What's Eating Gilbert GrapeClosed Captioning
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Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom's follow-up to the underrated Once Around earned far more attention than its predecessor thanks to the judicious casting of perennial thinking woman's heartthrob Johnny Depp and a certain up-and-coming thespian by the name of Leonardo DiCaprio. A prisoner of his dysfunctional family's broken dreams in tiny Endora, IA, Gilbert (Depp) serves as breadwinner and caretaker for his mother and siblings following his father's suicide and his older brother's defection. Momma (Darlene Cates) is a morbidly obese shut-in who hasn't left the house in seven years; her children include retarded Arnie (DiCaprio), who's about to turn 18 despite a host of negative medical forecasts, and terminally embarrassed Ellen (Mary Kate Schellhardt), who's emerging from an awkward adolescence. When he's not taking care of the difficult but tender Arnie, Gilbert spends his time fixing up the family's tattered farmhouse, working at a failing mom-and-pop grocery store and hanging with local misfits Bobby (Crispin Glover), an overly ambitious junior undertaker, and Tucker (John C. Reilly), a handyman who hankers after a job at the new burger franchise. Into this complicated but essentially unchanging social universe steps Becky (Juliette Lewis), a thoughtful young woman who's been escorting her nomadic grandmother from state to state in a mobile-home caravan. As Becky teaches Gilbert to finally consider his own happiness for a change, she disrupts both his family obligations and his long-running affair with a lonely housewife (Mary Steenburgen). Adapted by Peter Hedges from his own novel of the same name, What's Eating Gilbert Grape was the first and only film role for non-actress Cates, whom the filmmakers discovered on an episode of the Sally Jesse Raphael Show titled "Too Heavy to Leave Their House." ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 44
- Fresh: 39
- Rotten: 5
- Average Rating: 7.3/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: Particularly impressive are the sweet, weirdly idyllic tone of Mr. Hallstrom's direction and Johnny Depp's tender, disarming performance as the long-suffering Gilbert Grape.
Fresh: Suggests that the true heroes are those people who day by day must tend to misfits, and do so with love, tenacity and a determination not to go terminally sour in the process.
Fresh: Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom and his fine cast have endowed the story with a good deal of behavioral truth and unstressed comedy.
Fresh: One of the most enchanting movies of the year.
Seriously, one of the greatest movie ever made!
This movie has particularly no plot and when people ask me what's it about I just say "It's about this guy with a mentally impaired brother and an obese mom." and them they said "Okay what happens" and all I can reply is "Yeah, that's it." It can't be easy to make such a masterpiece with a total character driven script, but this movie feels so real and the performance are so genuine that if I had never seen a DiCaprio movie at the time I would of thought he really was mentally impaired, you really forget that he's an actor and the entire time I was saying to myself "awww, why does he has to be ill, he's so sweet" and I had to remind myself "no, he's just an actor." Leo DiCario was amazing in this, as well as Johnny Depp who's known for playing really out-of-the-box characters in his movies, played one of the realiest characters as a guy who just wants his family to be okay and get along. This movie is so touching and so real, you actaully feel like you know this family and want to see them turn out okay. I wouldn't miss this one.
Seriously - my FAVORITE movie ever created in the history of the world.
This movie is great for everybody. But, if you are looking for action, you won't find much. Just drama. No big explosions, no blood or gore, but a teriffic cast, they could not have chosen better actors/actresses. Leonardo DiCaprio's performance was by far the best acting performance I have ever seen. Because he is not mentally retarded, imagine how much work he had to put into this character, and it is so believable that if you didn't know much about Leo, you would think that he was mentally challenged. I cannot believe that he was beat for both an Oscar AND a Golden Globe by Tommy Lee Jones for "The Fugitive". I personally very much disliked that movie. Johnny Depp's performance was excellent, and you could tell that he really connected with his character, and I think that is a wonderful quality in an actor. There isn't really a point to the movie, and when people ask me, "So do you find out what's eating Gilbert Grape?" I don't know how to answer. It's more of a document of his life than a mission to do something, you know? Anyway, this is, in my opinion, Leo's best movie (With the single exception of "Titanic".), and I SERIOUSLY suggest it for absolutley anybody. :-)
Such a good movie!
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is such a touching and captivating movie. Perfectly cast, Johnny Depp is incredible as Gilbert Grape. This is one of those movies that you want to watch over and over again. Amazing job!
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 1994
- © TM & Copyright 2007 by Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.