Thanks for your question, Edward.
Forrest Gump I would say is one of the most misunderstood films as infatuation is at its heart, not the comedy-drama of Forrest overcoming the trials of life.
The film reflects the false hope of those who are infatuated with little chance of requited love. Its message is:
if you love ardently, dedicate yourself wholeheartedly, and hold on long enough – a lifetime even, your love will be requited.
Forrest and Jenny meet as young children and strike up a strong bond of friendship. He is an odd child from an odd home, and she is a loner with an abusive parent. Through college, as she dates other boys, he feels romantic jealousy, yet she pushes him away. He will not be her romantic lover.
He continues to shadow her through their young adult life telling her she will always be his Jenny and she finds him always available and caring when she needs help most.
As they get older, they come close and share a night of intimacy, but again she spurns him by leaving, breaking his heart once more.
Unrelenting in his love, he finds her once more, and this time she is in want, but not for love. They marry, and close to her end, she realises that the man who has romantically loved her all her life is worthy of her romantic love, but it is all too late.
This story of infatuated love is so deftly woven into a funny epic that we take it for a comedy-drama, but the film is really a tragedy. Jenny loses the love of a good man because he ‘simply’ loves her. This simple love is a love she cannot see for what it is, real love.
Our misunderstanding is that we laugh and feel a little sorry for Forrest along the way whilst failing to see the real tragedy that lurks beneath.
By the end of the film, we are lifted with Little Forrest and believe everything worked out, but it didn’t.
Forrest and Jenny lost something special here, real lifelong love.
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