Benny & Joon Reviews
Performances are good all around, and this is my all-time favorite Johnny Depp character. He started out slightly annoying and grew on me, until I really wanted things to work out between Sam and Joon.
The ending is not as happy as I would have liked and yet, it works and is beautiful, because Sam demonstrates a love toward Joon that is hopeful, non judgmental, and perservering, the kind of love spoken of in First Corinthians 13.
As a Johnny Depp fan, I was interested to read that his former partner of 14 years wrote about him: "He is a sensitive, loving and loved person", even though their relationship had ended.
Some people bring out the best in each other, don't they? Even if things don't ultimately last a lifetime. If we could all be so lucky that our loved ones and even former long term partners would say something so nice about us.
The story focuses on a brother named Benny (Aidan Quinn) and a sister named Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson) living together after their parents died in a car crash. Joon is a mentally challenged individual that Benny must maintain constant control unless something terrible happens. One night, during a poker game, Joon looses and as part of a deal, she and Benny must take care of a quirky individual named Sam (Johnny Depp) Sam is an interesting person who soon takes interest in Joon, and has a passion for cinema; more specifically, silent cinema. Together, the three must face reality while also having a little laugh along the way.
"Benny & Joon" is a nice little fable to watch. The story itself is unique and original as it offers new ways that the audience For instance, the relationship between Benny and Joon creates good conflict in a way that a brother and sister would react to. The introduction of Sam gives the story an uplifting tone, and creates good humor to go along with it. Jeremiah Chechick did a great job at directing the movie as well as the motion for Depp's slapstick. Rachel Portman did the score for the film, and she made a nice balance between comedy and drama. The acting is great as every performer, including ones in supporting roles like Oliver Platt and William H. Macy, deliver fine performances with the roles they are given. Even Johnny Depp, who, at the time, was relatively unknown before becoming a huge celebrity. Here, he mimics the silent stars of the past very well, and hopes to inspire others to check out their work. This contributes to the rest of the production as the setting looks and sounds nice. In total, the film looks and sounds great.
However, there is one major problem with the movie that cannot be overlooked. And that is that the film takes itself very seriously. While it is nice to mix comedy and drama together, here, it mostly focuses on the more dramatic elements, which is okay, but it kind of drags the movie along it's hour and a half run time. If there had been a bit more comedy, then the movie would have had a nice balance between the two genre's.
In conclusion, "Benny & Joon" is definitely no masterpiece, but it is entertaining and fun enough to have one of its characters imitate comedic geniuses.