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What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 4 March 1994 (USA)
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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(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Laura Harrington ...
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Penelope Branning ...
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Susan Loughran ...
Robert B. Hedges ...
Mark Jordan ...
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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:

Arnie: Tomorrow's my birthday, I'm gonna have a party and you're not invited. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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:

Gilbert Grape  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$9,170,214 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Depp wanted to play Gilbert as someone who seems constantly half asleep/half awake. Someone numb to the peculiarities in his life. Juliette Lewis completely agreed with his interpretation of the character. Even still, Depp worried he was boring by playing Gilbert so mildly. Lasse Hallström however agreed with Lewis, and thought that Depp nailed the part. See more »

Goofs

When the family go to find Arnie (after Gilbert hit him) they are at Becky's trailer. It is clearly very dark when they set out to find Arnie. In all the shots of Gilbert, the sky is dark, but in the shots of Arnie/Becky the sky is light as though it is dawn. See more »

Quotes

Gilbert: You know what? You're such a big boy.
Arnie: Yeah!
Gilbert: You're such a big boy.
Arnie: I'm a big boy!
Gilbert: You know what? I bet you could do this all by yourself if you really wanted to. Could you do this by yourself?
Arnie: I'm a big boy!
Gilbert: Yeah, you're a big boy. Now take this...
Arnie: Take this.
Gilbert: Wash everything, your towels are there.
Arnie: Okay!
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Jonah Hill/Bastille (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Music from "Sorry, Wrong Number"
by Franz Waxman
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very well-done
13 July 2004 | by See all my reviews

I thought I wouldn't like this. I decided to see it because I'm a fan of Johnny Depp who appeared in some of my favorite movies [ Edward Scissorhands, Benny and Joon, etc. ] I knew what the plot was: a guy who lives with his 15 year old sister, his 18 year old mentally disabled brother who could die at any time and his morbidly obese mother always has to do everything for his family and something happens that changes his life. It sounded like it was a typical sappy drama. I usually hate dramas like that. Movies in which the only point is to feel bad for the characters. But this one was quite different.

The plot in this movie is unclear, which makes it appealing in my opinion. There isn't a lot of events in the movie, really. It all revolves around Arnie's birthday and Gilbert's meeting with the new girl. The movie is very slow paced and doesn't rely on action and shock to catch his viewer's attentions. It's moving, but the dialogues are also very simple. You might expect this movie to be over-dramatic but it's everything but that. The situation and story are extremely sad, but I never felt overwhelmed by this. Keep in mind that I can't usually handle dramas very well.

The movie is about partly about Gilbert, but it also describes life in this town very well. Gilbert's family often has a big impact on the other people in this town, so it's natural that they would be the family that the movie is about. What's also really nice is that Gilbert isn't portrayed as a hero in this movie. He has flaws, and he can make mistakes even if he's taking care of everyone. He is not the typical good-hearted young adult or teenager who's taking care of everyone and wants to give everything for his family. He actually has feelings of his own and he is trying to find himself. The whole movie is about his quest to find who he really is, if he isn't Gilbert Grape, the guy who's always running after his brother Arnie.

Another good point about this movie is the way it was filmed. The visuals are great and the way the movie was made makes us feel like we're seeing life in a different way than usual.


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