Sunday, June 15, 2014

Forrest Gump: An Appreciation

'Me and Jenny goes together like peas and carrots.'
Forrest Gump

Next month it will be 20 years since Forrest Gump was released in the US. It was the summer just after I had graduated high school and I remember going with a group of friends at the beginning of what turned out to be an eventful, and rather emotional summer. I had not seen the film in it's entirety until an airing on AMC a few weeks ago. Since it's release, there have been so many parody's so many jokes that I had forgotten what a powerful punch it packed. 'Life was like a box of chocolates' seems to be the thing, the quote most think of, but there was so much more about the film worthy remembering.

I was never really a fan of Jenny as an adult. Robin Wright was good, but the character always bugged me a bit. I guess she was supposed to, given her childhood, writer Winston Groom created a very realistic adult Jenny, one who struggled with attachment most of her young adult life. I did however love Jenny and Forrest and kids. Actors Michael Conner Humphreys and Hanna Hall had beautiful chemistry and created magic in each of their few scenes together. As wonderful as the film was, I personally could have watched these two young actors for much longer than was shown in the film.

There was a purity to the relationship, from their first meeting on school bus through how each gave the other strength to deal with the demons they faced. There relationship went through many ups and downs but came full circle with the introduction of Forrest Jr. (Haley Joel Osment) at the end of the film.

Despite his success as young Forrest, Michael Conner Humphreys career didn't exactly take off after the film. In 2005 he joined the army and spent time in Iraq. After three years of services however, his enlistment ended and Humphrey's again made his way to Hollywood to pursue his acting dreams. His only credit was the 2011 film, Pathfinders: In The Company of Strangers. I must see if I can find it, I would be curious to see if the essence he brought to young Forrest is still intact after his time away from film, and his experiences during the war.

After Humphreys, and Hanks of course, another actor who made an impact in the film was Gary Sinise. Lieutenant Dan made a memorable, and shirtless, entrance and Sinise garnered an Oscar nomination for his role but lost to Martin Landau in Ed Wood. Sinise went on to co-star in Apollo 13 and The Green Mile but by 2005 he was on the CSI track, not one usually creatively rewarding for actors who enjoy acting. Television procedurals are for the most part, designed for actors on their way up, or their way down. Nor sure if the actors politics have played a role in his career's holding pattern, but I have recently become more interested in his music. The Lt Dan Band supports the many military based charities and organizations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The bus scene always stuck with me. "Seats taken".