Sometimes the internet is just too much information. Now I should start by laying out one point from the get-go. I LOVE Tom Hanks. I have LOVED Tom Hanks for most of my life. I LOVED Tom Hanks even before I LOVED Alec Baldwin and certainly before I LOVED Jon Stewart. In fact, it has been a lifelong admiration for the “Big” man. In particular, I feel very strongly about Forrest Gump.
Forrest and his Jenny
In fact, I recall only weeks ago standing in Chatham, Cape Cod, in front of the library on Main Street (to sneak some mostly lovely internet), and, supported wholeheartedly by Daddy Ashbridge, we were debating with Mummy Ashbridge on the merits of this flick. She, it seemed has never really appreciated it’s genius. I have seen the movie so many times I can take myself back to my very own living room in the North East of England, tucked up in a duvet, probably with chocolate, tears rolling down my cheeks. Tom Hanks, this is a feeling I can call to mind and body with intense clarity and I thank you for that. I can even give myself goosebumps at the thought of you losing your Jenny.
OK, OK it is only a movie but I was moved alright!? And my love for Mr Tom Hanks grew exponentially from that day forth (and from an intially high baseline just to overemphasise the point).
So Tom Hanks, I thank you for a childhood (and young adulthood) of wonderful memories; watching films all cosy in my Kibblesworth living room with the rest of the family. Even when we sat for hours watching you talk solely to a football called Wilson, your resonating and warmly familiar voice, your comforting expressions have so many wonderful associations: Splash!, Sleepless in Seattle, even the “remake” You’ve Got Mail. I remember I saw Saving Private Ryan for the first time in a Florida Downtown Disney Resort cinema. I had just made a huge almighty fuss about being promised Tom Hanks in the biggest film of that year and then the outing had been explicably cancelled after a long day of swimming with dolphins and skipping around Animal Kingdom. Ooh I rarely perform a tantrum, but I was certainly not backing down. This is what you make of me Mr Hanks. A little monster in my teens demanding to see you. Well of course the dad backs down and we rush off to catch the trailers, another demand I was probably insisting on. When we walked in 5 minutes late, the only seats were the front row and, if you can remember the opening scene where the soldiers land in Normandy, it is a bloody mess. It is safe to say these scenes of traumatic evil war, at such close quarters, have stayed with me throughout my life. In fact, it was only months after that event that I was taken into hospital to do away with a troublesome appendix. The most vivid memories of that day related entirely to the shots of morphine I was given. My feelings were so strong for your work Mr Hanks, that as I was coming out of anesthetic, after the operation, I was reminiscing about how the soldiers must have felt in World War II as Medic Wade (Giovanni Ribisi) gave them the morphine shots. I am almost certain the nurses thought I was regressing back to a past life and may have even been channeling a wounded soldier. My mother assured them though that the movie “Saving Private Ryan” had had quite the impact on me. Who knows whether they bought that or not. They didn’t seem to think I was old enough to discuss morphine treatment in a World War setting.
So OK, I went off tangent with that one, but I hope it just reinforced my point. Tom Hanks you mean a lot to me. And I value your back catalogue of film gold.
But please, despite all of that, I really don’t need to see your mangled thumb. I just don’t. Your thumb, and it’s ongoing recovery from a recent incident, is your own personal matter and “liking” you on facebook was a decision I made to support you and your excellent career. A career that has often moved me to tears and laughter and just general film viewing happiness. But put your thumb away. Thank you.
Addendum: Even though I do not feel, at this time, it is my place to comment. I am truly delighted with the speedy recovery I and so many others have been observing over the last few weeks. Well done your thumb. It is really pulling through spectacularly well.