What 's Eating Gilbert Grape

1541 Words Nov 30th, 2016 7 Pages
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is a 1993 American drama film written by Peter Hedges and directed by Lasse Hallstrom. The film’s main characters are Johnny Depp as Gilbert Grape and Leonardo DiCaprio as Arnie Grape. The film depicts the burden of family caretaking and the affect it has on a family both mentally, physically, and financially. Gilbert is the primary caregiver for his mentally and developmentally disabled seventeen-year-old brother Arnie (who has the mental capacity of a young child), his morbidly obese mother Bonnie, known as Mama, and his two sisters Amy and Ellen. Amy, the oldest daughter, shares most of the household chores with Gilbert and helps with Arnie’s care. She plays the mother figure role for Arnie even though Arnie’s mother is alive. Ellen, the youngest daughter, is very negative in her feelings toward her family. She doesn’t help much with the family because she is busy being a teenage girl.
The movie takes place in the fictional small Midwestern town of Endora, Iowa. Gilbert says in the film’s opening voiceover, “Describing Endora is like dancing to no music...nothing much happens here, and never will,” In one of the scenes, we understand that the father could not handle the pressures of life so he committed suicide 15 years earlier by hanging himself in the basement. Gilbert is concerned about the condition of the farmhouse so he calls his friend Tucker so they can check the stability of the floor by going into the basement. They bring in some…
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