First day of school, young Forrest (Michael Conner Humphreys) is already bullied in the schoolbus because of his “otherness.” His schoolmates refuse to give him a seat, saying:
“This sayt’s tay-ken.“
“You can’t sit with us!” (Oops. Wrong film.)
Hoping somebody would be kind enough to offer him a seat, Forrest walks on by. Grumpy young faces here and there. Shaking their head and turning their eyes away from the new kid in school, these brats are determined to bully Forrest.
“You can’t sit here!” One of the boys said.
And then a tiny mellifluous voice says to Forrest:
“You can sit here if you woant.”
“I have never seen anything so beautiful in mah life. She was like ‘n angel,” an older Forrest (Tom Hanks) narrates as the camera pans to a bronzed little girl with dark blonde hair. She is clad in a cute girly dress and is about the same age as Forrest.
She asks a lovestruck Forrest: “Well, ah’ ya gonna sit down or ahn’t ya?” That’s when we first meet Forrest’s childhood sweetheart, Jenny Curran (Hanna Hall).
The tenderness of this scene is almost unparalleled. You could tell from young Forrest’s expression that he fell in love with Jenny right at that moment, and that he has seen an angel. Indeed, Jenny is an angel because she’s the only one who welcomed Forrest without any tinge of hesitation and presumption.
What makes this scene all the more touching for me is young Jenny’s predicament at home: she is sexually abused by her drunkard father. And Forrest might be the only one who could save her; they are each other’s angel.
The child actors gave remarkable performances. Humphreys is a natural as young Forrest. Hall is simply endearing as young Jenny.
The fading in of the music is like a rose blossoming on the first day of spring. It complements the scene very well.
“From that day on Jenny and me was like peas and carrots,” narrates the older Forrest as the film transitions to a montage of the young ones spending time together. Through that montage we see that they are the special friends they could ever have.
Forrest meets Jenny: