Forrest Gump (1994)
I suspect I’ll have some extended family members who really like this film and it gets a score of 8.8 on IMDb so I may be a lone reed. I first saw this at the cinema with my mum and dad for our annual Boxing Day treat and remember feeling trapped in my seat for an interminable 142 minutes. Two years later I experienced the same with 182 tedious, gnaw-off-my-leg-to-escape minutes of The English Patient (1996).
I like Tom Hanks, I like Robin Wright, Robert Zemeckis has made some decent films but I find Forrest Gump long and cloyingly sentimental and unbelievable and patronising. I know it celebrates someone with an intellectual disability and can be commended for that but its subtext implies that it is guilelessness, happenstance and a lack of ambition that allows you to succeed in America, something that is not only untrue but seems a precursor to the current disdain for expertise and considered knowledge.
It has some great quotes and I am guilty of pulling them out at opportune moments but mimicking Gump’s slow drawl sometimes feels akin to putting on a fake Chinese accent ‘just for the laughs’. Maybe my discomfort says as much about my privilege as it does the film.
There are a few other films that I’m cautious about admitting my disdain for because so many others love them – Life is Beautiful (1997) springs to mind, along with just about every Marvel/DC film ever made. What about you? Are there any much-loved films you can’t stand?
Posted as part of the 30-Day Fillums Challenge, created by me. If you want to see what’s coming up, have a look at my post here and feel free to join in by commenting each day with your own choice.
Coming Next: Day 17: Your favourite film franchise