What's Eating Gilbert Grape
- 1 hr 58 min
What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a drama released in 1993 that stars Johnny Depp, Juliette Lewis, and Leonardo DiCaprio. Set in Endora, Iowa, this film is based on the 1991 novel by Peter Hedges, who also wrote the screenplay. The leading role of Gilbert Grape is played by Johnny Depp, whose character is the older brother of Arnie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio plays a mentally challenged teenager with a habit of getting into trouble if unsupervised, and Depp plays the responsible older sibling who takes on the job of caring for Arnie and their sisters Amy, played by Laura Harrington, and Ellen, played by Mary Kate Schellhardt. The Grape brood are the children of Bonnie, a morbidly obese woman who is so large she is incapable of leaving the house or caring for herself and her children. She suffers from severe depression after the suicide of her husband, so the three capable children take it upon themselves to cook, clean, and care for Arnie. Depp's character takes on the brunt of the care for Arnie, but this causes conflict since Gilbert Grape is still young and seeking freedom. In Gilbert's quest for a normal, unaffected life he involves himself in an affair with a married woman, which ends abruptly after a freak accident. Gilbert then begins a love affair with Juliette Lewis's character, Becky. His infatuation with Becky leads him to make questionable decisions regarding the care of Arnie, like leaving him to fend for himself in the bathtub to go visit Becky one night. The neglect of Arnie has dire consequences for Gilbert Grape and puts him under scrutiny by those closest to him. The movie follows the ups and downs of this character and the internal struggle he faces as he takes on the responsibility of caring for his family. Just as Gilbert learns his lesson about Arnie, more tragedy strikes the Grape family the night of Arnie's eighteenth birthday. What's Eating Gilbert Grape takes viewers on an emotional journey through the life of Gilbert Grape.