Read an Excerpt
Topic: Accepted with Flaws
Texts: John 13:20; Romans 5:8; Romans 15:7
Keywords: Acceptance; Brotherly Love; Caring; Christ's Love; Church; Community; Compassion; Gift of Salvation; God's Love; Human Help; Kindness; Mercy
In Forrest Gump, the mentally challenged and physically disabled Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks) reminisces about the ups and downs of his unique life. Early in the movie, Forrest recalls his first day of school. He says, 'You know it's funny how you remember some things, but some things you can't? I remember the bus ride on the first day of school very well.'
The movie shifts back to Forrest's first day of school when, encumbered with bulky leg braces, he waddles toward the school bus. The bus door opens to reveal a scowling bus driver with a cigarette hanging from her mouth. Forrest pauses at the entrance to the bus and examines the bus driver with a look of uncertainty. The annoyed bus driver growls at Forrest, 'Are you coming on?'
Forrest replies, 'Mama said not to be taking rides from strangers.'
Her patience waning, the bus driver gruffly responds, 'This is the bus to school.'
Forrest hits on a solution and says, 'I'm Forrest, Forrest Gump.'
The bus driver's countenance softens, and she introduces herself. 'I'm Dorothy Harris.'
Forrest says, 'Well, now we ain't strangers anymore,' and he boards the bus.
Unfortunately, the children on the bus are cold to Forrest. As Forrest begins the long trek down the bus's center aisle, he is shunned by his classmates: 'Seat's taken.' 'Taken.' 'Can't sit here.'
As the adult Forrest thinks back on that day, the pain on his face turns to wonder as he remembers how kindness and acceptance bubbled up amidst the rejection. 'You know, it's funny what a young man recollects. 'Cause I don't remember bein' born. I don't recall what I got for my first Christmas, and I don't remember when I went on my first outdoor picnic. But I do remember when I heard the sweetest voice in the wide world.'
Next to the cutest blonde-headed girl on the bus was an empty seat. 'You can sit here if you want,' she said.
Forrest muses, 'I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. She was like an angel.'
Elapsed time: Measured from the beginning of the opening credit, this scene begins at 00:12:05 and ends at 00:13:58.
Content: Rated PG-13 for nudity, violence, and profanity
Citation: Forrest Gump (Paramount Pictures, 1994), written by Eric Roth, directed by Robert Zemeckis submitted by David Slagle, Wilmore, Kentucky
The Joy Luck Club
Topic: Mother Accepts Daughter
Texts: Romans 15:7; Colossians 3:21; 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Keywords: Acceptance; Anger; Bitterness; Blame; Children; Conflict; Confrontation; Expectations; Failure; Family; Humiliation; Mothers; Parenting; Rejection; Resentment; Self-Pity; Self-Worth; Shame
The Joy Luck Club, based on Amy Tan's novel, is about the strained relationships between four Chinese-born mothers and their adult American-born daughters. As the daughters mature, the mothers' expectations of how a woman should live conflict with the values and goals of their American daughters.
In one scene, June (played by Ming-Na Wen) and her mother clean up after a dinner party. The mother (played by Kieu Chinh) notices that June is upset. During the party, June felt slighted by her mother. Her mother asks, 'So it's me you're mad at?'
Defensive, June responds, 'I'm just sorry that you got stuck with such a loser, that I've always been so disappointing.'
'What you mean 'disappoint'? Piano?'
June shakes her head and lists her failures: 'Everything. My grades. My job. Not getting married. Everything you expected of me.'
Her mother answers defensively, 'Not expect anything! Never expect! Only hope! Only hoping best for you. That's not wrong, to hope.'
June blurts out, 'No? Well, it hurts, because every time you hoped for something I couldn't deliver, it hurt! It hurt me, Mommy. And no matter what you hope for, I'll never be more than what I am. And you never see that, what I really am!'
June's mother stares at her, tears welling up in her eyes. Then she takes the chain off her neck and offers it to June, who refuses it. Her mother says in a pleading tone, 'June, since your baby time, I wear this next to my heart. Now you wear next to yours. It will help you know, I see you. I see you.'
Elapsed time: Measured from the opening credit, this scene begins at 01:53:42 and ends at 01:55:51.
Content: Rated R for language, mature themes, and violence
Citation: The Joy Luck Club (Hollywood Pictures, 1993), written by Amy Tan and Ronald Bass (based on the novel by Amy Tan), directed by Wayne Wang submitted by Jerry De Luca, Montreal West, Quebec, Canada