57 user 34 critic

Heavy (1995)

R | | Drama, Romance | 5 June 1996 (USA)
The life of an overweight, unhappy cook is changed after a kind, beautiful college drop-out comes to work as a waitress at his and his mother's road-side restaurant.


James Mangold


James Mangold
3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Pruitt Taylor Vince ... Victor Modino
Shelley Winters ... Dolly Modino
Liv Tyler ... Callie
Debbie Harry ... Delores (as Deborah Harry)
Joe Grifasi ... Leo
Evan Dando ... Jeff
David Patrick Kelly ... Grey Man in Hospital
Marian Quinn ... Darlene
Meg Hartig Meg Hartig ... Donna
Zandy Hartig ... Jean
Peter Ortel Peter Ortel ... Tony
George Alvarez ... Orderly
Cordis Heard ... Nurse
J.C. MacKenzie ... Gas Man (as J.C. Mackenzie)
Allan D'Arcangelo Allan D'Arcangelo ... Sonny


Victor is a cook who works in a greasy bar/restaurant owned by his mother, Dolly. It's just the two of them, a waitress named Delores, and a heavy drinking regular, Leo. But things change when Callie, a beautiful college drop-out, shows up as a new waitress and steals Victor's heart. But Victor is too shy to do anything about it, and too self-consciously overweight to dream of winning Callie away from her demanding boyfriend, Jeff. Victor's terrible loneliness overwhelms him when he has to face losing what he loves the most. Written by Martin Lewison <lewison+@pitt.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Stars Liv Tyler and Debbie Harry share the same birthday, July 1. See more »


Victor is walking across a bridge toward the camera with a bag of groceries in one arm and just before he stops to look over the side, a fuzzy mike cover can be seen briefly in the bottom left corner of the shot. See more »


Grey Man in Hospital: You're as big as an ox and no one sees you. I am the same way, I am loud and no one hears me, but when I whisper everyone looks around like something happened.
See more »


Referenced in The Oprah Winfrey Show: Summer Movie Reviews (1996) See more »


Waitress Song
Written by Catherine Irwin
Performed by Freakwater
Courtesy of Thrill Jockey Records
by arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

User Reviews

A realistic and touching look at the life of a big guy.
27 May 2001 | by ATXIndieFilmSee all my reviews

This film is beautifully shot, and full of emotion. It is a character study. Very little action,of even the most basic kind. But you are drawn into the film, if you have even the slightest compassion, by the sheer loneliness and alienation of the characters.

The lead character, Vincent, is a middle aged man, weighing 250lbs. Heavy.

Our first introduction to Vincent plays upon our own bigoted perceptions of big guys: that they're all perverts. But through the film, we get to know Vince, and find that he is motivated, or rather paralyzed, by a fear of change and a painful shyness. His also a highly moral person. Not in the Christian sense, which would tend to make him seem truly perverse, but in the Human sense. He believes in Dignity and, despite the seemingly futility of it, Hope. These are hard things to find in the small town in which he resides; especially considering he works in the family pub. I won't give away the ending, but HOPE sums it up.

The film deals with the hardships of being an overweight man, without indicting anyone or blaming anyone; and without telling the audience that being a big boy is inherently evil. In fact, Director James Mangold has much affection for this lonely man. If you have ANY opportunity to watch this film on DVD with Mangold's commentary, please do, but only after you have watched the film once or twice.

Pruitt Taylor Vince is perhaps in this film better than I have ever seen him. He is a beautiful man, whose eyes are filled with every emotion imaginable. I can tell, he has been through these painful experiences before in his own life.

The rest of the cast is great too. You won't see glamorous people here. Shelly Winters plays the mother with a spareness that makes you think there's not much underneath, but as the film unfolds you find the exact opposite.

Deborah Harry essentially revisits the "Wise Guy" character she played, but without the glamor. Lost and desperate, and too old to pretend she's not.

Liv Tyler, in one of her first roles, is also lost and desperate, but without the cynicism of Harry. Great counterbalance. She is also beautiful, and compassionate.

Mangold knows human nature. Here, he takes the brave step of challenging the audience to stop and think about it. The pauses in this movie are amazing, and say more than 30 minutes of a traditional narrative film do. This film is not just about a heavy guy...it is about all of us; how we react to those who are different, our own insecurities, our own sorrows, loneliness, and frail hearts. And yet, it defies becoming a "chick flick," Perhaps because it does center around the man's experiences, or perhaps because it does not cop out at the end with Cinderella fantasies.


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Release Date:

5 June 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Upstate Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Pennsylvania, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,425, 9 June 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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