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Home » Culture and Criticism

The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame: Forrest Gump

Submitted by on January 26, 2017 – 11:11 AM6 Comments

Paramount Pictures

The Couch Of Fame is like a box of chocolates…OR IS IT?!?!

Today's nomination comes from Alan Swann, who's nominating Forrest Gump" target="_blank">Forrest Gump (but people call it…Forrest Gump). Hit it, Swannsie.

Either somehow no one has nominated this film yet, or it's been nominated and rejected, in which case I apologize. It received massive acclaim and numerous awards, and yet it annoyed huge numbers of people, who no doubt agree with one of its many catchphrases: "Stupid is as stupid does."

  • lengthy? Two hours and 22 minutes, easily padding out to three hours or more with commercials.
  • familiar/frequent? Is there an actor working today more familiar than Tom Hanks, or a performance in the last 20 years more imitated/parodied? ["I know for sure it was on cable last weekend, too." – SDB]
  • classic/award-winner? Six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Hanks, Best Director for Robert Zemeckis, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Eric Roth, plus Film Editing and Visual Effects.
  • "Greetings, Professor Falken" (big payoff/long-shot victory a la WarGames)? Several! Forrest's reunions with Jenny, at the Washington Monument and back home in Alabama, and Lt. Dan showing up at the wedding on new titanium legs.
  • "Wanna have a catch?" (Pavlovian tear-jerk; anything with dads opens the ducts for this guy)? "You died on a Saturday morning." Several runner-up moments, too, led by "I'm not a smart man…but I know what love is."
  • quote-fest? Are you kidding? In addition to the quotes already listed, "Run, Forrest, run!" "Life is like a box of chocolates: you never know what you're gonna get." "Lieutenant Dan, ice cream!" And one I've had occasion to use all too often: "Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks."
  • caper-ish or -adjacent camaraderie? Forrest and Bubba in Vietnam, and especially Forrest and Lt. Dan, from 'Nam to the hospital to seedy hotel to Forrest's boat.
  • "forget you, melon farmer" (you own it, but will still watch bowdlerized TV verzh) Absolutely. Even if you'd never sit down intending to view it, the episodic, bouncing-through-history nature of the film means it's almost impossible not to watch if you catch it while flipping channels: "Cool, the ping-pong bit!" or "I love the soundtrack during the run-across-America scenes" or "Oh, he's gonna tell LBJ he was shot 'in the buttocks'!"

Humbly submitted by your reader and fan,
"Alan Swann"

Before formatting this entry, I'd have been like, "I get it, but: nah." After reading Alan's case for it, I'm inclined to wave it through; I really don't care for Hanks's accent narrative in FG, and Robin Wright is sufficiently off-putting in it, though it's the fault of the writing mostly, that it took me years to warm up to her.

But I have hollered "RUN FORST!" after various pets and niblings many many times. I did see it in the theater and it does have some shot stunners. And I owned the soundtrack and am not ashamed of the fact. Hanks's Oscar was probably bullshit, but he'd be the first to suggest that, I suspect, and while it's not the most…I don't know, "challenging" movie, or rigorous, there's something to be said for a hopeful movie like this that you can relax into like a Barcalounger: unwieldy, not chic, but for a nap you can't beat it.

Readers?

Should Forrest Gump join the Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame?

  • Yes'm (82%, 116 Votes)
  • No sir (18%, 25 Votes)

Total Voters: 141

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[Update 3/6/17: Looks like it's in there!]

The Poppy-Fields Movie Couch Of Fame is here. To nominate your own PFM, email bunting at tomatonation dot com with a rundown of the criteria and your argument for why it deserves a cushion. If I use your entry, free loot shall be thine.

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6 Comments »

  • attica says:

    Whereas I can appreciate the popcult impact of this movie (and Sinise's cheekbones), I just can't. It's the writing: so many objectionable tropes. It's the casting of Sally Field as Forrest's mom, when she'd played his love interest only a couple of years before. I paid to see it, I cried when I did, but I hated myself for doing both, even while it was happening. So I'm on 'nah.'

  • efmather2006 says:

    I'm on "no," only because while I liked the movie when it came out, now there's just so much of it I would fast forward through or turn off.

  • Lsn says:

    I still haven't seen it. It's rapidly joining my list of "movies I don't need to see because I already know all the good bits" along with Full Metal Jacket and most of Monty Python.

  • Stephanie Radcliffe says:

    It was on AMC earlier this week and I got sucked into watching it, even though I've seen it a million times. A yes for me!

  • Amy says:

    I had to vote no: I really, genuinely hated this movie so much that even just thinking about it today makes me angry.

  • tadpoledrain says:

    Ugh. Even thinking about this simpering crapfest (uh… no offense?) is threatening to give me a rage stroke. No.