If Only I Had a Gump Heart
Forrest Gump is on AMC right now and it is the DVD enhanced version – or whatever it is called – where they show some tips and added info at the bottom of the screen about the movie, the actors, etc.
Towards the end, where Jenny comes back into Forrest’s life once again for about the 5th time or something, and they are spending time together at Forrest’s home after he has hit it big with his Bubba-Gump Shrimp Company, Forrest asks Jenny to marry her as she is going up the steps. It is the famous “I may not be a smart man, but I know what Love is” scene. In the added info portion, they state that Robin Wright was worried that her character of Jenny would come across as a “selfish bitch”. They state that Robert Zemeckis (the Producer I believe) told her that the audience would not see her that way, because Forrest does not see her that way. Forrest does not live in a society of labels as we do. And then they state that the message of the film was a good one like that.
And I’m sitting there thinking that is *exactly* how I saw Jenny in this movie (a selfish bitch), because all I could think about was a few of the women in my life whom I had grown so close to and decided to let myself go and love, only to have them use me over and over when they needed something and then drop me like I was nothing and leave me when they had gotten what they needed from me. I could put myself in Forrest’s position where he gave himself – his friendship and his love – to her and she only cared about him when she needed someone. But other than that, she would leave him at the drop of a hat whenever she felt like it, no matter how much it hurt him.
Actually, I don’t think she even bothered to think about his feelings. Because he really didn’t show any. So that allowed her to be selfish and get away with hurting him over and over again.
In my experience, women are pretty damn good at this. And good at whining their way back into your life after they hurt you – time and time again – by playing on your emotions and the feelings that they know you have for them. They take advantage of the fact that you are a nice guy and they can keep breaking your heart – over and over again – and you’ll still take them back.
Now, in the movie, the added info, they state that Forrest’s reaction to this is a great message to send to society. I don’t see how. Is the message to bury our pain, get over all the heartbreak women put us through, deal with how they take advantage of us and break our hearts over and over and over again and use us for their own selfish reasons… and just smile, take it, allow them back into our lives and love them unconditionally, even though, by the time this happens 5-6-7 times, our hearts have been broken and repaired 5-6-7 times and the emotional trauma has turned us cynical and angry?
Is that really the message?
That Forrest Gump must either be a complete unfeeling prick or he has some really amazing inner emotional strength to deal with Jenny’s betrayals – over and over and over again – and then take her back and still love her.
Maybe this is what people speak of when they talk about “unconditional love”, but I just don’t understand. I have had a few women in my life – real and just online – do this to me for years: Lie to me, leave me when I needed them, but then beg me to help them when they needed me, only to leave me again when things were back to good in their lives and they didn’t need me anymore. And, I’m sorry, but it hurts – really fucking hurts – inside to have that happen over and over again. I used to think that it was what I was supposed to do, how I was supposed to be: just love them and be there for them unconditionally.
But I just don’t know how people go on being strong and having a strong heart when one continually gives out love to others, but others not only don’t fully reciprocate the love, but end up breaking your heart, leaving you to pick up the pieces and mend it back together again. After a while, there are certain scars that just do not heal and certain pieces that can’t be put back in place and it ends up that love drips out of your heart and is lost, leaving an empty space needed replenishing… only the ones who need to replenish it have gone on their selfish way, until they need to come back to use your love again.
And then these people are surprised when they have come back recently only to find I have no love left to give them.
Forrest Gump may not have had the best intelligence, but he apparently had an amazingly strong heart. Either that or he was as good at repairing his heart as he was at taking apart his rifle and putting it back together in Boot.
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