What’s Eating Gilbert Grape Movie Review - The Pop Culture Palace (2022)

A lot has been made about the latest movie from the Director of The Godfather and Cane, and understandably so. The main reason for this is because The Godfather and Cane was an excellent film that was loved by many, and this newest one certainly looks to be one that has the potential to be just as good.

The movie, “Gilbert Grape”, stars Kevin Spacey (pictured) as the role of the title character, the head of a family of Californian tomato farm workers who has two sons, played by Johnny Depp & Danny Baker.

One of the most anticipated movies of this year is the movie that takes its name from the book that inspired the movie. Before he was a literary figure with his novel, Fight Club, he was a struggling writer who wrote his first novel, Eat, Drink, Woman, with the intention of getting it published. He aimed for a literary novel, but with his typical honesty, couldn’t hide the fact that the book was autobiographical with the inclusion of many of his own childhood experiences.

(Video) Leonardo DiCaprio on "What's Eating Gilbert Grape": Rewind | E! News

NUTS FROM GRAPES

Johnny Depp and Leonardo Di Caprio star in the lead roles.

Lasse Hallstrom is the director.

Each book will include amazing tales from my illustrious career.

My new memoir, Veni, Vidi, Vicki!, is already almost 3700 pages long in its rough form. Because my life and great career can’t be addressed in a shorter book, I’m considering a six-volume box set with commemorative covers. My editor, Mayhew Blumengroh, suggests that as a better commercial plan, we start working on a one-volume highlights or compression of the content for the general market. I hate to edit even a single word of my work, but I can see his point of view from a commercial one, since the market for the complete version may be restricted. To give it more visual interest and to stand out from any other multi-volume celebrity biographies that might be hitting Barnes and Noble at the same time, I suppose we could put a sort of glass case on top of each box set with a Mrs. Norman Maine collector doll in one of a dozen different designer outfits enclosed.

(Video) What's Eating Gilbert Grape ★1993★ Cast Then and Now | Real Name and Age

The present public health emergency, which is turning our life like Pandemic 2: Electric Deltaloo, is still going strong, which is causing some issues. It’s making returning to the boards a little difficult, but I’ve scheduled an outside performance with the San Diego Symphony at the Balboa Park Bandshell. It’s a one-night-only tribute to American tap dance, including orchestral versions of well-known songs like Top Hat and Tea for Two. In the second act, I reprise my iconic stair tap piece You’re the Tap from Pipe Fitters Dream as the main attraction. As an encore, I’ll do Ann Miller’s famous Campbell’s Soup ad, but it’s meant to be a secret, so you didn’t hear it from me. My in-house productions for VickiTube, my streaming service, are still doing well, and I have an absolutely fantastic lineup for The View with Vicki next week, which includes Charro, Barbara Eden, and Magdalena Montezuma.

I haven’t had much stamina to go out in the evenings, and the social scene in Los Angeles has been rather quiet in recent months, so I’ve resorted to spending most of my nights curled up in front of the television with Netflix. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, a 1993 film starring a young Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio, was my pick for a movie this evening. I had watched the movie in the cinema when it originally came out, but hadn’t seen it since, so I was excited to see it again almost a quarter-century later. The fact that it was in color was the first thing that caught my attention. It stayed in black and white in my memory, like previous films about small-town anomie like The Last Picture Show and Hud. It’s a fine movie, but it might have been much better if the filmmakers had believed that an audience would turn up for a black-and-white picture about the emptiness of middle America and the lives of its people.

What Are You Eating? The story of Gilbert Grape is set in the tiny Iowa hamlet of Endora. The Grape family, who live in a crumbling home on the outskirts of town constructed by their now-deceased father, is led by a mother (Darlene Cates) who is so unhappy that she has eaten herself to morbid obesity and is reliant on her young adult children to care for her. Gilbert (Depp), a cashier at the small mom and pop store that is being suffocated by the rivalry of a contemporary supermarket just off the interstate, struggles to keep the home and family together while also nurturing his mentally challenged younger brother Arnie (DiCaprio). His sister Amy (Laura Harrington) keeps the food flowing, while his younger sister Ellen (Mary Kate Schelhardt) struggles to deal with high school with a family she considers an embarrassment. Gilbert is enslaved by his duties and attempts to deal with an adolescent romance with the local insurance agent’s wife (Mary Steenburgen) (Kevin Tighe).

An yearly caravan of Airstream trailers arrives in this desolate life, bound for a local leisure spot. When one of the towing trucks breaks a gasket, stranding free-spirited Becky (Juliette Lewis) and her grandmother (Penelope Branning) until the right component can be obtained and their truck fixed, Gilbert takes Arnie to watch them pass by. The new girl, who understands Gilbert’s profound sadness and obligations, is noticed by the local guys, including Gilbert and his friends (John C. Reilly and Crispin Glover). As we follow these people through their quietly desperate lives – Arnie has a habit of causing problems by climbing the local water tower, there’s a milestone birthday party, and several significant deaths change everyone’s outlooks – we have hope that the people we’ve come to know and love will have a better tomorrow as we leave Endora.

(Video) People Living With Disabilities Review Characters With Disabilities

What Are You Eating? Gilbert Grape is a character study of people as well as a culture. It’s as sharp as it is because the film was directed by an outsider, Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom (My Life as a Dog), who has a natural way of letting characters breathe and grow on screen in scenes that appear more improvised than scripted (though the script is there, and it’s very tight – by Peter Hedges based on his novel of the same name). The film has a somewhat magical reality to it because to Hallstrom’s use of vast open sky outdoor sequences accented with slightly odd images (the procession of Airstreams, a lobster tank, a fast food restaurant being transported intact on the back of a flatbed trailer). Sven Nykvist’s cinematography is really stunning.

What Are You Eating? Gilbert Grape is very much an actor’s film, and it has helped Depp and DiCaprio establish themselves as rising stars. For his honest portrayal as the disturbed Arnie, DiCaprio received an Oscar nomination, daring to embrace all of his tics and idiosyncrasies, keeping the viewer both somewhat horrified and falling in love with the adolescent. It’s a tough job to maintain that balance, but he does it well. Depp is only beginning to mature from the lovely adolescent he was in his early performances, such as A Nightmare on Elm Street. He’s given carte blanche to be contemplative and keep much of what makes Gilbert tick on the inside, with just a few bursts of emotion to add to the film’s strength. Excessive surface quirks ruin much of his later work, particularly with Tim Burton. Darlene Cates is also fantastic as the fat mother. She didn’t make another film after that. The supporting cast is excellent, and Juliette Lewis is at her most endearing.

I highly advise you to watch What’s Eating Gilbert Grape if you haven’t already. It gradually immerses you in the characters and their environment, and you will remember them long after you have left. It also reveals what made Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio so unique that they were able to attain fame.

Decapitation of a grasshopper. Treats made with ice cream Birthday cake that has been ruined. Sitting in the bath all night Crispin Glover for the sake of Crispin Glover. Aquaphobia. A fire broke out in the house. Sex at the kitchen table. Wading pool has a symbolic meaning.

(Video) Leonardo DiCaprio Pays Homage To What's Eating Gilbert Grape at the Golden Globes

See our introduction to Mrs. Norman Maine for additional information.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape Movie Review - The Pop Culture Palace (1)

Mrs. Norman Maine sprang to life, full grown like Athena, from Andy’s head during a difficult period of life shortly after his relocation to Alabama. Originally from Seattle, Washington, land of mist, coffee, and flying salmon, Mrs. Norman Maine sprang to life, full grown like Athena, from Andy’s head during a difficult period of life shortly after his relocation to Alabama.

The movie is based on the 1991 novel of the same name, by Canadian author Anne Rice. It tells the story of troubled artist/model/actor/mystery writer Lestat de Lioncourt (Tom Cruise), who has lived for centuries in the bodies of many others. During the course of the film, Lestat reveals what he has done to each body, and the audience can piece together how he moves from one to the next.. Read more about what’s killing gilbert grape and let us know what you think.

(Video) (AV17638) From Gilbert Grape to The Heights: Peter Hedges on Writing and Directing

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FAQs

What is the message behind Whats Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

What's Eating Gilbert Grape presents a dysfunctional family that functions in the best way they know how, showing true grit and compassion. A key virtue to be gained from this film is recognizing the importance of support in times of need, especially pertaining to mental health.

What disability does Arnie Grape have? ›

The diagnosis for Arnie Grape that fits most appropriately is Autistic Disorder (299.00).

Where is the What's Eating Gilbert Grape house? ›

Set in the fictitious town of Endora, Iowa, the majority of "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" was filmed in the Austin suburb of Manor, with a handful of scenes also shot in Georgetown, Pflugerville and Lockhart.

What movie are they watching in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

The picture on the Grapes' refrigerator of a young Bonnie Grape ("Momma") is a real-life picture of Darlene Cates as a young woman.

Why did Gilbert Grape's mom get fat? ›

According to the Dallas Morning News, Cates' struggle with weight began when she had her first child (of three) at age 18 and her husband, who was in the Marines, traveled overseas. She turned to food for comfort, causing her weight to balloon out of control.

What personality type is Gilbert Grape? ›

Gilbert Grape is an ISFJ or Defender type. He is a protector caring for his loved ones despite wanting something more of his life.

What mental illness does Gilbert Grape have? ›

The movie depicts Hughes' struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Is autism a mental illness? ›

Autism is not a mental health problem. It's a developmental condition that affects how you see the world and how you interact with other people. Just like anyone else, autistic people can have good mental health. However, people with autism do often experience mental health problems.

How old was Johnny Depp in Gilbert Grape? ›

Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp worked with each other on the sets of What's Eating Gilbert Grape back in 1997 when they were merely 19 and 23 years old respectively.

Where is the water tower from What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

Endora Water Tower

From the Carver house, Gilbert looks over to see a figure climbing the town's water tower. In reality, the water tower that plays a key role in the film is 10 miles from the Carver house, on the 100-block of W Parsons St, Manor, TX 78653, next to the downtown Endora locations.

How old was Leonardo in Titanic? ›

When the film began production during the summer of 1996, Leonardo DiCaprio, who was born on November 11, 1974, was only 21. His character, Jack Dawson, was a 20-year-old artist that never managed to live in one place for too long.

How old is Becky in What's Eating Gilbert Grape movie? ›

In the novel, Becky, the girl that 24-year-old Gilbert falls for, is only 15. “That gets into some trickier, dicier things, and it became evident that that wasn't going to play,” says Hedges.

How old was Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

Gilbert Grape was her breakout role, playing the morbidly obese, homebound mother of two boys (Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio), one of whom is mentally challenged. It was also a vital film for DiCaprio—his performance earned him the first of many Oscar nominations. DiCaprio was 19 years old at the time.

Why did Gilbert burn the house down? ›

In Stand By Me, Elena Gilbert burns the Gilbert House down in order to be used as a cover story for Jeremy's death. Previously, Klaus threatened to burn down the house.

How did DiCaprio prepare for Gilbert Grape? ›

Because his character in What's Eating Gilbert Grape had a mental disability, DiCaprio prepared for his role by visiting a home for kids with mental disabilities. While there, he took notes on each child's mannerisms.

How heavy was actress in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

She weighed more than 500 pounds and said she was struggling with suicidal thoughts at the time she appeared on a segment called “Too Heavy to Leave the House.” She later told the Dallas Morning News that her TV appearance had a liberating effect.

What happened to the big lady in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

Darlene Cates, who played the morbidly obese housebound mother in the acclaimed 1993 film “What's Eating Gilbert Grape,” died on Sunday at her home in Forney, Tex. She was 69. David Morgan, her son-in-law, said she died in her sleep.

Is the fat lady in Gilbert Grape still alive? ›

She became known for her role in the 1993 film What's Eating Gilbert Grape, in which she played the title character's housebound mother.
...
Darlene Cates
BornRita Darlene GuthrieDecember 13, 1947 Borger, Texas, U.S.
DiedMarch 26, 2017 (aged 69) Forney, Texas, U.S.
OccupationActress
Years active1993–2017
1 more row

Who is an INTJ personality type famous? ›

Albert Einstein. A world-renowned physicist, he is best known for his theory of relativity and his famous equation, E=mc2. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 and is considered one of the most intelligent people to ever live. He displayed INTJ characteristics such as being analytical and independent.

Who is the main character in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

What is a Infj personality like? ›

INFJ (introversion, intuitive, feeling, judging) is a four-letter acronym used to represent one of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. People with this personality type are serious, logical and hardworking. They are also compassionate, conscientious and reserved.

What was wrong with Gilbert Grapes brother? ›

Gilbert Grape lives in a small town with his younger sister, his obese mother, and his brother Arnie, who has an intellectual disability.

What is a dependent personality? ›

Dependent personality disorder (DPD) is a type of anxious personality disorder. People with DPD often feel helpless, submissive or incapable of taking care of themselves. They may have trouble making simple decisions. But, with help, someone with a dependent personality can learn self-confidence and self-reliance.

What illness did Gilbert Gottfried have? ›

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, known for his brash standup act as well as providing the voice for the Aflac duck and the parrot Iago in Disney's 1992 animated film “Aladdin,” died April 12 from complications of myotonic dystrophy type 2, an inherited muscular dystrophy that affects the muscles and other body systems.

What is autism caused by? ›

Some genetic mutations seem to be inherited, while others occur spontaneously. Environmental factors. Researchers are currently exploring whether factors such as viral infections, medications or complications during pregnancy, or air pollutants play a role in triggering autism spectrum disorder.

Are you born with autism? ›

Autism is not an illness

It's something you're born with. Signs of autism might be noticed when you're very young, or not until you're older. If you're autistic, you're autistic your whole life. Autism is not a medical condition with treatments or a "cure".

What are the 5 main symptoms of autism? ›

Restricted or Repetitive Behaviors or Interests
  • Lines up toys or other objects and gets upset when order is changed.
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (called echolalia)
  • Plays with toys the same way every time.
  • Is focused on parts of objects (for example, wheels)
  • Gets upset by minor changes.
  • Has obsessive interests.

How old was Juliet in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

Juliette Lewis (Becky)

Before starring in Gilbert Grape, Juliette, 43, received an Oscar nomination for her role in the 1991 thriller, Cape Fear.

Are Leo and Johnny Depp friends? ›

He worked hard on that film and spent a lot of time researching. He came to set, and he was ready to work hard, and all his ducks were in a row.” Although we don't often see the two hanging out regularly, it seems as though Depp and DiCaprio have mutual respect as actors.

What year does What's Eating Gilbert Grape take place? ›

Is What's Eating Gilbert Grape on Netflix? ›

Watch What's Eating Gilbert Grape | Netflix.

How old was Rose when the Titanic sank? ›

However, the ship sunk on April 15, 1912, after hitting an iceberg. In Titanic, Rose is 17 years old and is a first-class passenger along with her mother Ruth (Frances Fisher) and her fiancé Cal Hockley (Billy Zane). Jack is an artist and a third-class passenger who won a ticket to board the ship in a poker match.

Are Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet still friends? ›

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have been besties since they costarred in the 1997 classic Titanic. However, Winslet revealed that she hadn't seen her costar since before the coronavirus pandemic first hit—and their recent reunion was super emotional.

How old was rose during Titanic? ›

Rose is a 17-year-old girl, originally from Philadelphia, who is forced into an engagement to 30-year-old Cal Hockley so she and her mother, Ruth, can maintain their high-class status after her father's death had left the family debt-ridden.

How does Gilbert's attitude change when Becky arrives? ›

Throughout the film, Gilbert's pessimistic outlook on life at the beginning evolves into a more opened and positive attitude. These changes occur when he meets Becky, who forces him to re-think and fight against his strong conscience that is not letting him move on.

How does Becky influence Gilbert? ›

She is the catalyst for Gilbert as she is the one who opens Gilbert's eyes to the world around him and influence him to taking action on getting what he wants. The director uses dialogue, camera shots, music and costume to help me understand Becky's character traits which I admire.…

What happened to Gilbert's dad? ›

Years ago, Gilbert's dad strolled casually down to the basement and hanged himself, leaving Gilbert (Johnny Depp) to take care of his grossly overweight mama (Darlene Cates), who hasn't left the house in seven years.

What was Gilbert Grape's mom name? ›

Darlene Cates, the actress best known for her role as Bonnie Grape in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, died Sunday morning. She was 69.

What is the story of What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

Did Leonardo DiCaprio win for What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

He played a mentally challenged boy Arnie Grape in the drama What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), a role that earned him nominations for a Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
...
List of awards and nominations received by Leonardo DiCaprio.
Awards and nominations
AwardWinsNominations
Totals
AACTA Awards24
Academy Awards17
44 more rows

Is Leonardo DiCaprio French? ›

Leonardo Wilhelm DiCaprio was born November 11, 1974 in Los Angeles, California, the only child of Irmelin DiCaprio (née Indenbirken) and former comic book artist George DiCaprio. His father is of Italian and German descent, and his mother, who is German-born, is of German and Russian ancestry.

How old was Johnny Depp in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio are two of the most popular and immensely talented actors of Hollywood. Both Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp worked with each other on the sets of What's Eating Gilbert Grape back in 1997 when they were merely 19 and 23 years old respectively.

What happened to Gilbert Grape's dad? ›

Years ago, Gilbert's dad strolled casually down to the basement and hanged himself, leaving Gilbert (Johnny Depp) to take care of his grossly overweight mama (Darlene Cates), who hasn't left the house in seven years.

What was Gilbert Grape's mom name? ›

Darlene Cates, the actress best known for her role as Bonnie Grape in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, died Sunday morning. She was 69.

Who is Becky in what Eating Gilbert Grape? ›

What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) - Juliette Lewis as Becky - IMDb.

Why did they burn the house in Gilbert Grape? ›

In an emotional final scene following Bonnie Grape's death, Gilbert has do burn the house down to retrieve his mother's body because he doesn't want the embarrassment of having a crane winch her out of a window.

How did DiCaprio prepare for Gilbert Grape? ›

Because his character in What's Eating Gilbert Grape had a mental disability, DiCaprio prepared for his role by visiting a home for kids with mental disabilities. While there, he took notes on each child's mannerisms.

How much did Darlene Cates weight at death? ›

She weighed more than 500 pounds and said she was struggling with suicidal thoughts at the time she appeared on a segment called “Too Heavy to Leave the House.”

What mental illness does Gilbert Grape have? ›

The movie depicts Hughes' struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Why did Gilbert's dad hung himself? ›

Gilbert never says that his father died 17 years ago. He said that his father was "hung out to dry 17 years ago", meaning he probably lost a business or a lot of money, and a few years later committed suicide, so he really is Ellen's father. Arnie is also pretty aware of his father's method of dying.

What happened to Gilbert Grapes mom? ›

NEW YORK (AP) — Darlene Cates, who played the housebound mother in the 1993 film What's Eating Gilbert Grape, has died. Cates died in her sleep Sunday morning at her home in Forney, Texas, according to her son-in-law, David Morgan. She was 69.

What happened to the fat lady in Gilbert Grape? ›

Darlene Cates, who played the morbidly obese housebound mother in the acclaimed 1993 film “What's Eating Gilbert Grape,” died on Sunday at her home in Forney, Tex. She was 69. David Morgan, her son-in-law, said she died in her sleep.

How old was Leonardo DiCaprio in Gilbert? ›

The performance of Leonardo DiCaprio received widespread critical acclaim and 19-year-old Dicaprio garnered his first nominations for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, becoming the seventh-youngest Best Supporting Actor nominee for the former.

How heavy was Bonnie Grape? ›

Darlene Cates shed 250 pounds (113kg) following a series of near-death experiences. She played bed-ridden Bonnie Grape in the '90s film and at the time weighed 575 pounds (261kg).

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