Happy Hanks-giving! | 5 Tom Hanks Movies to be Thankful For

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With about 325.7 million people currently living in the United States of America sometimes it can feel like the differences between us are too much to overcome. Whether it’s the political party you subscribe to, the religion you follow or the racial background you come from, there are a lot of ways to draw lines in this country to divide us apart and cause tension. So, in honor of the holiday season which is a time meant for bringing people together, I thought I’d step back and let America’s dad and true national treasure, Thomas Jeffrey Hanks, take the reins on this one. Because there are certain things on this Earth that we as humans just know to be indisputably true…. the sun is hot, the sky is blue and EVERYONE LOVES TOM HANKS. Here are a few movies to watch this holiday season if you need Mr. Hanks to redeem your faith in humanity and teach you a few important life lessons along the way.

 

  1. Big (1988)

 

What’s It About: Big tells the story of a 12-year-old boy who makes a wish on a magic Zoltar machine and wakes up the next day a 30-year-old man with the body of Tom Hanks. The movie follows him as Tom Hanks’ character is forced to navigate the adult world of relationships and a full-time job at a toy company.

 

What Did We Learn:

  • Don’t wish for tomorrow when we have so much to be grateful for today.
  • Learn how to play “Chopsticks” on the piano with your feet and you will get promoted to your dream job with zero actual work experience.
  • The right way to eat those tiny corns that we find in our chicken lo mein.

 

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  1. Forrest Gump (1994)

 

What’s It About: This movie spans 30 years of the amazing life of the titular character, Forrest Gump, who lives through and leaves his special mark on many of the most iconic and interesting moments in American history including the Vietnam War, the Watergate Scandal, and so much more.

 

What Did We Learn:

  • To be good to others, even without reciprocation in some cases, and you will find success in life.
  • People at bus stops will listen to your entire life story as long as your holding chocolate.
  • Don’t underestimate the versatility of shrimp as a food.

 

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  1. Toy Story (1995)

 

What’s It About: This animated film follows the cowboy doll Woody, voiced by Tom Hanks, who wants nothing more than to play with his owner Andy all day. But jealousy ensues on Woody’s part when Andy is gifted with a cool new spaceman action figure, Buzz Lightyear. Together Buzz and Andy must work out their differences in order to make it back to their owner after they get lost and are almost destroyed by the creepy neighbor kid.

 

What Did We Learn:

  • We can accomplish our goals by working with each other instead of against each other.
  • It’s important to familiarize yourself with famous abstract artists of history so as not to become “uncultured swine.”
  • When the ice hits the sidewalks this winter, just remember you’re actually just “falling with style.”

 

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  1. You’ve Got Mail (1998)

 

What’s It About: Kathleen, who owns a small independent children’s bookstore and Joe (played by Tom Hanks) whose family owns a large bookstore chain, begin a ruthless rivalry which leads to fighting and heartbreak on both sides… while at the same time the two owners have, unbeknownst to one another, actually fallen in love via an anonymous email relationship which carries out throughout the entire span of the movie as well.

 

What Did We Learn:

  • Saying the mean thing in the moment in order to win an argument leads to nothing but regret and remorse.
  • Always marry the guy who runs your mother’s business into the ground, especially if he comes from hella chain store money.
  • True love of only the purest kind is waiting for us just a button push away in online chat rooms.

 

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  1. Cast Away (2000)

 

What’s It About: This tale follows the unfortunate work trip of FedEx’s Employee of the Decade, Chuck, whose plane goes down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Chuck remains the only survivor of the crash and we watch a man struggle through life stranded on an island, losing his hope for being rescued with each passing day.

 

What Did We Learn:

  • Hope can feed the weary in times of need and can help us overcome even the worst of obstacles.
  • Make friends with volleyballs — they’re good listeners.
  • Don’t send an overpriced dentist to do the job of a good-quality ice skate.

 

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Stephanie Tkaczyk is a senior majoring in Kinesiology who enjoys stressing herself out by taking unnecessary writing classes in order to satisfy her creative side. She loves listening to, talking about and finding new music more than anything, in addition to traveling to every place on the planet and spending time with other people who watch too many movies. You can follow her on Instagram @hotsteph24.

Tags: Is a Saint, Tom Hanks