What's Eating Gilbert Grape is one of those little treasures that for
the most part most people do know about, mainly due to Leonardo
DiCaprio's knock out performance as Arnie Grape. But both he and Johnny
had this great chemistry together that made what could have been a very
boring movie into an extremely touching piece of film that meant more
and more to me as I grew up. When I was a kid and watched this film, I
just loved laughing at all of Arnie's jokes not realizing why he was so
silly. As a teenager I could start to relate to having a little more
pressure with a job and school. Then as an adult and having my mother
become ill, I could relate completely to Gilbert in his frustrations of
just wanting to be young and enjoy his life. I think that's why this
film is special to a lot of people, those who have felt the added
little pressures in life and makes you think on what's eating at you?
This is the story of Gilbert Grape.
In the small town of Endora, Gilbert Grape is busy caring for his mentally handicapped brother, Arnie. His morbidly obese mother, Bonnie has done little except eat since her husband died, and longs only to see Arnie live to the age of 18. With Bonnie unable to care for her children on her own, Gilbert has taken responsibility for repairing the old house and looking after Arnie, who has a habit of climbing the town water tower, while his sisters Amy and Ellen do the rest. The relationship between the brothers is of both care and protection, as Gilbert continually enforces the 'nobody touches Arnie' policy. A new "Foodland" supermarket has opened, threatening the small Lamson's Grocery where Gilbert works. In addition, Gilbert is having an affair with a married woman, Betty Carver. The family is looking forward to Arnie's 18th birthday. A young woman named Becky and her grandmother are stuck in town when their car breaks down. Gilbert's unusual life circumstances threaten to get in the way of their possible romance. His affair with Mrs Carver ends when she leaves town in search of a new life following her husbands death,. Becky becomes close to both Gilbert and Arnie and as she talks to Gilbert she begins to unlock some buried hopes, dreams and happiness. Later on, Arnie tries to run away yet again from his bath and in his frustration Gilbert finally snaps, hitting Arnie several times. Guilty and appalled at himself, Gilbert takes the car and runs out without another word, fearing that he is leaving his family just like his father and brother did.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is just an incredibly beautiful and touching movie that will always have a special place in my heart. It makes you laugh, cry, and think about how precious life is. All the characters are relatable or likable in some way. Even in the smallest of all towns where it seems like it's just dead, there is life. That's what this movie is about to me, everyone has a story and everyone has an experience to share. This is just a terrific film, quality acting and a heart felt story, I very much recommend that if you get the chance to watch it. If anything for Leonardo DiCaprio's incredible performance and Johnny Depp singing to him "Match in the gas tank, boom boom!".
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Action / Drama / Romance
What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Action / Drama / Romance
In the small town of Endora, Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) is busy caring for his mentally challenged brother Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) as they wait for the many tourists' trailers to pass through town during their yearly camp ritual at a nearby recreational area. His mother, Bonnie (Darlene Cates) is morbidly obese after years of depression following her husband's suicide. With Bonnie unable to care for them by herself, Gilbert has taken responsibility for repairing their shanty of farmhouse and looking after Arnie, who has a habit of climbing up the town water tower (like Spider-Man) if he is left unsupervised for too long, while his older sister Amy (Laura Harrington) and younger sister Ellen (Mary Kate Schellhardt) slave away in the kitchen. The relationship between the brothers is one of care and protection. In order to cope with his frenetic life, Gilbert has taken on a secret love affair with a housewife, Betty (Mary Steenburgen), whilst her insensitive, unsuspecting husband Ken (Kevin Tighe), is fully intent on selling Gilbert insurance for his family. A new chain supermarket has opened, threatening the small Lamson's Grocery store where Gilbert works, as well as threatening all the other small-time businesses in Endora. The chain supermarket stocks all kinds of goods, rendering many of the local shops redundant. This is a key theme in the film - which constantly portrays the futility of goods made with love in light of ever sweeping corporate greed.While the family prepares for Arnie's upcoming 18th birthday party, a young woman named Becky (Juliette Lewis) and her grandmother are stuck in town when their truck towing their trailer breaks down. Gilbert's unusual life circumstances threaten to get in the way of their budding romance. In order to spend time with Becky watching the sun set, Gilbert leaves Arnie alone in the bathtub by himself, believing he is now old enough to get out on his own. He returns home late and wakes up the following morning to find Arnie still in the bath, shivering in the now-cold water. Gilbert's guilt is compounded by his family's anger. As a result Arnie refuses to get near water, including the pond by Becky's trailer, and his fear causes him to become extremely dirty, adding to the many problems Gilbert faces. Betty's affair with Gilbert ends when she begins to make demands on him and tries to have sex with him while he's on the phone with her husband, Ken. Ken drowns after suffering a cardiac arrest and landing face down in his sons' wading pool. Many of the townspeople believe Betty killed her husband, despite the insistence of Gilbert's friend, Bobby McBurney (Crispin Glover), one of the town coroners, that believes it was a cardiac arrest. Besides Bobby, Gilbert is the only one who believed Betty didn't commit murder, and she eventually leaves town in search of a new life.Becky bonds with Gilbert and Arnie and helps Gilbert reflect on his feelings. They become deeply involved in conversation until Gilbert realizes that Arnie is missing. He has returned to the water tower he is forever trying to climb and this time has succeeded at getting to the top. Arnie is arrested, compelling Bonnie, who has not left the house in seven years, to rush to the police station to demand his release, causing her appearance to be ridiculed by the townspeople.Later at home, Arnie prematurely eats some of his birthday cake, which Gilbert told him not to touch. Gilbert orders Arnie to take a bath as punishment, and Arnie resists when Gilbert tries to force him. Losing his temper, Gilbert strikes Arnie-hard. Appalled at himself and angry at his life in general, Gilbert drives away, leaving Endora. Arnie leaves the house to find Becky, who takes care of him. Gilbert returns to town and sees Arnie with Becky, who is able to get him to enter the lake, and thus Arnie overcomes his fear of water. After Amy and Ellen come to Becky's and take Arnie home, Gilbert approaches Becky and the two talk about his own frustration and the reality of his father's death. The next day he returns home during Arnie's birthday party to apologize. Following Arnie's eighteenth birthday and meeting Becky for the first time, Bonnie climbs the stairs to her bedroom for the first time in years. That evening she passes away in her bed. Arnie tries to wake her, thinking that she is just playing. He runs out of the house and begins to hurt himself. As his sisters try to stop him, they realize that Bonnie has died. Jerry, the local sheriff, and his deputies tell the Grape family that they would need more men to get Bonnie out of the house (an officer on the radio inappropriately says they'd need the National Guard). After the police leave, Gilbert and his sisters soon cry over losing her. The siblings realize that her removal would draw a gawking crowd and want to protect their mother from being a spectacle. They empty the house except for their mother's body, then Gilbert sets the house on fire.One year later, Gilbert and Arnie are looking out again to watch the trailers pass. Through voice over, Gilbert tells of Amy getting a job offer to manage a bakery in Des Moines, and Ellen being thrilled to switch schools. Arnie chases the vehicles, arms flailing, excited to see Becky again. Along with Becky and her grandma, Gilbert and Arnie hit the road.
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