as “Forrest Gump” did).

Just one last thing…any idea how the movie compared to the book?

Almost forgot!

Robin Wright Penn has been in ANOTHER movie that has gotten me into similar discussions: “Message In A Bottle”…

Good movie…Mufasa

Nate: The Special Effects I’m alluding to are:

  1. a)The computer generated “talking” of the historical characters b) sound editing (you should HEAR the Vietnam Firefight sequence on a high-end system!) and c) computer generated use of color/shadow generation in the presentation of “Lieutinant Dan” as a amputee.

    Some of these things are “ho-hum” now, but created quiet a buzz (and raised the bar) in “Gump”…Mufasa

Well, I did see the movie as a love story, with the side plots that everything he really didn’t try to do worked, while the one thing that mattered to him didn’t.

But as for me, I’d like to kick the crap out of whoever wrote that story – come on, she DIED! Sucks.

And for Mufasa – Message in a Bottle is another one I liked, but never want to see again.

Mufasa: you’re starting to worry me :slight_smile:

Do we have to get some big, burly, action flicks into your repertoire? hee hee

I guess while I enjoyed "Forrest Gump" and did find it rather humorous that Sally Field was playing Tom Hanks' mother when in a previous flick, "Punchline" it was Hanks' character that takes Field's character under his wing. AND I'm still peaved that Gump rec'd the Oscar for Best Picture, while a better movie, Shawshank Redemption did not. Will never get over that.....

Interesting observations. I think there are several moments in the movie that suggest a “right time, right place” fatalism. Look at how Forrest was introduced to the army: he was standing around after graduation when the recruiter approached him. He got on the military bus and, upon offering his name to the bus driver (who seems allegorically representative of fate), was told, “I don’t care who you are. Now sit down and shut up.” In other words, fate doesn’t care who gets on the bus and who sits where; fate is going to “drive the bus” regardless. Also, look at F and Jenny’s reunion in Washington; F was in the right place at the right time. He was on the podium to give a speech that goes unheard–in other words, his motivation and thoughts on the war in “Viet-fucking-nam” are irrelevant; his presence is what matters. Other similar incidents are F’s stay at Watergate and the storm that eliminated his shrimping competition–talk about a cog in the machine. All in all, there seem to be more instances of Forrest accepting his fate and running with it. Very few of his actions seem internally-motivated. He meets Jenny because she offered a seat to him. He plays football because the coach thinks he is fast. He joins the army because it is suggested to him. He plays pingpong because someone introduces it to him. He takes up shrimping because of Bubba. In fact, I’d think of only two instances where Forrest seems conscious of his own motivations: asking Jenny to marry him & running across the country however many times he did (talk about catabolic!). In a much more abstract vein, it is curious to think about how “fated” the CHARACTER of Forrest is. After all, certain historical events had happened (the war, assisinations, etc) that would have, to some extent, dictated the movie’s storyline. Of course, the narration of the film is significant (i.e., Forrest on the park bench). Other such questions: who is fated to hear Forrest’s story? Think about the woman who misses her bus. And it is important that you do the thinking here because, at this point, I’m incredibly tired. --adios

Whoah! Never saw it that way. In my mind, the film is a big montage of monumental events of the Boomer generation, and Gump is just the excuse to tie them all together. Especially if you consider he just ‘surfs’ through it. In short, a boomer’s ‘wish I had been where he was’ (most of the time) fantasy. Just my 2 cents.

Actually Forrest’s focus was split between Jenny, Momma, and God.


But not an EQUAL focus, right? It seems as though Jenny was so much a part of his very soul…

Brider: “Message In A Bottle”…

Did the movie hit a deep spot in you (it did for me)…or you just didn’t like it?


I’m funny about movies, Patricia…they really are a “mood” thing for me. In other words, some weekends, I’m in an “Arnuld/Blow-Something-Up” mood…others, more Sci-Fi/Fantasy…maybe another, major “Chick Flicks”…

…but it’s all good! Aaahhh the movies!!!

Message in a Bottle is one of those stories where the ending took me completely by surprise. I liked the whole “opening up” aspect of it, but to see it again would just illicit a whole air of futility in me that I refuse to allow to take hold.

Patricia, Shawshank over Gump for Best Picture? Mmmmmm, Shawshank was good, very good, but Gump was great.

jcbart: I’m with you, mate. Forrest Gump is the single
most moving picture I have ever seen - my all time favorite.
To sum it up, the movie was an explosion of incredible
metaphors, ingeniously intertwined in a series of
mind-boggling synchronicities! To say that Forrest
Gump was just “a love story” is like saying that
Planet of the Apes was just a film about a bunch
of monkeys or that George Orwell’s Animal Farm was
a story about pigs and other barnyard animals. “…and that’s
all I have to say about that.”

P.S. No offense, Patricia and Mufasa. You guyz
are still tops in my book.


NEVER any offense taken from you!

I think you read me wrong (or I stated it poorly!)…no…I don’t think that “Gump” is “just” a love story…what I was trying to point out is that you really miss a lot from the movie if you miss the underlying love story (as WELL as the numerous metaphors…).

Guess what? The “heated discussions” I tend to get into about “Gump” with others…we don’t even GET to those metaphors! I just try to get people to see the motivating “force” behind Forrest…and that was always Jenny…

Again…I love movies that make me feel and think…and “Gump” is one…

Some good points, Lion!

Agreed, Jenny was the motivating “force” behind Forrest,
thou, I tend to believe being the person he was, that his life would
have been spectacular without her.

Speaking about metaphors - Forrest’s life was the embodiment
of many of the great spiritual truths written about in Eastern/
Western theology. This simple man, pure of heart, and rich in
faith, had an uncanny knack of manifesting whatever he needed
whenever he needed it! One metaphor that struck a cord in me
was in Forrest’s soliloquy dealing with the never-ending Vi-et-nam
monsoon rains - “…the drops came in every size, shape
and form, imaginable …and just like that it stopped raining!”

000ps I’m babbling… thanks for the nice discussion!