Benny & Joon (1993)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Johnny Depp was nominated for a Golden Globe for his astonishing performance in Benny & Joon, though the entire cast is equally impressive. Benny (Aidan Quinn) runs a small car repair shop. He must also take care of his mentally ill sister Juniper, better known as Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson). After losing a bet, Benny is forced to bring another eccentric into his house: Sam (Johnny Depp), the cousin of a friend. Not inclined to conversation, Sam expresses himself by performing Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton routines (and brilliantly!) Not surprisingly, he immediately hits it off with Joon. As Sam and Joon fall deeper in love, Benny for the first time in life experiences the pangs of jealousy. As can be gathered by this synopsis, Benny and Joon may not strike responsive chord with everyone; those who like the film, however, are almost militant in their devotion. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Rating:
PG-13
Genre:
Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
MGM Home Entertainment

Cast

Aidan Quinn
as Benny Pearl
CCH Pounder
as Dr. Garvey
Dan Hedaya
as Thomas
William H. Macy
as Randy Burch
Eileen Ryan
as Mrs. Small
Don Hamilton
as UPS Man
Waldo Larson
as Walter
Leslie Laursen
as Admitting Nurse
Faye Killebrew
as Video Customer
Irvin Johnson
as Orderly
Shane Nilsson
as Orderly
Ramsin Amirkhas
as Video Clerk
Lynette Walden
as Female Customer
Brian Keevy
as Young Benny
Noon Orsatti
as Patron
Dan Kamin
as Patron
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Critic Reviews for Benny & Joon

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (10)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

As the outsider who courts the mentally ill Mary Stuart Masterson, Johnny Depp renders a startling performance that elevates the romantic fable way above its writing and directing shortcomings; look for the young Julianne Moore in a small part.

Full Review… | April 8, 2006
Variety
Top Critic

It's acted out in the secondary emotional register of the glass menagerie: whimsical, delicate, idiosyncratic, barmy.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Mr. Depp may look nothing like Buster Keaton, but there are times when he genuinely seems to become the Great Stone Face, bringing Keaton's mannerisms sweetly and magically to life.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

The cast is defeated by a cloying Barry Berman script that Jeremiah Chechik directs with the same flair for the obvious he brought to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

Benny & Joon tries to get by on quirkiness alone, and, while something this offbeat frequently carries a unique kind of appeal, it needs stronger characters than Sam and Joon.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
ReelViews
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Benny & Joon

½

quirky, touching, funny, heartfelt, sentimental, sweet, whimsical, and uplifting. All of these words are the perfect ones to use when describing this very likable, brilliantly acted, and charming movie. The performances all around are unbelievably amazing, and the supporting cast (which is also to be commended), are just as great as the main cast. The plot follows a small-town car repair shop owner who is trying to live a normal life. This isn't easy since he's got to take care of his mentally ill sister, Things get more complicated when, after losing a bet, he has to take in the eccentric cousin of one of his friends as a roommate. The film may be a tad too sappy and whimsical at times, but honestly, it's hard to really hate this film. The main performances are great, there's numerous appearances by several well known actors, and the film just makes you feel really good. Give it a look. It's a real gem.

Chris Weber
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

½

Fun and delightful odd-ball comedy, featuring the always brilliant Johnny Depp, whose character in this story is no less memorable than all those he has come to play after this movie was made. And with "If I could walk 500 miles" as both the intro and outro song, you just can't go wrong.

Mike S
Mike S

Super Reviewer

½

Joon: Don't underestimate the mentally ill. We know how to count.  Benny and Joon is basically a light comedy that turns into a drama in the last  third. It's an odd movie to say the least and the actors really pulled their characters off well. I like that the movie didn't over exaggerate the mental disability of Joon. She speaks normal and seems for the most part normal; that is until she's standing in the middle of the street, with a snorkeling mask on and holding a ping pong paddle, while stopping traffic from moving. But hey, no ones perfect. Joon is played really well by Mary Stuart Masterson. Her character is a mentally ill and very quirky girl who is taken care of by her brother Benny(Aiden Quinn). Benny's life, for the most part, is totally controlled by his sister. He has to watch her every move and when he isn't with her; he has to worry about what she is doing. Thats how is life is until Sam comes to live with them after Joon losses a pot at poker. Sam is played by the always great Johnny Depp, who is as good as ever here. He plays another character who is very whimsical and seems a little more mentally ill then Joon. He loves old movies and walks around like he's Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin. While I don't consider this movie to be spectacular, it is a pretty good romantic comedy. In the end it turns out to be quite touching, something that the romantic comedies of today lack. This isn't a straight romantic comedy though, as it doesn't just focus on the love life between Joon and Sam, but also on the love between a brother and a sister. Benny and Joon is a good watch for sure.

Melvin White
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

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