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What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

 -  Drama  -  4 March 1994 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 135,692 users  
Reviews: 266 user | 61 critic

Gilbert has to care for his brother Arnie and his obese mother, which gets in the way when love walks into his life.

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Title: What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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Penelope Branning ...
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Susan Loughran ...
Robert B. Hedges ...
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Storyline

What's Eating Gibert Grape is a beautifully shot movie of tenderness, caring and self-awareness that is set amongst the fictional working class one street town Endora. Centred around the Grape family Ellen and Amy and their two brothers Arnie and Gilbert, who, along with their morbidly obese widowed mother Bonnie Grape are striving to survive and coexist with the absence of a father figure, low wage work and seventeen-year-old Arnie's severe mental condition. It is in this awkward and extremely one sided affair that the unfortunate Gilbert has to constantly, while working for the town's slowly dying convenience store, take care of his younger brother Arnie. Gilbert's life, his future, is thwarted he knows this, but it is in this guardian angel that his love and bond for Arnie cannot, and will not, be let go. That is until the free spirit of Becky arrives in town, and with her grandmother are stranded for the week while waiting for parts for their vehicle. This realization unties new ... Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A film about the love you find...In the last place you look. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for elements of mature subject matter | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 March 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What's Eating Gilbert Grape  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$9,170,214 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Darlene Cates hadn't left her house in five years at the time of the film's release. Some of Bonnie's problems mirrored those in Darlene's life. E.g. people staring at her, teasing her, retreating from wide society. See more »

Goofs

When Gilbert is looking at Becky through the grocery store shelves, you can see six or seven loaves of different varieties of Mrs Baird's bread, which is a Texas (not Iowa) bakery. See more »

Quotes

Arnie: Dad's dead! Dad's dead! Dad's dead! Dad's dead! Dad's dead! Dad's dead!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Making Gilbert Grape (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Music from "Sorry, Wrong Number"
by Franz Waxman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A film that will never age and you will always have a place for in your heart
12 November 2003 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

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!".

10/10


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