Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

What's Eating Gilbert Grape Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

A challenging look at the ups and downs of family.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie is more provocative thematically than others starring Depp and DiCaprio. There's bullying, disrespect, emotionally tense family scenes, and humiliation. There are some scary scenes of family fights, mostly with Gilbert's younger brother Arnie who is mentally challenged. References are made to Gilbert's father, who killed himself. Gilbert is involved with a married woman for part of the film, and there are some scenes with sexual content. Alcohol and drug use are at a minimum. The issue of tolerance is a main theme throughout the movie, centering around Arnie and Gilbert's mother, who's overweight. Scenes of townspeople taunting Arnie and Mrs. Grape could be upsetting.

  • Families can talk about how Gilbert becomes the breadwinner and caretaker for the family after his father's death. How much sacrifice does family demand? How can individuals meet their own needs when they need to take care of their families? Gilbert's family faces a lot of negative attention from the town, and he struggles to remain loyal. What qualities are worth loving? Is there love in the Grape family?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A main character engages in an affair with a married character, there are some difficult scenes of overweight and mentally challenged characters being teased.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Some slapping and shouting scenes involving a boy with autism.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Female/male romance, some kissing, some suggestion of oral sex.

  • language false3

    Language: A few bad words, said quietly but with a lot of anger.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Some fictionalized food vendors play a part in plot.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some beer drinking on screen, some smoking. There is a suggestion that a character uses food as a way of turning away from reality.