Forrest Gump recently celebrated it's 20th anniversary (how old does that make you feel? Because it made me feel OOOOLLLDDDD). In honor of being two decades old, the film was (is?) being re-screened at AMC Theaters across the country, which is a pretty fantastic way to celebrate if you ask me.
Drew has had a soft spot for the film since childhood. He watched it over and over with his family; a reminder of a simple, happy time. To him it is flawless, the movie stands for something completely vulnerable, completely... human, "It captures you, no matter who you are or where you are at in life, you can relate to it in some way." This is how he responded when I said it was playing... so obviously, we went to see it (in IMAX).
When we took our seats we weren't sure what to expect. Neither of us had seen Forrest Gump since childhood and we wondered at how time would affect our perception of the film. As the credits rolled tears streamed down the cheeks of every person in the theater AND HOW COULD THEY NOT!?
"Is he?!" Forrest asks, pointing to himself with tears in his eyes...
"No Forrest, he is so smart! Top in his class." Jenny beams back.
I MEAN GUHHHHH, melt your heart into a million pieces am I right!? After twenty years this movie still has 'it' that 'thing' which gets at the heart of people.
Forrest is a character who makes you want to be a better person. He is courageous and nonjudgemental. His love is blind and unconditional. It is astonishing.
There was so much I had forgotten about this film. So much I didn't understand when I was younger.
I didn't realize his mom slept with the principal to get him into school so he could have an 'equal' chance.
I didn't know exactly 'why' Jenny wanted to be a bird and it broke my heart.
I didn't realize she was naked behind the guitar when Forrest goes looking for her at the gentlemen's club (maybe I did).
I didn't understand what that era stood for. What the wars, peace rallies, drugs, and tragedies meant. How could I? I was a kid the last time I saw this movie. It struck me, gave me pause to remember that time in our nation (especially given current events).
I didn't understand how Forrest was able to keep going... through everything. Why he ran. Why he kept loving Jenny... How he gave those he cared for so many chances.
Even now, I feel moved to tears... excuse me while I go cry in the bathroom for a minute.
However, on a less emotional note, I also realized that a) Tom Hanks is maybe the best actor of all time. B) Robin Wright is a babe who has always had badass arms since the dawn of time C) I want Sally Field to be my Southern Mama. D) Life is painful and beautiful that's all there is to it.
Side note. Can we just ponder for a moment about how Princess Buttercup, Jenny, AND CLAIRE UNDERWOOD are the same person!? Damn. Just damn.
*Photo by Candice Milon From her series of 'classic wardrobe' images BRILLIANT
**Illustration by Valencia Pierre. It was too good not to include!
***Do yourself a favor and look up all the amazing Forrest Gump Illustrations on Google, they made me smile like a five year old.
****Also did you know that I have a brother named Forrest!? He is the coolest kid. Though we torchered him as a child by shouting "Run Forrest RUUUUNNNNN!" until he cried and ran away sobbing "I was born BEFORE the GUMP!" Forrest, I love you and I am sorry for being a brat xx