I am supposed to like Tom Hanks, right? I mean, it almost seems un-American if I were to say I don’t like him. In the pantheon of modern American actors working today, he is up there. He is important. He has box office draw. People like him. I should like him.
Just a few days ago, I thought I didn’t.
Before I saw it, whenever someone mentioned Saving Mr. Banks I groaned.
“Why don’t you want to see it?” multiple people asked.
“I don’t like Tom Hanks,” was my reply. When my wife wanted to see it with me, I obliged. I went to the theater like a dog being taken to the vet.
As I have thought about it (yes, this is the type of thing I think about) I actually do like Tom Hanks. Looking back, he has been in some movies I really enjoy: A League of Their Own, Apollo 13, Toy Story, Catch Me If You Can, The Green Mile, and That Thing You Do just to name a few. And one of my all-time favorite movies is Saving Private Ryan.
So, why do I blame Mr. Hanks when I see commercials for movies of his that I think I won’t like? Castaway, Captain Phillips, The Terminal. I had such an aversion to these films based on the previews alone that I had somehow allowed that to taint my view of Tom Hanks. Those movies may be good. And judging by my experience with Saving Mr. Banks, maybe I should give them a try.
Saving Mr. Banks was a great movie. I am glad I let my wife drag me to it. And I am glad the entire experience made me reevaluate what I thought about the onscreen work of Tom Hanks.
And since we here at Earl are all about learning life lessons from our experiences with the movies, the question this experience brings up is an obvious one, so I won’t belabor the point. Many times we think we know the truth of something, but if we were to challenge what we think we know we may find out we were actually wrong.
We should be constantly challenging and reevaluating our own beliefs and biases. This is the only way to find out what is really true and what we really believe. I do like Tom Hanks. And I am glad I figured it out. Otherwise, I might have missed a truly wonderful film like Saving Mr. Banks.