For many, Forrest Gump is a beloved national treasure, but for others, the film is as irritating as an itch that just can’t be scratched.
The 1994 film, which is one part emotional roller coaster and one part American history lesson, taught us about life, love and accepting yourself for being different. Most people find it hard to fathom that the Oscar-winning picture could be regarded with any kind of contempt.
But, just like a box of chocolates, when it comes to other people’s movie reviews, you never know what you are going to get. The diligent Reddit army is here to school us on all of the reasons why Forrest Gump is actually really crappy. Do they make valid points?
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1. It’s too long
One Reddit user pointed out that Tom Hanks’ character was not interesting enough to stick with for 145 minutes. It’s kind of true on one level or another, being that we get antsy during pretty much any movie that runs longer than two hours.
2. Jenny is a terrible person
While we agree that Jenny did put Forrest through the wringer, we still didn’t hate her and, even if we did, that doesn’t make Forrest Gump a bad movie. Lots of amazing movies have terrible villains in them.
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3. It’s the only thing associated with Savannah now
Apparently, people in Savannah, Georgia, where much of the film takes place, are constantly asked about Forrest Gump, as if it were the only thing important that ever happened on Georgia turf. While we can agree that it’s probably super annoying for locals to constantly have tourists asking about the movie and not have any other knowledge of the history-rich town, it still doesn’t make Forrest Gump a bad film.
4. It’s right-wing propaganda
“It centers around an average American low-intelligence nobody that only ever does what he is told, and he gets a rewarding/fulfilling life,” one user writes. “Jenny, on the other hand, fights the system, thinks for herself, goes against the grain, and then ends up with AIDS and dies. Very subtle.” Touché.
5. It’s too rooted in Americana
While it’s true that the movie is based around American history, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t appeal to non-American audiences, just as people from the United States enjoy foreign films. Although, sometimes things are lost in translation, so it’s not totally out of the question for a foreign audience to not love the movie. Still doesn’t make Forrest Gump a bad film.
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6. Tom Hanks’ performance is “profoundly irritating”
The Academy begs to differ. Hanks took home the Best Actor Oscar for Forrest Gump and his competition in 1995 was pretty stiff: He was up against Paul Newman (for Nobody’s Fool), John Travolta (Pulp Fiction), Morgan Freeman (for The Shawshank Redemption) and Nigel Hawthorne (for The Madness of King George).
7. It’s cloying, sappy and melodramatic
That was way harsh, Tai.
8. It’s manipulative and condescending to the audience
“It isn’t a movie that tells a story and let’s (sic) the audience feel as it may,” writes one Reddit user. We agree that there was a subtext to the movie, but that isn’t unique to Forrest Gump. Many films have a subtle theme they are trying to convey.
9. Forrest is too lucky
He’s also pretty unlucky in some respects, though, too.
10. It’s a poorly written piece of crap
We don’t know about this one. The screenplay actually seemed pretty clever in the way it seamlessly strung together so many real events with fictional ones.
11. It’s Oscar bait
One Reddit user argues that Forrest Gump “deprived many actually revolutionary movies” from winning awards that year. Yes, there were other amazing films nominated in 1995, like The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction, but just because other movies are good, that doesn’t make another one bad. Saying Forrest Gump sucks because Shawshank is an amazing piece of cinema is like saying nobody should watch Dallas Buyers Club because Gravity changed the way we viewed 3-D.
12. It glorifies the simpleton
Movies glorify all different kinds of people. We could also argue that Forrest Gump stands up for people who are different than the majority of society.
13. It’s glorified by pop culture
Yes, it gets annoying when people relentlessly quote lines from a movie, but it’s usually a sign that the film resonated with viewers on one level or another.
14. Forrest’s character doesn’t develop
This is a point that several Reddit users agree on; however, another user points out that Forrest is a character “who stopped developing mentally at the age of 8… even with his lifetime of experiences, he would always look at every situation through the eyes of a child.”
Bottom line, movies are entertainment and entertainment is opinion. Forrest Gump is loved by many and loathed by some, but isn’t that the case for most movies?
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