Tom Hanks at Harvard

Is it uncool, to love Tom Hanks? I sure do. Why can’t he run for President?

Giving the best commencement speech of the season at Harvard.

When I took a film appreciation class in college, in Texas, I think 90% of the guys chose Tom Hanks as their favorite actor. This was the post-Saving Private Ryan glow.

He’s still my favorite.

Is there any reason not to love him? He may not be Philip Seymour Hoffman level as an actor, but he’s damned good, has been in probably almost ten absolute classics, and seems like a really decent person.

He’s always seemed like a genuinely good dude.

And that was a terrific speech.

Still thinking about this, I threw out “10 classics” but now I want to dig into that, because I’m sure I overshot, but I’m also a very low power movie nerd, especially on this forum.

Inarguable classics:

  1. Forrest Gump
  2. Saving Private Ryan
  3. Big
  4. Toy Story (arguable about 2, 3, 4, but 2 is probably up there)
  5. Apollo 13

And I realize I overshot. But then

Arguable classics:

  1. A League of their Own (not necessarily a Tom Hanks! feature)
  2. Sleepless in Seattle
  3. Catch me if you Can (again, not necessarily a Tom Hanks! movie)

Personal potentials:

  1. Sully (I love this movie so much, but that’s perhaps more for the movie itself than Hanks.)
  2. Cast Away

There are plenty of other really, really good movies that might not be Classic material. The Terminal was a great bit of acting. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was the same, a masterful performance of maybe the most beloved media personality ever. But maybe not a Classic Movie. And as always, I have very deep love for Joe Vs. The Volcano, but I totally get why it can’t be in the first two categories.

Anyway, nerds attack!

You forgot Philadelphia.

Anyway, I’d argue A League Of Their Own is one of his absolute best roles he’s done.

The 'Burbs will always be a personal favorite of mine.

My shame is that I still haven’t watched it in entirety. So heavy, so tough.

Fucking yes!

One of my favorite Hanks gigs was when he filled in for Peter Sagal as the host of NPRs “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” He just likes the show and did it.

He also played alcoholic Uncle Ned on Family Ties.

The last time Tom Hanks was at Harvard, he helped turn a straight-laced student into a drug fiend.

And then there’s the stuff he’s responsible for, like From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, and The Pacific. And BoB is an absolute all-time achievement in television.

And while his role in That Thing You Do! was small, that movie was his baby from start to finish.

You unplug and you RUN.

I saw the Burbs in the theatre many moons ago. It’s okay…

In no order as that takes effort. So 10 was about right. Certainly a bunch more that are very good.

The Polar Express (Don’t make me fight you.)
Catch Me If You Can
Toy Story (All of em)
Saving Private Ryan
Apollo 13
Forrest Gump
Sleepless In Seattle
A League of Their Own

Splash is a good pull, but I can’t believe y’all are sleeping on Turner & Hooch.

I don’t think he ever surpassed the work he did on Bosom Buddies

I’m not surprised that my fellow nerds at QT3 are fans of Tom, even if most of us aren’t cool.

Even though his speech was old fashion, and patriotic, it was well-received.
He does seem to be universally liked, especially by his fellow actors. (Actors are still considered cool right?)

This OpEd from yesterday does a great job of describing why I really liked his speech. Grace is really hard act to pull off even in a TV series, Ted Lasso’s natural grace, after 3 seasons rubbed off on Rebecca, who showed a lot of grace in the last couple of episodes. Tom Hanks is a natural at being gracious, he is even better than Joe Biden.

Gifted link.

I even took a look at the comments ( WaPo is better than most newspapers, but still not for the faint of heart). Three of the first dozen hoped that Tom would run for President. But I saw two negative comments, one said that Tom was pretentious and the other complained that Tom was woke. I guess the good news is the two negative comments were overwhelmed with pushback. It won’t surprise anyone to see the two folks who complained about Hanks were Trumpers. Still, a decade ago I doubt that Tom’s popularity would have a partisan edge to it.

Where does Money Pit rate in all this?

Out of 10.