I knew The Terminal was going to be fluffy and contrived, which it was. In mitigation, I would never have seen it if not for the "friendly outing" (formerly known as a "date"). On hindsight I'm glad there was the third person, a mutual friend, to keep the moribund conversation chugging along.
Spielberg's cotton candy offering may have been inspired by a real incident, and the truth is far sadder, complex and less palatable to a mass audience. See The Guardian feature: "The Man Who Lost His Past". Also take a look at "Merhan Karimi Nasseri at Charles de Gaulle airport, France, since 1988".