After his father's death, Gilbert has to care for his mentally-disabled brother, Arnie, and his morbidly obese mother. This situation is suddenly challenged though, when love unexpectedly walks into his life.
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
Woody Harrelson was due to be in the film, but dropped out to do Indecent Proposal (1993), and because he dropped out, so did Laura Dern. MGM sued Paramount who in turned settled for $500,000. See more »
Joon lights a tissue and Benny stamps it out wearing sneakers. Moments later he's wearing Oxfords when he flushes the dead goldfish. See more »
So we're planning our next vacation, right? I want Australia, she wants Italy. I like snorkeling, she likes garlic. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, she says to me: Do I need her? Jesus, Benny. What kind of a question is that? I mean, "need?" What does it really mean to need someone?
Benny, fuel line!
[and the phone begins ringing]
Hey Waldo, could you answer that phone?
I need a check, Benny. COD.
In a minute. Meet me in the office.
[...] See more »
I have to say that I think Benny & Joon may be one of my favorite Johnny Depp films, along with Edward Scissorhands and Cry Baby. Unfortunately, you don't hear too many people talk about B&J the way they do Johnny's more high profile films, like Pirates of the Caribbean. This film is wonderful because it manages to tell the story of two mentally ill characters and never make them helpless victims. Instead, at their worst they're merely troubled and interesting characters, and at their best they're absolutely charming and heartwarming. Of course, Depp shines with his spot-on Chaplin impressions, and Masterson and Quinn are in top form as well. The real miracle of this film is that it is able to tell a story laced with realism through a whimsical lens, and it walks the tightrope of making one feel good without blatant reassurance. You believe Benny and Joon love one another without a gratuitous sex scene, (only a beautifully sensual one), and the viewer subsequently falls in love with everyone because this is a fine example of the way characters should be developed. Bravo to all involved!
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