What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

Gilbert Grape has a frustrating home life.  Between his widowed morbidly obese mother, and his autstic younger brother Arnie, Gilbert has no choice but to play the role of a man much older than himself.  When a Becky (Juliette Lewis) walks into town, she walks right into the middle of Gilbert’s chaotic life and brings about the first major change for him in a long time.  In this heartwarming film, we follow along with Gilbert’s struggle between his commitment to his family and his commitment to personal growth.

Both Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio give heartwarming, moving performances in this film.  I can actually feel my heart swell for the amazing bond these brothers have.  I love that the whole movie didn’t focus on his budding romance with this girl.  They mixed all these small tragedies that occur almost daily in this poor kid’s life with all these silly wonderful moments of magic like his mom going in to the police station or playing with Arnie or spending the night outside.  There is perfect pacing, moving montages, and uncomfortably honest scenes.  Be forewarned, this film is a real drama, you will be feeling all of Gilbert’s pain before the movie’s end.  It’s a perfect movie to watch with your family.

Directed By: Lasse Hallstrom
Starring: Johnny Depp, Leonardo Dicaprio, Juliette Lewis
Year: 1993

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