Do you believe in destiny? In 1994, Forrest Gump asked his dying mother a powerful question: ”What’s my destiny Momma?” Did she have the answer? Do you? Is her response any good? If you believe the movie, perhaps not.
It’s been 15 years since that film came out (and in the process made nearly $700 million). Paramount’s been kicking around the idea of a sequel for years. Producers would now like to get the movie out sometime in the next couple of years, but it takes an awful lot to get such projects going and completed even though a script’s been in place for years. Some complications have held the thing up. Most of all, will Tom Hanks reclaim the role he mastered? If he doesn’t, would you be interested? Me neither probably.
You may not recognize the name of the movie’s screenwriter Eric Roth, but you’ve probably heard of a couple of his films like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Good Shepherd, Munich, Ali, and more. Yeah, he’s pretty good and has probably made more money than Gump & Co., the title of the planned sequel to his 1994 masterpiece.
It’s almost as if Winston Groom, author of the original 1986 novel, listened to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Simple Man and then created Forrest. So much of the simpleton’s story can be summed up in the first verse of that song.
“Take your time… dont live too fast,
Troubles will come and they will pass.
Go find a woman and you’ll find love,
And dont forget son,
There is someone up above.”
Someone said Forrest believes in God, Momma, and Jenny, and “everything else has to be filtered through those three things.”
He encounters one character after another with bigtime dreams. Jenny seeks fame; Bubba wants to run a shrimpin’ business; Lt. Dan longs to fulfill his military destiny. None of them achieve the success they long for, yet Forrest attains all those things and more without ever realizing what he has. He just want to make his mama proud and be loved by Jenny.
People think he’s a genius, a brave hero, an inspiration, and more. Forrest accomplished all this stuff without trying, but as far as he was concerned, he didn’t achieve much. Those things didn’t matter to him, and after Jenny left he felt so alone and empty that he literally ran for years. He thought a lot about the people who’d impacted his life, but mostly he thought about Jenny. Like many of us, he was obsessed with that one thing he couldn’t have, life’s biggest regret.
He just knew that “Momma always said you gotta put the past behind you before you can move on.” That’s what his run was all about. Everyone wants to know the reason he runs or does anything. The answer is often the simplest possible explanation.
We want to believe that we too can maintain our innocence despite all the terrible realities around us. We’re drawn to themes of heartfelt innocence and simplicity because the more we understand, the harder life is to digest. Continue Reading…