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Benny & Joon (1993)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  23 April 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 44,101 users  
Reviews: 160 user | 29 critic

A mentally ill young woman finds her love in an eccentric man who models himself after Buster Keaton.


(as Jeremiah Chechik)


(story), (story) (as Leslie McNeil) , 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Garvey (as C.C.H. Pounder)
Randy Burch
Claudia (as Liane Alexandra Curtis)
Mrs. Smail
Don Hamilton ...
Waldo Larson ...
Irvin Johnson ...
Shane Nilsson ...


In Spokane, Washington, Juniper Pearl - Joon to those that know her - is an artist. She is also a mentally challenged young woman who requires around the clock care, as she could cause harm to herself or others. Her brother Benny Pearl, who owns and operates a garage and who is her only living relative since their parents died twelve years ago in a car accident, has made the decision that she would live at home with him, in the process sacrificing being able to have a personal life of his own. He has hired full-time housekeepers to provide that care when he isn't around. However, he has exhausted the list of housekeepers, who keep quitting because Joon is too much to handle. As such, Benny makes the decision that perhaps it would be best for all concerned if Joon were to live in a group home, something he is hesitating telling her for fear of her reaction. Into their lives comes Sam, the eccentric cousin of Benny's friend Mike, Sam who they obtained from Mike in a losing hand of poker... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A romance on the brink of reality.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for theme, a scene of mild sensuality and one use of harsh language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

23 April 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corazones en conflicto  »

Box Office


$23,202,734 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The apartment used as Ruthie's was a disaster area when the production crew found it. They had to renovate the entire apartment. See more »


In the bedroom scene where Benny and Joon start singing, Joon lies back on her pillow, but in the next shot the pillow has changed positions though Joon hasn't. See more »


Joon: He can really cook, can't he?
Benny: Uh, yeah. Although for grilled cheese, I mighta used a wool setting.
Joon: That's what I told him.
Benny: Really? What-what did he use?
Joon: Rayon.
Benny: Mm.
Joon: Silk would have been too soggy. Cotton would have...
Benny: Would have burned it.
Joon: Right. Fortunately, he consulted me before giving it steam. I was four square against it.
See more »


References Roman Holiday (1953) See more »


Written and Performed by John Hiatt
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Original, Romantic, and Fun!
4 January 2004 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

I have fallen in love with this film. It is a classic love story between two lovable, quirky characters Sam and Joon. Benny and Joon has serious elements in its portrayal of Joon's (Masterson) sickness and how it affects her relationship with her brother, Benny (Quinn). This melancholy feeling is soon overshadowed by the magical aura that Sam (Depp) brings to these troubled siblings giving the movie an overall light-hearted and fun feeling.

The characters in Benny and Joon make the film truly original. Johnny Depp's portrayal of Sam is amazing. He hits the mark with his off-the-wall performance that brings exceptional charm to the story. Mary Stuart Masterson's portrayal of the mentally ill Joon is also spectacular. Depp and Masterson have undeniable chemistry in this movie. The quirkiness of their characters complement each other while Aidan Quinn's portrayal of Benny keeps the story down to earth with his sensibility that contrasts Sam and Joon's eccentricity. In short, this is a romance you won't want to miss.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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