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What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? A Must Watch

The Matalon Teper Ohlsson’s 1993 film produced by Meir Teper, Bertil Ohlsson, and David Matalon, directed by Lasse Hallström, and starring Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio has been one of the top heartening films in America. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is an astonishing film about a young man named Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) in Endora, a small town away from the city. He lives with his two sisters Amy and Ellen Grape (Mary Kate Schellhardt and Laura Harrington), his autistic brother Arnie Grape (Leonardo DiCaprio), and his isolated, morbidly obese mother Bonnie Grape (Darlene Cates). They lived in a house that their father built but as Bonnie Grape stayed in the exact spot for years, the house fell apart piece by piece due to her weight. Gilbert Grape held many responsibilities as he had to take care of the house and Arnie (which he could be a little trouble maker), maintain his affair with a local woman, and attend his job at a local grocery store. However, after years of Gilbert Grape’s relentless life, he finally meets a bohemian woman that expands his spectrum of life.

The plot was unpredictable but it was an emotional rollercoaster. The different emotions in each scene were shocking but were also rewarding. Some favorite scenes of mine mainly involved the fantastic acting from DiCaprio and Depp. DiCaprio gave such a realistic character of someone who is autistic. The brotherly love and hate relationship throughout the movie is what gave it something to relate to. An example being when Gilbert slapped Arnie because he ate his birthday cake the night before his party. Later, Gilbert played the usual hide and seek game with Arnie at Arnie’s party after coming back home from a rough night. Gilbert then apologized to Arnie to which Arnie playfully slaps Gilbert back as a sign of revenge. This scene gave the impression that although two people who love each other may fight, it is always the best for both sides to come together and prioritize one another. However, there is a point in the film where Gilbert is so in awe with the new girl in town that he forgets about his responsibilities. Gilbert left Arnie in a freezing bathtub to wash while he went to hang out with the girl. The message presumed can be to always make sure that your responsibilities come first or how the amount of stress from your life is so overpowering, that when given a chance of freedom, responsibilities are out the door.

The setting and the dialogue is what made the movie feel more realistic. The actors were all likable and played their roles beautifully. Conversations between the actors made it feel as if you were placed in the 1990s.

All in all, the film is a memorable movie. Personally, I will give it 9/10 stars as an overall rating. I will always recommend this movie to anyone despite what genre preferences they have for movies. To watch What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? there are many streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime Video,, Google Play Movies & TV, Netflix, Vudu, and for $2.99.


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