The movie Forrest Gump touched, moved and inspired millions of people worldwide. Why did people love this movie? Why do they still feel warm and fuzzy today when they think about or watch it again? After all, it’s been 15+ years since the movie was released on July 6, 1994. Why is Forrest Gump timeless and still relevant after 15 years?
The character Forrest Gump demonstrated the human qualities that fellow humans find admirable and endearing. Those qualities include: Authentic, Bold, Compassionate, Dependable, Even-tempered, Fair, Genuine, Happy, Intuitive, Just, Kind, Loving, Miraculous, Noble, Observant, Persevering, Quiet-natured, Resilient, Simplistic, Temperate, Understanding, Valiant, Willing, X-traordinary, Youthfully innocent & Zany. To sum up all of these qualities, Forrest Gump was both genuine and authentic.
If you were in war, you wanted Forrest as a fellow soldier covering your back. If you were a mother, you wanted your son to be like Forrest and be kind and persevering. If you were a businessman, you wanted a partner like Forrest who was dependable, willing and bold. If you were a girlfriend or wife, you wanted your man to be like Forrest and be genuine, understanding and loving. And most everyone loves the human characteristics of simplicity, authenticity and zaniness – they help keep life real and fun.
The movie did have great actors, cool visuals with historical scenes, great music from the 60s and 70s that we all know and love, and other favorite hooks… but there was something more. I believe that the intangible ‘something’ is properly summed up and called authenticity. Forrest Gump was authentic. He was true to himself, he was true to his family and friends, and he was genuine with all he met. Forrest Gump was both genuine and authentic.
Will Forrest Gump hold up for the next 20, 30 or 50+ years just like The Wizard of Oz, Casablanca, The Sound of Music, Citizen Kane or Singing in the Rain? I don’t know. What I do believe is that all of the classic movies that have withstood the test-of-time share a common theme of right vs. wrong and good vs. evil. They all have compelling characters who possess human qualities to which the average person can relate. A good story with real characters that confront everyday or even extraordinary challenges is entertaining and magical. At the end of the day, these characters prevail and overcome life’s burdens. The viewer often places himself or herself in that character’s shoes and emerges believing that good ultimately prevails — especially when acted upon with confidence and integrity.
That is why I believe Forrest Gump is still relevant today — 15 years after it was released. Authentic and genuine is a human story that never grows old.
Next Blog Title: Run Forrest Run in Monterey — Semper Fi
Next Blog Date: Thursday, November 19, 2009