Actor Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis both have stellar careers marked by many impressive films. Hanks appeared in renowned films like “Saving Private Ryan” while Zemeckis famously helmed the “Back to the Future” trilogy. However, a highlight for both is “Forrest Gump,” the 1994 movie based on Winston Groom’s novel of the same name which follows the life of an Alabama man who tells his life story to a variety of strangers from a park bench.
The film has an inauspicious start, but the audience soon learns that Forest Gump is a war hero, a world-class table tennis player, and a renowned runner who inadvertently influences events across modern American history. He has a life-long crush on his childhood friend Jenny, makes friends with memorable characters like Bulford “Bubba” Blue and Lieutenant Dan, all before opening a shrimp business that makes him a millionaire.
While the story is memorable, the film’s inclusion on ChatGPT’s top 10 is interesting because “Forrest Gump” has its fair share of detractors, with many criticizing the film’s dumbing down of American history. Still, it has earned a place in cinema history, as it was an instant success as soon as it was released, earning $678 million against a budget of just $55 million. It was also a hit on the awards circuit, earning six Academy Awards, including best picture, best director, and best actor.
The reach of “Forrest Gump” has even extended into everyday vocabulary with phrases such as “Life is like a box of chocolates” becoming known worldwide — a cultural legacy that ChatGPT seems to have identified.