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Benny & Joon (1993)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Romance  -  16 April 1993 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 39,538 users  
Reviews: 155 user | 29 critic

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

Director:

(as Jeremiah Chechik)

Writers:

(story), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Benny & Joon (1993)

Benny & Joon (1993) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sam
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...
...
...
Eric
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Dr. Garvey (as C.C.H. Pounder)
...
Thomas
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Mike
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Randy Burch
...
Claudia
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Mrs. Smail
Don Hamilton ...
UPS Man
Waldo Larson ...
Waldo
Irvin Johnson ...
Orderly
Shane Nilsson ...
Orderly
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Storyline

In a small town, an auto mechanic named Benny is devoted to taking care of his mentally ill sister, Joon, who can barely function alone in the real world despite being a talented artist. This relatively stable situation is shaken up when Benny is obliged in a poker game to welcome another player's relative, Sam, to his home for a few days. When Sam arrives, he quickly makes an impression with his quietly eccentric ways which emulate the antics of the great silent movie comedian, Buster Keaton. Without Benny's full knowledge, Sam and Joon find themselves drawn to each other to the fullest degree. However when Benny finds out, it creates a rift in the siblings as they struggle to accept their relationship is profoundly changing with the presence of this odd newcomer. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A romance on the brink of reality.

Genres:

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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 April 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Benny i Joon  »

Box Office

Gross:

$23,202,734 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The exterior of the cafe where Ruthie works (with the dancing rolls scene and others) is the Milk Bottle Cafe in Spokane, WA. Oddly enough, the interior was shot in an entirely different restaurant, Ferguson's Café. The two restaurants are actually next door to each other. Even weirder, that's not the only building shaped like a milk bottle in Spokane. See more »

Goofs

During the meal at the beginning of the film Joon sits at the table with her knee at the level of her chin. The skirt changes layout between shots, covering and uncovering the knee. See more »

Quotes

Benny: Hey. Where's Sam?
Joon: I didn't mean to kick him out. I mean, I didn't kick him out, he just - he just left.
Benny: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. What - What happened? Did something happen?
Joon: He just - he just left. He was - he was in the air and-and-and - with a thing and - that was really loud. It was really loud. And all- I-I just kept seeing... He didn't mean to do it.
Benny: Do it? What? What- Did he- What did he do?
Joon: He cleaned the house.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Girl Shy (1924) See more »

Soundtracks

PINETOP'S BOOGIE WOOGIE
Written and Performed by Pinetop Perkins (as Joe 'Pinetop' Perkins)
Courtesy of Antone's Records and Tapes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

funny *and* realistic (whatever others may say)
28 December 1998 | by (Campbell, California) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie with almost no expectations. Now I own it and have watched it more times than I can remember.

I have heard that this movie caught a lot of flak about not being "realistic" about mental illness, and not providing a diagnosis for Joon, etc. I think that it is more realistic for the "average" person with a mental illness than any other movie I have seen on the topic. There was no theme of "being institutionalised forever" and there was no unrealistic expectation of a "cure".

The character of Sam put it best when he said "Aside from being a little mentally ill, she's pretty normal." I think that's the best quote I've heard in a movie, on that particular topic.

I also think there is a reason for there being no stated diagnosis of Joon. She personifies those of us who can't get on with the things we want to do in life because of a mental illness and treatment getting in the way. She does it very well, down to the mannerisms. If she were to be labeled, say, obsessive-compulsive, or post-traumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenic, or bipolar, then the universality would be taken out of it and it would suddenly only apply to people with one certain label.

This movie did wonders for my family. Upon watching it, we all said "That's us!" and learned to laugh at ourselves and the situations we got into. It offered me a lot of hope -- what more could I want than to find an understanding and eccentric friend to love and move into my own apartment, away from the mess of hospitals and doctors? It still makes me laugh every time I see it, and "Joon" has become a household word... I recommend this to anyone, particularly anyone with a mental illness, and their families -- it might lighten things up, but it certainly doesn't skip over the bad parts.


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