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What the Fuck Is Going on in 'Forrest Gump'?

The crowd-pleasing Oscar-winner about the world's most successful idiot returned to theaters in honor of its 20th anniversary, so we decided to see if the movie still holds up.

by Dave Schilling
Sep 8 2014, 4:12pm

Forrest Gump triumphantly returned to theaters for a special one-week engagement last Friday. In honor of its 20th anniversary, it was digitally remastered and blown up into IMAX format. Gump is a charming, lighthearted (albeit culturally problematic) dramedy with very little in the way of action or spectacle. Was the world really clamoring for this film in IMAX? This might be as unnecessary as The Great Gatsby in 3D... or the entirety of Transformers: Age of Extinction in all formats. We checked out the special edition to answer this and the myriad other questions that have stumped us since 1994. 

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS (FOR A MOVIE FROM 20 YEARS AGO THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN BY NOW)

–Forrest got his first pair of shoes when he was like, ten? That's child abuse, surely.

–How bad are those kids at riding their bikes if Forrest is able to outrun them? I get that he's meant to be really fast, but surely he can't be faster than a bike?

–Is Forrest Gump the only Academy Award winner for Best Picture to ever have a restaurant based on it? I suppose a Crash-themed restaurant wouldn't be a great idea.

–Has anyone figured out what "stupid is as stupid does" actually means? People actually took these sayings to be serious philosophical musings in 1994.

–What kind of chocolate is Forrest's mom eating if she doesn't know what kind she's gonna get? Did they package chocolates differently in the past or something? Did she buy a special brand of chocolates that came with absolutely no labeling? Or, wait, is she illiterate too? 

–Are we supposed to laugh at Forrest's parents naming him after the founder of the Ku Klux Klan? To explain this questionable decision, Mama says, "Sometimes we all do things that, well, just don't make no sense." That's basically the thesis statement of this whole movie.

–It's supposed to be funny that Forrest's mom has sex with the principal to get Forrest into school (with the implication being that this is kind of her thing), but it's supposed to be sad that Jenny is a free spirit who has many sexual partners not named Forrest Gump. Isn't it kinda cruel to shame Jenny for her life choices?

–Does Forrest have the mental capacity to give consent for sex? Are we watching Jenny rape him?

–How bad are the University of Alabama's academic standards if Forrest Gump can get a full athletic scholarship? Though, if the guy from The Blind Side can get into college, I guess anything is possible.

–Forrest Gump has serious disabilities, to the point where he needs an entire stadium full of people to hold up signs telling him to stop running after scoring a touchdown. So you give that guy a gun and send him to Vietnam?

–Did he kill anyone in Vietnam? If so, how did that make him feel?

–Did Forrest not get PTSD from Vietnam because he's a simpleton? 

–Why is every liberal activist in this movie a sexual deviant, drug addict, or abuser? Is the film implying that the only way to be happy is to be a complete dullard with no concept of politics or culture?

–Did this movie predict the cultural ascendancy of George W. Bush?

–Is it me or has the CGI in this movie aged badly? In particular, the CGI Richard Nixon looks like he's suffering from the early stages of Bell's Palsy.

–Why is it that, every time Forrest encounters a public figure, they are shot by someone shortly after? Lennon, the two Kennedys, that racist guy who stood in that doorway. Are they implying that Forrest is a serial killer of historical figures?

–Actually, why does everyone Forrest encounters die? Jenny, Bubba, mama... Is he cursed? I guess Lieutenant Dan only lost his legs.

–Forrest is super rich after Lieutenant Dan invests their money in Apple Computers. Does he have anyone handling his finances? Like a trusted accountant? Again, he is very, very dumb. He's the kind of guy who talks to strangers for hours at a time. Can he actually manage his money, or would he have just bought a lifetime supply of mashed potatoes or something?

–Lieutenant Dan just turns up for the wedding without RSVPing? Kinda rude.

–Lieutenant Dan's wife takes a seat at the wedding and leaves him to stand? Jesus Christ, lady, the guy has no legs. 

–Forrest Gump pretty much does and sees everything there is to do and see in 30 years of American history, and yet no one recognizes him? Ever? He never got a publicist?

–Jenny is meant to have AIDS, right? I mean, they never call it AIDS, but it's supposed to be AIDS. If so, she looks a lot better on her death bed than most first-wave AIDS patients.

–Is the moral of this movie "Pay attention to the mentally ill people who talk to you while you're waiting for a bus because they might be rich"?

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