WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE is a movie popular with the critics.
Johnny Depp stars as the son of a 600 pound mother (Darlene Cates). He
has two sisters (Laura Harrington and Mary Kate Schellhardt) plus an 18
year old brother (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is retarded and spends most of
his time climbing the local water tower thereby bothering the police.
Also in it are Juliette Lewis as the girlfriend and Mary Steenburgen
terribly miscast as a married woman with whom Depp is having an affair.
First, the good part. There is a 20 second clip of an
architecturally interesting courthouse. The rest of the show is either
boring or unbearably depressing. The first 60 minutes of the show took
at least 3 hours. If I had been by myself, I would have walked out
after 30 minutes tops. I felt the movie actually get worse as it went
Let me see if it is possible to chronicle some of the things I
hated about this movie. Depp slept through it. [Wish I had!] He was
clearly under heavy sedation at all times. He reminded the audience
again and again about how lovely his mother used to be before she got
to be a "beached whale" as he described her. He would take the local
kids over to see his mother from a window like a barker at a side show.
What a great kid!
A lot of the movie was devoted to the boy with a body of an 18
year old but the mind of a 3 year old and whether he would live to see
his next birthday. The way it was handled ranged from fairly
depressing to very depressing.
I did not care about any of the characters and got to hoping for a
swarm of locus to sweep the plains and kill them all off so we could
get a fresh set of actors. Sad to report that no such swarm appeared.
WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE runs an exhausting 1:58 due to sloppy
editing by Andrew Mondshein. It is rated PG-13. For an excellent job
of acting by DiCaprio I generously award the show one half of a star,
give it a big thumbs down. People who suffering from depression should
have their medication close by if they do decide to see it.
Copyright © 1994 Steve Rhodes