Thursday, July 23, 2009

Teardrops on My VCR: Forrest Gump (1994)

It was the first movie I recall seeing in the movie theater. At the age of 6, I didn't understand one goddamn thing about Vietnam or Watergate or ping pong. The only thing I understood was Forrest loved Jenny and when they were kids, they slept in the same bed. As a young romantic, I couldn't understand why I couldn't have such sleepovers with my best male friend (who I not-so-secretly had a crush on). But that's another story...

In the first grade, I wasn't so emotionally developed to I cry during this
movie. It wasn't until one PMSy day in high school, alone in my basement. I have a habit of never crying during something atrociously sad (like Thomas J.'s death in My Girl) until much, much later. But then it hits you the way The Notebook hits most adolescent girls for the first time. [Shudder].

What made me cry...

The romance between the adorably dimwitted Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) and the emotionally damaged Jenny Curran (Robin Wright-Penn) is one of the most tumultuous in cinema. Never before has a more one sided love affair been presented on celluloid.At the end of the film, after Forrest has spent his life hopelessly devoted to his childhood pal, he finally gets to marry her. But alas, her hedonistic disco life has given her AIDS and she dies shortly after they wed.

Then Forrest speaks to her grave. He describes taking care of their son, and the aspects of destiny. And how he buried her under the tree where they spent they're childhood. As Forrest tearfully walks away, a flock of birds flies towards the tree. Ah, symbolism, how you make a weeper out of me.

Why I cried...
Even though Forrest spent his entire life relentlessly in love with Jenny and he finally got her, he had such a brief amount of time with her. It's almost cruel. Not to mention her poor treatment of him. Such as constantly choosing jerks over him, claiming he doesn't know what love is, and rejecting his marriage proposal even when knowing he's the only man who's ever truly loved her.
And the kicker is, Forrest never thinks Jenny is doing anything wrong. His love is unconditional. Like for a family member. It's not my intention to turn their love incestuous, but I'm convinced most people wouldn't put up with such behavior for thirty years.

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