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What's Eating Gilbert Grape?



What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
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At the suggestion of an Email buddy and fellow movie fan, I rented What's Eating Gilbert Grape? to watch a much younger Leonardo DiCaprio's performance. Despite his young age, it was every bit as convincing as his more recent roles in Titanic and Marvin's Room.

DiCaprio isn't the main star in this movie - he plays Arnie, the retarded younger brother of - who else- Gilbert Grape, our sulky main character. Gilbert's father died several years earlier and his extremely overweight mother hasn't left the house since. It's basically up to Gilbert to put food on the table for Arnie, and their two sisters, so he works bagging groceries and making deliveries. This enables him to keep up a relationship with an older, married woman who calls for a food delivery when her husband is gone and she wants to see Gilbert. Meanwhile, Gilbert becomes interested in a girl his own age who is just passing through their small town. While juggling these two relationships, and his job, Gilbert has to occasionally call Arnie down from the water tower that Arnie is always attempting to climb.

This movie reminds me a little of Ulee's Gold and As Good as it Gets, in that it employs no special effects, little green men, or other hype to be entertaining; it's just a down-to-earth, engaging story. Although it gets a bit slow in a few places, it's hardly noticeable enough to ruin the movie which remains highly entertaining.

My Rating = Three Stars

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