What's Eating Gilbert Grape Movie Review Summary

Actors: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) lives in a small town called Endora. Nothing ever happens there. The only thing they have to look forward to is the annual pilgrimage of travel trailers that comes to their town to camp and go fishing nearby.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The Grape family consists of Momma, two sisters, Gilbert, and his mentally challenged brother Arnie, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Taking care of Arnie has largely fallen to Gilbert, while Momma who was grown to huge proportions can't get up off the couch. The two girls are too self-absorbed to help.

The rest of the story winds around Gilbert's struggles to keep his brother out of trouble, the family's planning for Arnie's 18th birthday, and Gilbert's yearn to find a girl. When he starts to abandon his responsibilities toward his brother in order to pursue the girl (Juliette Lewis), his brother gets into trouble every time. His favorite prank is to climb to the top of the city's water tower, bringing out the police, firemen, and the whole town to watch the spectacle. If they're not gawking at Arnie, they're gawking at Momma, who is huge. The three story lines nicely tie together by the end when Arnie is out of trouble long enough to attend his own birthday party and Gilbert finds the girl. Leonardo DiCaprio received an Oscar nomination for his role as a mentally challenged boy, and he played it very convincingly.
The review of this Movie prepared by BethG

Script Analysis of What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Family, caring for sick?    -   Yes Who is sick?    -   Brother because he/she is    -   mentally ill

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   touching of personal anatomy Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like What's Eating Gilbert Grape

What's Eating Gilbert Grape Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian