What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Still of Johnny Depp and Juliette Lewis in What's Eating Gilbert GrapeStill of Johnny Depp in What's Eating Gilbert GrapeStill of Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Darlene Cates in What's Eating Gilbert GrapeStill of Johnny Depp and Darlene Cates in What's Eating Gilbert GrapeStill of Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape


Gilbert has to care for his brother Arnie and his obese mother, which gets in the way when love walks into his life.

Release Year: 1993

Rating: 7.7/10 (76,055 voted)

Lasse Hallström

Stars: Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis

What's Eating Gibert Grape is a beautifully shot movie of tenderness, caring and self-awareness that is set amongst the fictional working class one street town Endora. Centred around the Grape family Ellen and Amy and their two brothers Arnie and Gilbert, who, along with their morbidly obese widowed mother Bonnie Grape are striving to survive and coexist with the absence of a father figure, low wage work and seventeen-year-old Arnie's severe mental condition. It is in this awkward and extremely one sided affair that the unfortunate Gilbert has to constantly, while working for the town's slowly dying Convenience Store, take care of his younger brother Arnie. Gilbert's life, his future, is thwarted he know this, but it is in this Guardian Angel that his love and bond for Arnie cannot, and will not, be let go. That is until the free spirit of Becky arrives in town, and with her grandmother are stranded for the week while waiting for parts for their vehicle…

Writers: Peter Hedges, Peter Hedges


Johnny Depp

Gilbert Grape

Leonardo DiCaprio

Arnie Grape

Juliette Lewis


Mary Steenburgen

Betty Carver

Darlene Cates

Bonnie Grape

Laura Harrington

Amy Grape

Mary Kate Schellhardt

Ellen Grape

Kevin Tighe

Ken Carver

John C. Reilly

Tucker Van Dyke

Crispin Glover

Bobby McBurney

Penelope Branning

Becky's Grandma

Tim Green

Mr. Lamson

Susan Loughran

Mrs. Lamson

Robert B. Hedges


Mark Jordan

Todd Carver

An unusual story of life…and love in the heartland.

Release Date: 25 December 1993

Filming Locations: Austin, Texas, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $11,000,000


Gross: $9,170,214

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Johnny Depp wanted to play Gilbert as someone who seems constantly half asleep/half awake. Someone numb to the peculiarities in his life. Juliette Lewis completely agreed with his interpretation of the character. Even still, Depp worried he was boring by playing Gilbert so mildly. Lasse Hallström however agreed with Lewis, and thought that Depp nailed the part.


The total changes on the cash register in the grocery store scene between Gilbert and Betty even though he does not enter any items during their conversation.


Why will I take care of it?



'Cause you're Gilbert.

'Cause I'm Gilbert.

User Review

can you believe Leo is not brain damaged?!

Rating: 9/10

As many have said, the first time I saw this slice of "unusual" life
film, I was certain that the actor playing Arnie was mentally
handicapped. This was the performance to end all. I have been around
mentally challenged people who were the carbon copy of the character
that Leonardo portrayed. I do no think that anyone else could have
pulled this off without looking ridiculous. Our protagonist, Mr. Johnny
Depp did his usual amazing work, but it is the performance by Leo that
makes this film a must see. I just saw it again tonight, and was blown
away again. Acting schools must have copies of this in their files!!
Will always be a Leo fan for this one film alone.