“We don’t really move. I mean, we’d like to, but… my mom is sort of attached to the house. Attached is, I guess, not the right word. She’s pretty much wedged in.”
– Gilbert Grape
SYNOPSIS: Gilbert Grape lives in Endora, a place where nothing much happens. The only times the police get something to do is when Gilbert’s autistic brother Arnie tries to climb up on the watertower nearby. Taking care of Arnie is mostly Gilbert’s task which can be pretty demanding, at least while you are working at the local grocery store. Then one day Becky and her grandmother pass through Endora getting trouble with the car. Gilbert falls in love with Becky, but gets problems when he tries to find time for his own private life. – via IMDB
I am sure most people have seen this, and if not, that is certainly something that needs to be changed! There is a lot to like about this movie, even after so many years. For one, DiCaprio. Of course I was going to start there, you all know I head up the DiCaprio club around here hahaha. No matter how young or how old, or how complex the role, DiCaprio never ceases to amaze me. His portrayal of Arnie was heartwrenching and heartwarming both at once, and his character was adorable. He really shines here, stands out, and is so totally believable every step of the way. Johnny Depp is not to be forgotten, playing Gilbert Grape, back when he still used to take on diverse roles. I was a fan of Gilbert, he was a complex and layered character, someone I could identify with and root for. The relationship between Arnie and Gilbert is beautiful, and DiCaprio and Depp give it so much power, too. The movie is a slow burn and a heavy drama, so don’t think you are going to sit down, get ninety minutes of simple film, and move on. The story tells us about Gilbert, the obstacles in his life, the people he is surrounded by, his friendships and his family, the burden he bears, and the responsibilities he perceives. Watching his struggles is quite an ordeal, and you admire Gilbert for holding things together for so long. I think he and Becky were a great fit for each other. The humour is very entertaining in here, and at the same time it can get so damn depressing you actually feel it inside (think – bathtub, slaps). The supporting characters all contribute to the story in their own way, too, and help make this film something that lingers after you have seen it. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape gets you thinking on a lot of things in life, and is shot well, the pacing is right, drawing you into a lazy day in Endora, showing us that small town and the life it holds and the people that populate it. I enjoyed this, and would highly recommend this, even after all these years it holds up quite well.