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AFI #76 - Forrest Gump

Im so giddy from watching this, I can't even decide where to start my write up. I must have seen this a hundred times growing up. My parents got me the tape as soon as it was released. I never quite understood why (guessing all the Academy Awards it won had something to do with it) but they just came home with it one day and handed it to me. I musta been about 8 or so, and so much of it just went over my head or I didnt understand it. Case in point, I only a couple years ago realized how Mrs. Gump got Forrest into that school. But I absolutely adore this movie. Along with LOTR, this is prolly my favorite movie on the AFI list going into the project. Back in about 4th grade I got this Kermit the Frog poster parodying the main Forrest Gump poster. It stayed up in my room until I left, then was up in my dorm room, and is currently up in my apartment under the toy hammock. I can't remember the last time I saw this, but I found myself reciting the lines along with the characters. And despite knowing full well everything that was gonna happen, I was nearly crying at the end (and we've established, Im not a cryer).

I know Im gushing. Deal with it. Its gonna keep coming.

I just love everything about this film. Its endearing and funny and dramatic and just so \m/ good. The cast is fantastic. Tom Hanks has been one of my absolute faves since the first time I saw this one. And I have nothing but mad respect for Sally Field and Gary Sinise. Also, I only recently realized that Jenny is Robin Wright (Penn) who's also Buttercup in Princess Bride. That just blew my mind when I found out, albeit rather late for someone claiming to be such a movie afficionado.

Another thing I never fully appreciated was how ground breaking the technology was. Seeing it when I was little, I didnt really think too much about it. If anything, I mighta believed some of the camera and technology tricks a little too much. But now, seeing all the flawless CGI (which even today more than 15 years later its tough to acheive) and the "historic" footage, its just awe inspiring.

Also worth mentioning, this is one of these rare cases where the movie is infinitely superior to the book. The only other that comes to mind is Big Fish, but that isn't such a glaring difference as this. If you haven't read Forrest Gump, please dont waste your time. I guess my big problem with it was that I grew up loving the movie, but two have very different intentions. While the movie is made to generate the warm fuzzies, the book was meant as satire. Gump was not a sympathetic character at all, and the things he did were even more over the top. Mad props to Eric Roth for the screenplay. If only he didnt try to recreate the exact same thing with nearly identical plot points in Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Okay, stopping now before I go on that rant.

Alrighty so I think I've driven home the point of how much this is a favorite of mine. I'll stop now.

Update: Forgot that I wanted to say something about the absolutely classic soundtrack. Growing up in a rather sheltered environment, with strict bans on what music I could listen to, I have this movie to thank for a good chunk of the classic rock that I know. There's some songs that I cant hear without picturing the scenes. Example: Anytime I hear "Free Bird" I always see Jenny in the sparkling halter standing on the ledge.

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