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Benny & Joon (1993)

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

Director:

Jeremiah S. Chechik (as Jeremiah Chechik)

Writers:

Barry Berman (story), Lesley McNeil (story) (as Leslie McNeil) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
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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:
Johnny Depp ... Sam
Mary Stuart Masterson ... Joon Pearl
Aidan Quinn ... Benny Pearl
Julianne Moore ... Ruthie
Oliver Platt ... Eric
CCH Pounder ... Dr. Garvey (as C.C.H. Pounder)
Dan Hedaya ... Thomas
Joe Grifasi ... Mike
William H. Macy ... Randy Burch
Liane Curtis ... Claudia (as Liane Alexandra Curtis)
Eileen Ryan ... Mrs. Smail
Don Hamilton ... UPS Man
Waldo Larson Waldo Larson ... Waldo
Irvin Johnson Irvin Johnson ... Orderly
Shane Nilsson Shane Nilsson ... Orderly
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Storyline

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

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 April 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Corazones en conflicto See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,285,063, 18 April 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$23,202,734
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is credited with introducing the song "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers to American audiences. Originally released in 1988, the song was initially only a success in Europe and Oceania, reaching 11 and 14 on the charts in the United Kingdom and Ireland respectively and being a number 1 in Australia and New Zealand. Mary Stuart Masterson was apparently a huge fan of the band and asked for the song to be put in the film. Thanks to its exposure in the film, the song reached number 3 on the US charts during the summer of 1993. The music video was later edited to include scenes from Benny & Joon. 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

[first lines]
Randy Burch: 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?
Eric: Benny, fuel line!
[and the phone begins ringing]
Benny: Hey Waldo, could you answer that phone?
Waldo: Hello?
UPS Man: [walks in] I need a check, Benny. COD.
Benny: In a minute. Meet me in the office.
UPS Man: All right...
Benny: [...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Identical (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

PUSHIN' FORWARD BACK
Written by Chris Cornell (as Christopher J. Cornell), Stone Gossard, Jeff Ament
Performed by Temple of the Dog
Courtesy of A&M Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

from someone who's mentally ill...
24 January 1999 | by tserSee all my reviews

I really identify with this movie, and with Joon. I myself am mentally ill (in fact, disabled by it). I don't think it matters that her mental illness is unspecified... so many mental illnesses overlap in real life, and often DO go unspecified even if the person is counselling.

I am mentally ill and (as birds of a feather flock together) know many people who are also mentally ill. As for it being representation of what it's really like to be or live with a mentally ill person, you can't really lump such an experience together. Mentally ill people vary just as much as "normal" people do.

Some of the details in this movie are great. They depicted Joon as a rounded character, a creative, sensitive, intelligent person. This is often the case with mentally ill people. I love the eccentricities of the characters. I think the details, writing, and everything about this movie are just wonderful. I've seen it many times.

Most people who I know who have seen this movie adore it. I think it's great.


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