Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day Ninety-Six: Forrest Gump

Ranking on IMDb Top 250: #37
Year: 1994
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Tom Hanks and Robin Wright

Alright, folks, fair warning: It's been a busy week, and my general mood and sleep deprivation might make this blog post a little grumpier than I intend it. I'll start with my main contention, and you can decide if you want to keep reading: I don't like Forrest Gump. Still with me? Okay, here's why. Forrest Gump is a cop-out answer to the "What's your favorite movie?" question. It is an absolutely standard account of late 20th century American history that drops a character for whom I have little sympathy into events which the director gives me no reason to care about. People whose other favorite movies are Father of the Bride and Billy Madison think Forrest Gump is a deep, wonderful, moving film and well deserving of the "best ever" title, when in reality, it's just that it's the only relatively long, relatively serious movie they've ever seen. And chances are they only saw it in the first place because TNT, TBS, USA, and AMC have apparently signed a contract to make sure not one goddamn day passes that Forrest Gump is not on television. Even the supposed anchor of the film, Tom Hanks, does not give one of his better performances, and there was never a moment that his iconic line about the box of chocolates did not annoy me. Yes, I was a cynical five-year-old. Everything about this movie screams overrated Oscar bait, and the fact that this is the thirty-seventh greatest movie ever made according to IMDb users and, say, Precious and I Am Sam are nowhere near the list makes me scratch my head. The plot of Forrest Gump is familiar to anyone with a pulse, so I won't waste words or energy retelling it. In fact, I'm not going to get my blood pressure any higher by continuing to write about this movie at all. I'm sure I'll take lots of hate for this, but I don't think Forrest Gump is an interesting movie, and frankly, I'm happy to get it out of the way now so I don't have to write about it when I have the patience to praise its minimal strengths.

The Good: Sally Field is good in it, I guess. At least as good as she is in Mrs. Doubtfire.

The Bad: Probably the frustratingly good reputation it enjoys.

The Skinny: From #37 to off the list is a long way to fall...and I hope it breaks its legs when it lands.


  1. I can't say that I don't like Forrest Gump. It is a decent movie and probably around my top 100 list. But I hate it for one reason - Oscars! How the hell this robbed The Shawshank Redemption, which is basically my favorite and a far superior movie to Gump, and how the hell this robbed Pulp Fiction?
    Shawshank should have totally won Best Picture, maybe something in score/sound department too, and thats not counting the acting.
    And Jules is by far the best I have ever seen from Samuel L Jackson, better then Hanks played by Gump.

    Offtopic: I do realise that Oscars dont really have to be taken that seriously, last year proved that for 110%. The Hurt Locker was a joke in my honest opinion. Maybe it is special for most of the americans, but for a usual european it is just an average movie.

  2. Ha, I really liked the Hurt Locker, and even though it wasn't my favorite movie of last year (Inglourious Basterds, Where the Wild Things Are, A Serious Man, and Up were all better) I was glad it robbed Avatar.