“What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, as directed by Lasse Hallstrom, is a
comedy, drama, romance, all wrapped up into one grand movie. Leonardo
DiCaprio plays a mentally impaired boy with a caring brother, who always
took care of his brother until the love of his life came to town, proposing the
essential question: What is a boy willing to sacrifice in order to be with the
one he loves?
Johnny Deep plays Gilbert Grape whose father left when he was little,
causing his mother to become depressed and never leave the house again.
Gilbert referees to her as a “beached whale” because she has gained so much
weight. One afternoon a silver camper had engine trouble, forcing them to
stay in town for a few weeks until it is fixed. During that time Gilbert has
fallen in love with the girl in the trailer, played by Juliette Lewis. Gilbert
becomes very irresponsible when it comes to his slow brother. He once left
Arnie(Johnny Depp) in the bath tub all night because he wanted to go visit the
girl. Arnie was then terrified of the water and refused to go back on ever
again. Another time was when Gilbert was in a deep conversation with the
girl (Ellen), and did not notice Arnie disappear. He ended -up climbing to the
top of the water tower and not coming down until the firefighters carried him
down. Their mother was very upset with Gilbert and asked, “Where has your
head been?” Gilbert head has been up in the clouds, with his love.
This movie, “What’s eating Gilbert Grape” is similar to the movie
“Rain Man”. In both movies they have mentally impaired bothers who need
certain treatment. These brothers didn’t always give it to them. In “Rain
Man”, Charlie abducted his brother, Raymond, from the only home he has
ever know. This wasn’t the proper kind of treatment that Raymond needed,
he was treated this way out of Charlies’ selfish reasons. Gilbert also had
selfish reasons for treating Arnie the way he did. This reason was his love for
a girl, named Ellen.
Near the end of the movie, Gilbert had a chance to help them fix the
trailer, but I find it ironic that he couldn’t get it fixed. I feel that he just want
Ellen to stay longer with him, but the trailer was repaired later and Ellen had
to leave town, not wanting to though. I feel that this was only for the best
because Arnie needed more attention then he was getting. He could of gotten
hurt when he disappeared, and Arnie may not be around much longer, he was
only suppose to live to be ten, he is eighteen now. Gilbert needs to
concentrate on his brother, and if he does want love, he will need to be more