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What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama | 4 March 1994 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Lasse Hallström

Writers:

Peter Hedges (novel), Peter Hedges (screenplay)
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Popularity
959 ( 425)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Depp ... Gilbert Grape
Leonardo DiCaprio ... Arnie Grape
Juliette Lewis ... Becky
Mary Steenburgen ... Betty Carver
Darlene Cates ... Bonnie Grape
Laura Harrington ... Amy Grape
Mary Kate Schellhardt ... Ellen Grape
Kevin Tighe ... Ken Carver
John C. Reilly ... Tucker Van Dyke
Crispin Glover ... Bobby McBurney
Penelope Branning Penelope Branning ... Becky's Grandma
Tim Green ... Mr. Lamson
Susan Loughran Susan Loughran ... Mrs. Lamson
Robert B. Hedges Robert B. Hedges ... Minister (as Rev. Robert B. Hedges)
Mark Jordan Mark Jordan ... Todd Carver
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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:

An unusual story of life...and love in the heartland. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 March 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What's Eating Gilbert Grape See more »

Filming Locations:

Georgetown, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,170,214
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Darlene Cates had not left her house in five years at the time of the film's release. Some of Bonnie's problems mirrored those in Cates' life, for example, people staring at her, teasing her, and retreating from wide society. See more »

Goofs

The amount of ice cream on Gilbert's face changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Becky: I love the sky. It's so limitless.
Gilbert: It is big. It's very big.
Becky: Big doesn't even sum it up, right? That word big is so small.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Zack Files: What's Eating Zack Greenburg? (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Music from 'Sorry, Wrong Number'
(Sorry, Wrong Number (1948))
by Franz Waxman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Knocked me over!
3 December 2005 | by PenwahSee all my reviews

One of the delights of having raised a family and having more time to yourself s that you get to go back and watch all the movies you missed. I am just now getting to explore the actors whose careers have been postponed, in our lives, by Ninja Turtles and Disney. I fell in lust with Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean and he made me a real fan in Finding Neverland. But in Gilbert Grape, he won my heart completely. This man can act with his eyes. The biggest surprise was Leo DiCaprio as Arnie. Amazing, and he was only 19 when the film was released. He gave an amazing portrayal of a boy who goes in and out of his own world. Juliette Lewis was a quiet storm in this film; she gave Gilbert an anchor of solid acceptance when the pain of his life almost got the best of him.

The casting worked perfectly to create family dynamics that were so very real that they did not even seem brandable as dysfunctional. I appreciated that the mother was never portrayed as less intelligent simply because she was overweight. I loved that the kids did everything they could to protect their mother and their disturbed brother from outside influences and hurt feelings. They stuck together until the end which actually became the beginning. A hopeful and joyous film.


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