This week’s TTT topic was a bit open-ended. We were given a list of movies to choose from. The task at hand was pick a movie and then choose ten scenes from that movie to dissect and discuss.
I’d seen Forrest Gump the most times, plus I read the book a million years ago, so I felt like I was most prepared to analyze it. So here we go!
Flashbacks 1 and 2 feature Forrest’s doctor and bus driver smoking. Even in smoker-friendly Switzerland, that would never fly in this day and age. Never! All other issues aside, thank goodness the US has come so far in its (in)tolerance of cigarette smoke.
As the opening credits rolled, Andy and I said to each other, “Who does Robin Wright play?” She’s a prolific actor, but all I can picture her as is Claire Underwood. I was flabbergasted that she played Jenny! The longer hair (and being 23 years younger) really makes a difference.
Little Forrest came on screen and I immediately said, “I see dead people.” I’m guessing I missed his name in the opening credits because I was checking to see who Robin Wright played, but Haley Joel Osment will always and only be Cole Sear to me.
I was only 11 when this movie came out. I don’t remember whether or not I saw it in the theater, but I do remember the general hype around it. This movie was immensely popular!
You know what I don’t remember? Any backlash around Tom Hanks playing a character with a cognitive disability. I’m not saying it didn’t exist, but I 100% do not remember it.
I distinctly remember a backlash around Sean Penn playing a character with a cognitive disability in I Am Sam.
What was different there? Did the ensuing seven years make people so much more politically correct? Was it just that people like Tom Hanks more than they like Sean Penn? I think it was probably a little bit of both.
- To further the Forrest versus Sam comparison, the entire premise of I Am Sam is that the system doesn’t think that Sam is a fit parent for his daughter. Again, this movie was set in a different time, but there wasn’t any mention of state intervention after Jenny dies, leaving Forrest the sole parent of Little Forrest.
Is that because of the time the movie are depicting? Jenny dies in 1982; I Am Sam is set in “modern day” 2001. Do those nineteen years explain why the state is more involved?
Or is it because Forrest is so much more well-off than Sam is? The fact that Forrest owns a successful shrimping business and was an early investor in Apple ensure that he has zero money worries. He also has some staff working in his house already and could surely hire any other help that he needed in order to care for Little Forrest. Sam doesn’t have the same support system in place or the financial security.
Lt. Dan is played by Gary Sinise. In the course of the movie, Lt. Dan loses his legs, but obviously Sinise still has his legs. The magic of green screen allows this to happen, but I can’t imagine the difficulty of actually having legs and having to ignore and not use them.
For the most part, Sinise does an admirable job. However, during Lt. Dan’s (very sad) New Year’s party, when he falls out of his wheelchair, you can tell that he actually pushes himself out with the help of his invisible legs.
In an attempt to credit and associate Forrest with many pop culture phenomena, the movie takes some liberties that result in errors in continuity when compared with reality.
One is the running scene in which Forrest is credited with inspiring the “Have a Nice Day” smiley. This image was incredibly popular in the early seventies, but Forrest doesn’t set off on his run until the mid-1970s and judging by his beard in that scene, he had already been running for quite some time.
Forrest clearly states that Jenny died on a Saturday, but March 22, 1982 was a Monday. This is a simple mistake, but could have been easily avoided.
This scene is one of the most well known in the movie. You watch as Forrest starts out trying to walk quickly away from the bullies, but he’s hindered by his leg braces. As the bullies start to catch up, Forrest speeds up, eventually breaking his braces and managing to run away.
However, in an earlier scene, when Forrest is explaining how he and Jenny are like peas and carrots, he runs with her to their tree with a completely normal gait.
All errors, bloopers, and anachronisms aside, this is a great movie. Definitely a classic. And rewatching it for this blog post was an enjoyable way to spend an evening!
What’s your favorite Forrest Gump scene? Would you have chosen a different movie from the selected list? Am I completely missing out by not caring about James Bond movies?
Please be sure to visit the other TTT bloggers!
- Tamara at Confessions of a Part-Time Working Mom