Whats Eating Gilbert Grape? – Filtered

Theatrical Release: December 17, 1993
DVD Release: September 13, 2002


Gilbert Grape lives in Endora, a place where nothing much happens. The only times the police have something to do is when Gilbert’s autistic brother Arnie tries to climb up on the watertower nearby. Taking care of Arnie is mostly Gilbert’s task which can be pretty demanding, at least while working at the local grocery store. Then one day Becky and her grandmother passes through Endora and have trouble with the car. Gilbert falls in love with Becky, but the problems increase when he tries to find time for his own private life.

Dove Review

Gilbert Grape lives in Endora where nothing ever happens and no one ever goes anywhere. He is struggling with his longing for freedom while he cares for his two sisters, his autistic brother (Arnie) and his morbidly obese mother. His mom is the joke of the town and Gilbert doesn’t hesitate to make rude comments and jokes nor does he stop anyone else from doing the same. But everything changes for Gilbert when Becky and her grandma break down in Endora and are forced to wait for a part to arrive for their truck. Becky is unusual as she sees people differently- she looks at who a person is inside with little regard for the outside. Through his growing relationship with her, Gilbert learns to open himself up, to share emotions he has buried and most of all, to respect and honor his mother for who she really is. I thought that this was a really great film. The worst of the language is a “geez.” It teaches a life truth that all people are special and valuable no matter how they may appear on the outside and that everyone has feelings, no matter how deeply buried. I also thought that Leonardo DiCaprio did a fantastic job playing Arnie (who is autistic).The one thing to be aware of in the movie is that Gilbert has an implied affair with a married woman which he eventually ends. Thumbs up to “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?”

Content Description

Faith: None
Violence: Gilbert slaps his brother and pushes him to the ground.
Sex: A fully dressed Gilbert kisses a married woman, and he kisses Becky three times. Gilbert and Becky fall asleep on a blanket outside and wake up together.
Language: None.
Violence: Gilbert slaps his brother and pushes him to the ground.
Drugs: A woman smokes.
Nudity: a boy in bathtub- you only see his chest and legs.
Other: None.


Company: Paramount
Writer: Peter Hedges
Producer: David Matalon
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 118 min.
Reviewer: Sarah Bennor