Forrest Gump proclaimed those words to Jenny as she walked up the stairs at the Gump house to go to bed. It’s an extremely powerful scene in the movie because we want so much to see Forrest win his girl’s heart, but once again he faces disappointment. As the viewer, did you feel like you wanted to jump for joy with Jenny’s ‘Yes!’ only to slump back into your seat feeling the pain of Forrest’s breaking heart?
Forrest tenderly narrates the events after Jenny came home to Greenbow for a time, a time when he and Jenny were just like family, and fondly remembers that it was “the happiest time in my life”. After watching the 4th of July fireworks display on TV together, Jenny asks Forrest if he is done watching, turns off the TV and kisses Forrest gently on the cheek. She say’s “I’m going to bed” and starts climbing the stairs. It is a gentle and quiet moment, and we can feel that Forrest wants these happy days to continue.
Halfway up the stairs she is stopped by Forrest’s proposal, “Will you marry me? I’d make a good husband, Jenny.” Jenny hesitates and then simply affirms, “You would, Forrest.” Forrest disappointedly responds, “But you won’t marry me.” to which Jenny replies, “You don’t want to marry me.” Forrest then asks and powerfully proclaims, “Why don’t you love me, Jenny? I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.” Forrest turns, walks to the front door, stands with his hand on hip and stares out into the night. Another disappointment, but an assertion from Forrest that he indeed knows more than Jenny thinks he possibly could when it comes to matters of the heart. Do you know what love is?