You'd think it was "Forrest Gump" if the titular character in "The World According to Garp", spoiler, didn't really have a view of the world all that different from the rest of us. George Roy Hill's film does span years, decades even, and it's flawed in the gaps it shakily passes over. That being said, its quirkiness isn't without weight -- "Garp" is a pretty amazing not-that-macho rumination on remembering to fill up your time on earth with all you can before you die, though not out of character with the spirit of Hill's other works.
"Garp" doesn't achieve greatness, but it's so damn sweet I can't hardly bear to say anything bad about it. It's good company for 136 minutes, one with hooks and bends surprising without being dizzy, sentimental but never saccharine, and John Lithgow in a dress. It's a movie that in showing us the many directions of life is just as quick to draw out the undertow to everything. Because turns can also be corners, and they can be sharp.