What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

April 5, 2014
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

What isn't eating Gilbert Grape is a better question. He is forced to deal with his obese mother, care for his mentally challenged brother, and has a secret affair with a neighbor wife when the love of his life walks into it his.

Simply by looking at the actors in this movie you should know that you would have some amazing performances; Leonardo Dicapiro (who did not win an Oscar for this role) plays Arnie Grape, Johnny Depp plays, Gilbert Grape, and John C. Reilly plays Tucker Van Dyke.

The film was definitely character driven. The acting shaped this movie. The relationship between Arnie and Gilbert was a paragon of emotion. Leonardo Dicapiro nailed his portrayal of a mentally handicapped teenager.
But the story was weak, events felt forced and honestly I felt like it could have been shorter and we would still have the same amount of character development.

Watching the movie twenty years later, I have no idea if the costumes were accurate, but from what I can gather from vintage pictures it appears to be correct. There was definitely the 80’s/ early 90’s feel.
My least favorite thing about the movie was the score. It sounded like it belonged in a fantasy film like Pagemaster or The City of Lost Children.

The movie was released in 1993. The movie was based on the writer, Peter Hedges book, “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”. The movie made $11 million out of a $10 million budget. If it was released today, it would probably become a #1 box office success.

Yet, even if it fared better at the box office it would be missing the nostalgia factor that people have when rewatching the film today.

I would personally give this movie 3.5/5. If you want to watch a better Johnny Depp film, I say go watch Ninth Gate. It you want to watch a better Leonardo Dicapiro film, I say go watch Inception. If you want to watch a great 90’s movie, watch this. It is the epitome of the time period.

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