First Time Watching: Forrest Gump

I knew I would get around to watching Forrest Gump eventually, but didn’t expect it to be this past Sunday. It just so happened to be on TV when I was looking for something to watch, so I watched it.

This is how my viewing experience went.

Going into it, of course I knew about the, “Run, Forrest, Run!” and “Life is like a box of chocolate” lines. I’ll get into each those a bit later on. Other than that, I was going in blind. I had no clue what to expect.

And…I loved it. I loved this movie.

I knew Tom Hanks was in it, playing the role of Forrest Gump, but I didn’t know Sally Field would be his mom. That was neat. I wasn’t sold on their Southern accents early on in the movie, but they seemed to grow into them.

Synopsis…in my own words

This movie is about a man named, Forrest Gump, who is sitting on a bench at a bus stop, telling his life story to anyone who sits next to him. He has an IQ of 75 and lived through many historical moments – the Vietnam war, JFK’s assassination, Watergate, and more.

He meets the President on more than one occasion, gets really good at ping pong while in the Army, and runs across the country three times.

As a child, Forrest wore leg braces, and when he got on the school bus for his first day of school, no one wanted anything to do with him. Kids can be mean, especially the ones who put their backpack on the seat next to them.

But there was one girl who offered Forrest a seat. Her name was Jenny and they quickly became best friends. She didn’t care that he was different. She made him feel comfortable.

I guess you could say she was in a league of her own.

When bullies came around to pick on young Forrest, Jenny shouted the now famous line, “Run, Forrest, run!”

So, he ran. In doing so, his leg braces broke off and Forrest discovered he was really fast, which landed him a football scholarship at the University of Alabama, where he returned kickoffs.

After graduating, Forrest enlists in the Army and meets his new best friend, Bubba, who won’t stop talking about going into the shrimping business. It was making me hungry, honestly.

I wanted a seafood anything at that point in the movie.

Forrest also meets Lieutenant Dan, who has a destiny to die in the war because he comes from a lineage of men who did just that. And when he was wounded in an attack, his destiny was so close to being fulfilled.

But no, Forrest would not let him die. He picked him and ran him to safety. Lieutenant Dan hated Forrest for this; he no longer had legs. Eventually, Lieutenant Dan came around and they became friends.

For saving multiple lives in Vietnam, Forrest was given the Medal of Honor, once back home.

He then stumbles into an anti-war rally at the Lincoln Memorial and is brought up on stage to give a speech. There was a very big crowd. Naturally, his microphone cuts out, but he’s able to say his name.

Unbeknownst to him, Jenny is in the audience. She runs out into the pool and Forrest runs down to hug her. Everyone cheers. It was very “hometown date on The Bachelor” of them.

While Forrest was off in Vietnam, Jenny took on the hippie lifestyle and was hopping around, place to place, with a questionable group of people. There was no stability in her life.

Whenever Forrest came back to help her out of situations, she didn’t really want him to get involved. She didn’t want to drag him into her messes.

Forrest and Lieutenant Dan start a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and become millionaires. Forrest shares half his earnings with Bubba’s family.

While out on his boat, Forrest gets a call that his mom is sick. Sadly, she dies of cancer.

Jenny is trying to get her life together – getting away from drugs and abuse – and stays with Forrest. They have a romantic relationship for just one night. He asks her to marry him, but she runs off the next morning.

This is when Forrest decides to run across the country for three years.

Two years after returning home from his cross-country marathon, he receives a letter from Jenny, saying she wants to meet up with him.

And this is why Forrest is at the bus stop. He’s going to see Jenny.

Ah, there’s just something sweet about those two and a bus, isn’t there?

Once he sees her, he finds out that she has a child named, Forrest. It’s his child! Jenny says she is sick, implying that her time is running out.

They finally get married and Jenny dies a year later.

The movie ends with Forrest sending Forrest Jr. off to school, just like it began when Forrest boarded the bus for the first time.

The End.

Life is like a box of chocolates…

Is it, though?

Forrest said his mom always used to say that life is like a box of chocolate – you never know what you’re going to get.

I’m no connoisseur, but don’t boxes of chocolate have labels on the outside, naming all of the chocolates inside the box? Don’t they have to have that? So people with allergies know what they’re getting into?

Sally Field is right about most things, but I don’t know about this one.

Run, Forrest, Run!

I never knew the context of this line, so it was a bit disheartening to find out that it was uttered because bullies were chasing after Forrest on their bikes, while his legs were in braces. That’s just mean.

And then they did it again when he was an adult, only they were chasing him with a vehicle. How embarrassing that they couldn’t catch him either time.

What’s with victims of bullying being told to run, though? The same thing happened to Rudolph (the red-nosed reindeer). First they tell him he can’t play Monopoly, and then it’s all – RUN, RUN, RUDOLPH!

The whole movie, I felt bad that Tom Hanks had to run so much. I’m sure there were multiple takes each time, forcing him to run even more.

Were there running doubles in the movie, when the camera was far away and we couldn’t tell it wasn’t Tom? I sure hope so!

Okay, I looked it up. His brother, Jim Hanks, did a lot of the running scenes. I can sleep easy tonight.

Forrest and Jenny

CONFESSION: Until Forrest got a boat and painted “Jenny” on the side of it, I thought her name was Jinny. I was so surprised. Even then, I was holding out hope that he had just misspelled her name. Tom’s accent really threw me for a loop.

I had no idea there was going to be a lifelong friendship/romantic storyline in this movie. It caught me off-guard.

Forrest and Jenny’s “love story” was better than the one portrayed in The Notebook. It was also better than the one portrayed in Titanic. Do not try and convince me otherwise. I’ll fight you.

I think I’m comfortable making that declaration just because of the longevity of their relationship. Their origin story was so wholesome and pure.

The relationship in The Notebook started when a Noah threatened to kill himself if a Allie didn’t go out with him. And then in Titanic, Leo and Rose met because Rose was about to kill themselves.

Then again, Forrest and Jenny only got married after Jenny found out she was sick, so I guess that fits the, “we better do this now before I die” theme.

At first glance, you may think that Forrest needed Jenny more than she needed him, when they were kids. But Jenny was also going through problems at home, with an abusive father. So, they definitely needed each other.

As they got older, we saw Forrest going out of his way to constantly protect Jenny, even if she didn’t want to be protected.

I just found it cool how they kept finding their way back to each other, without social media to point them in the right direction.

Even when every letter Forrest sent to Jenny was returned to him, he didn’t give up on her, or their friendship. What a good friend.

What is it about letters never finding their intended recipient in these romance movies? Were there no other ideas?

I feel like I’m ready for a high school English exam, where I have to compare and contrast the movies/books I consumed during the semester. Give me that foolscap paper, I’m ready.

Forrest at the White House

In the scene where Forrest is at the White House, during JFK’s presidency, he points out that there is unlimited free food and drink. As a result, Forrest drinks fifteen Dr. Peppers and tells JFK he has to go pee.

After seeing that, I felt like there was a VERY GOOD chance that the 45th President got his idea for a room full of McDonald’s and takeout food from this movie. It just makes too much sense to me.

Overall

As I said at the beginning, I loved this movie. It didn’t even feel like I was watching a movie, that’s how invested I was in it.

The story was strong. I didn’t necessarily care for Forrest always popping up in the middle of historical events, but it added some comedy. It felt like something Mr. Bean would do.

I never knew what this movie was about, outside of a couple of catchphrases, and was blown away.

I looked into why there was never a sequel and it’s because they handed in the script on September 10, 2001, and then the next day came to the realization that the movie felt meaningless. For obvious reasons.

If you’ve never seen Forrest Gump, I highly recommend it.

Thanks for reading!

Have you seen Forrest Gump? What are your thoughts on it?

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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22 Responses to First Time Watching: Forrest Gump

  1. Aww Paul!! I am so happy you loved this movie! Isn’t it just so wholesome?! I personally agree with you, Jenny and Forrest’s relationship was 100% more stomach-able then most.. remember I’ve never seen notebook and titanic was meh lol the old couple who starred 2 seconds on screen made it for me lol. I had a smile the entire time I read your intake on this movie, you could tell it came from a place of enjoyment and not formality lol love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. markbialczak says:

    Glad you got to see this one, Paul. It has a little bit of a lot about life in the decades leading up to 2000, yes. Epic, uniquely, I still think. Thanks for your take on Mr. Gump.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Very unique! It really highlighted what life was like during historical times. I don’t think I’ve seen or heard of a movie that has done it quite like this.

      Like

  3. I am so happy that you liked this movie! Cos I love it too!

    Also: MAYBE back in mid-1900’s southern USA, when you bought chocolates, they didn’t have the charts inside cos no one really cared about allergies all that much? When I was in school we didn’t have the whole “peanut free zone” as it is now? 🤷‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sabrina B says:

    I actually watched this in school? We had to do an art project where we made our own “box of chocolates” where each chocolate had to represent something about our own life. Pretty cute assignment to attach to the movie, I think.

    It’s never been one of my top faves but definitely watchable. Tom Hanks is always wonderful. I’m glad you loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. peckapalooza says:

    One of my absolute favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Miriam says:

    Thanks for bringing back memories of this top notch movie. You brought it all back to life for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rebecca says:

    I first watched Forrest Gump in high school, and I thought it was a charming film. I haven’t re-watched it since then, but your review of it brought back the same sentiments when I’d viewed the movie. It’s a fun and touching flick, and perfect for people of all ages to watch, and whether with family, friends, or by oneself. I appreciate your review of Forrest Gump, Paul; I’ll have to go watch it again this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the soundtrack!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dutch Lion says:

    Hey Paul,

    I’m glad you enjoyed “Gump”. It’s a great film, winner of Best Picture in 1994 if I remember correctly. Did you know “Shawshank Redemption” didn’t win Best Picture in that same year because of “Forrest Gump” ousting it? Amazing year for movies. Many would argue “Shawshank” was better and they might be right. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter. They were both incredible movies.

    Your line “Their origin story was so wholesome and pure” really worked for me. I agree wholeheartedly.

    I thought Forrest was at the White House during LBJ’s presidency. I could be wrong. The only cheesy thing about this movie is how he sometimes ends up in the middle of history and even though it’s funny it’s kind of ridiculous. That’s fine though. For me, the worst part of the movie was the running cross country thing. I don’t know how realistic that is. I guess since they don’t show him ever eating or staying at a hotel makes it seem impossible, but maybe it isn’t as long as you rest each night.

    The best part of the movie for me was his time in the Army. It seemed realistic. Sure he’s dumb, but as long as you listen and follow orders, you can succeed in life. It just takes effort and focus. He had the right attitude, from scrubbing the barracks floor to carrying each and every guy out of the rain forest in ‘Nam. He believed, he focused, he maintained his positive attitude, and he succeeded. It’s something all of us can learn from.

    Overall, a great movie and an excellent writeup my friend. Keep it up.

    Reid

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Forrest Gump beat out Shawshank??? Wow. Both are great but my initial reaction was that’s a bit of an upset.

      The running cross country was unbelievable. If he ran across the country once – fine. But to keep going back and forth and not seem to develop any foot/knee injuries. I don’t know. Feel like they could’ve done something less hokey.

      Really appreciate the comment, Reid!

      Reminder that the fantasy baseball draft is Sunday night!

      Liked by 1 person

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