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What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Cast
Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen
Released
1993
Spoiler alert
Spoiler alert!
Blog entry

Gilbert's 17-year-old younger brother Arnie appears at the beginning of the film. Although he is never diagnosed his behavior suggests mental retardation. Are there other possibilities? (0:00)

Gilbert says about his brother, "Doctors say he could go anytime." But what could kill him? (0:03)

We discover Gilberts mother Bonnie is morbidly obese. (0:04)

Among other psychopathology Arnie copies the words of others (echolalia, echophilia) and repeats the words multiple times (palilalia, perseveration, verbigeration): He repeats the word "disappear," mimicking Bonnie's talk. (0:15) He displays rocking movements. (0:25) After Gilbert says, "Dad's dead." Arnie repeats the words and escalates to loss of control. (0:26) Arnie repeats, "We're not going anywhere." (0:36) While bathing Arnie, Gilbert says, "You're such a big boy." Arnie repeats "big boy" over and over. (0:43)

Arnie displays inappropriate affect: laughing with Gilbert. (0:19); laughing after Mr. Carver is found. (0:56)

Burial of Kenneth Carver. While at the cemetery Arnie plays next to the tombstone of his father, Albert. (1:10)

Betty Carver accurately observes Gilbert's role of "taking care of everybody else, forgetting all about you." Might we label him codependent? (1:13)

After striking Arnie in a fit of rage Gilbert tries to leave but fails. (1:23)

Arnie cannot arouse Bonnie. (1:44)

All the children gather in a room with Bonnie to grieve the loss of their mother. (1:46)

Do you  see similarities between Arnie and Charlie in The Black Balloon?

Reference in The Nutty Professor (1996)