Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom's follow-up to the underrated Once Around earned far more attention than its predecessor thanks to the judicious casting of perennial thinking woman's heartthrob Johnny Depp and a certain up-and-coming thespian by the name of Leonardo DiCaprio. A prisoner of his dysfunctional family's broken dreams in tiny Endora, ...Read MoreSwedish director Lasse Hallstrom's follow-up to the underrated Once Around earned far more attention than its predecessor thanks to the judicious casting of perennial thinking woman's heartthrob Johnny Depp and a certain up-and-coming thespian by the name of Leonardo DiCaprio. A prisoner of his dysfunctional family's broken dreams in tiny Endora, IA, Gilbert (Depp) serves as breadwinner and caretaker for his mother and siblings following his father's suicide and his older brother's defection. Momma (Darlene Cates) is a morbidly obese shut-in who hasn't left the house in seven years; her children include retarded Arnie (DiCaprio), who's about to turn 18 despite a host of negative medical forecasts, and terminally embarrassed Ellen (Mary Kate Schellhardt), who's emerging from an awkward adolescence. When he's not taking care of the difficult but tender Arnie, Gilbert spends his time fixing up the family's tattered farmhouse, working at a failing mom-and-pop grocery store and hanging with local misfits Bobby (Crispin Glover), an overly ambitious junior undertaker, and Tucker (John C. Reilly), a handyman who hankers after a job at the new burger franchise. Into this complicated but essentially unchanging social universe steps Becky (Juliette Lewis), a thoughtful young woman who's been escorting her nomadic grandmother from state to state in a mobile-home caravan. As Becky teaches Gilbert to finally consider his own happiness for a change, she disrupts both his family obligations and his long-running affair with a lonely housewife (Mary Steenburgen). Adapted by Peter Hedges from his own novel of the same name, What's Eating Gilbert Grape was the first and only film role for non-actress Cates, whom the filmmakers discovered on an episode of the Sally Jesse Raphael Show titled "Too Heavy to Leave Their House." Brian J. Dillard, RoviRead Less
Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Darlene Cates. Fine in fine packaging. Language: English. Run time: 118 mins. Originally released: 1993. Release date unknown. From personal collection, NOT a rental. Cover and tape still look almost new. Bizarre, whimsical, and touching scenes mark WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE. Johnny Depp is Gilbert, the eldest brother in a large family of a very large (morbidly obese, actually) mother (Darlene Cates) who hasn't left the house since her husband committed suicide years before. Leonardo DiCaprio, who received an Academy Award nomination for his role, as Arnie, Gilbert's retarded teenage brother who needs constant supervision (he's often found scaling the town water tower). Caring, passive Gilbert is burdened beyond reason, living a dead-end life in a dying small town, stocking shelves at a grocery store whose business is being taken over by the new mall supermarket. Gilbert's best friends (Crispin Glover and John C. Reilly) see their futures in the form of undertaker and Burger Barn owner, and Gilbert's other social life is taken up with a random affair with a frustrated and reckless housewife (Mary Steenburgen). Everyone needs the constantly patient Gilbert, whose future seems equally grim until well-traveled, straightforward Becky (Juliette Lewis) and her nonconformist grandmother (Penelope Branning) come to town. Their camper is in need of repair, so Becky stays long enough to actually have an effect on Gilbert, making his new life spiral in wild ways. Based on the novel by Peter Hedges (who also wrote the screenplay), WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE is quirky, irresistible, and endearingly eccentric without being a freak show.
Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Darlene Cates. Run time: 118 mins. Originally released: 1993. Language: English. From a private collection, this VHS is in great shape. It's box cover shows very minimal rubbing at the bottom edges.
WoW! DiCaprio and Depp at their best. This is the fiirst time ever that I saw my husband shed a tear through a movie. There was never a dull point and I did not want the movie to end.
Jan 6, 2010
Dysfunctional is normal Depp is wonderful
This was a great movie because it showed how life is really not fair but we can all survive if we keep hope alive and be good to each other and put one foot in front of the other. This was Leonardo Dicaprio's best film ever and who doesn't love Johnny Depp. There were so many great parts that everyday people can relate to and be reminded of someone and that the world doesn't revolve around us & alot of people have a rough life.
Buy and Enjoy the show