The World According to Garp - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The World According to Garp Reviews

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½ December 29, 2015
One of the weirdest plots of a movie I've ever seen. It's a book, not a movie
December 5, 2015
A larger-than-life tale of a man who seemed to be 'coming-of-age' his whole life. Unusual, iconic characters pepper this man's relationships while he seems to have an erectile fixation. Perhaps the book was much better. This film does have excellent cinematography, editing, and the occasional turn of a phrase.
Super Reviewer
½ August 31, 2015
Improbably giving audiences John Irving's World-view without throwing the baby out with the bath water, this adaptation According-ly keeps the eccentric zaniness and melancholy of the source material while providing a stage for a some young soon-to-be-film-stars to shine. This slipshod digest of Irving's sprawling career-defining 1978 novel somehow manages an impossible feat: condensing themes of love, sex, violence, and death into a humorous concoction that goes down despite the bizarre texture. Like so many great works of American literature, Garp isn't an ideal choice for motion picture material simply because the scope of the tome goes far beyond the reach of a screen. Consider the fact that Garp gets conceived when his mother rapes a dying airman or the girl who has her tongue cut out by her rapists or countless Irving-isms that get worked into the fray (wrestling, bears, gender roles). Taken on their own, any one of these themes may seem off-putting but, taken together, the whole she-bang might seem like a lesson in lunacy without Irving's winning prose to frame it all. Someway somehow, the sorrow and sanguine make for a somewhat enjoyable - but highly oft-kilter - filmgoing experience.

For the first time on Blu-Ray: In this R-rated dramedy based on the John Irving novel, T.S. Garp (Williams) tries to establish himself as a "serious" writer while living a life of adventure in the shadow of his domineering mother Jenny (Glenn Close), who writes a feminist manifesto at an opportune time and finds herself as a magnet for all manner of distressed women.

Trying to break away from the sitcom shtick of Mork & Mindy, Robin Williams succeeds wonderfully as the title character, giving gravitas to an odd bird and foreshadowing the more serious career to come (The Fisher King, Good Will Hunting). Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid and The Sting director George Roy Hill, meanwhile, makes the madness serviceable as entertainment. As faithful as possible, this filmic World isn't as approachable as Irving's Cider House Rules but it's never less than absolutely fascinating.

Bottom line: Cider House Ruse
April 16, 2015
John Irving is just the worst.
February 22, 2015
One of, if not my favorite flick of all time. At the time controversial, cutting edge and touching. It goes from funny to sad over and over and tells many small stories in one man's life. I love it!
December 7, 2014
Boasting Robin Williams in the lead and Academy Award nominated performances from Glenn Close and John Lithgow, The World According to Garp sounded like an interesting comedy-drama.

The World According to Garp has a very odd story to it. It has legitimate dramatic themes to it but it is full of strange humour, ranging from sight gags to use of crude language. It is spread out sporadically over the film, but at times it is difficult to be sure whether it is comedy or drama. The World According to Garp is weird because it has a serious story to tell, but it's hard to determine wheteher it is supposed to be a comedy or a life story of someone. The comedy fo the film is seriously dark, and it interferes with the fact that the film seems to be a dramatic one at heart. The tone in the film feels rather inconsistent in this sense which makes the experience somewhat shaky. Some people may find it quirky, but I found it emotionally distant. The film has interesting themes, but it doesn't have much of a story. Because of this, the more faulty elements of the film become more prevalent. The entire feature is an odd one because it is a large story which is told over an extensive running time of 136 minutes, and yet it is not really that involving. The themes in the film are very complex which require a lot of thought, but underneath them is not much of a story. The tale is a prolongued view of the titular T.S. Garp's view on life growing up in his mother's shadow and living through the 1960's and it shows him dealing with many experiences, but the actual development of everything is not there. The story goes in all different directions without ever transitioning betwen them, rather cutting from one scene to another at an inconsistent pace which fails to give viewers the right amount of time to take everything in or adapt to the new situations which is strange considering that the film's pace is actually fairly slow. As a whole, the film just comes up short in story even if the screenplay provides a variety of interesting situations to the tale.
Since the themes were so dramatically complex, I found it hard to laugh at the intended comic elements of the film. It was such an odd feature, and although it had the best intentions and some good ambitions, the story just never really came together. By the end of the entire film, I really had no idea what to say. The feature was so strange that its overall message got confusing, and when I tried to figure out what the film was saying as a whole, I came up blank. George Roy Hill deserves props for trying to bring the spirit into the film and for implementing in a strong visual style which illuminates the colour of all the scenery, but the material itself is just not up to par.
The World According to Garp deals with complex themes such as both female on male rape and transsexuality at a time long before they were topics found so common in contemporary social circles. Despite the story being rather lacking, the themes in the film seem really ahead of their time. The World According to Garp is one of the earliest films to touch upon female-on-male rape. Unlike films from today, it is not played off in a comic sense. The moment where it is refealed proves to be serious and dramatic, and as the character perpetrating the crime is a feminist. The World Accoding to Garp makes an interesting character out of Jenny Fields because she helps empower women during a hard time and offers victims of abuse a house of safety. Yet at the same time, she is both a manipulative mother and a rapist. She serves as a feminist figure who is both positive and negative, taking an interesting look at. The film takes a complex look at the women's rights movement, while also taking a sympathetic look at the transgender community by implementing in the character Roberta Muldoon. She is a very likable one, and she is played off into the film in a very casual manner without being the subject of much taboo or strict comic relief. She is relevant to the story and interesting as a person, and considering that our contemporary society has made a lot of progress in encouraging seeing transsexuality as acceptable, it is great to look back at this film and see that it was making an attempt to do that more than three decades ago. Parts of the film are ahead of its time, even if as a whole it is rather lacking.
I will admit that the performances of the cast do make the film worth seeing.
Robin Williams' leading performance in The World According to Garp is just brilliant. Despite the presence of minor comic elements in the film, Robin Williams never goes back on the dramatic nature of the feature and keeps himself consistent. The World According to Garp features one of his first dramatic performances which actually never goes back on his trademark comic persona at all. He is in tune with the nature of the film perfectly, peforming with the ideal dramatic spirit which makes him seriously intense at some of the most hard hitting moments in the film. Robin Williams is thoroughly impressive in The World According to Garp because he hits a dramatic high which was uncommon of him prior to this film. The World According to Garp is a breakthrough for the great actor, a chance for audiences to see his dramatic talents in top form where his line delivery is brutally firm and his energy is spot on. You can tell that he is invested in the material, and he takes the opportunity very well.
Glenn Close does her part well. Capturing a strong sense of determination in her part, Glenn Close is able to fill the role of Jenny Fields with some strong acting passion. She always maintains a sense of determined professionalism in the role, staying true to her cause and sharing a powerful chemistry with Robin Wiliams. She always takes the material with a strong approach and tackles it with such easy charisma that it lights up the long career of Academy Award nominated performances that would follow. Glenn Close makes a strong presence in The World According to Garp and works alongside Robin Williams incredibly well.
John Lithgow alo makes a great character. While his relevance to the story is not that big, he portrays an important character in the sense that he is playing a transgender woman. She is a thoroughly likable character who is easily accepted by the other characters, and so it is not a challenge for viewers to do the same thing. John Lithgow puts himself out there and performs with such an easy energetic spirit. There is little emphasis on the gender of Roberta Muldoon which is great because her gender is not important, who she is as a person is. And her interactions with T.S. Garp manage to provide some effective moments in the film. John Lithgow is great in The World According to Garp, and for such a different role, it is awesome to see him taking on the part.

So The World According to Garp has some interesting themes and brilliant performances, especially the leading effort of Robin Williams, but it is buried underneath an unfocused and long story which stretches the premise over a long running time full of inconsistent storytelling.
½ October 1, 2014
First time I watched this since it came out in 82' and a bit preachy but entertaining....just alot going on[too much].Also 1st movie since Williams death and I miss my old friend even though I never met him.
Super Reviewer
September 10, 2014
A very strange and unabashed tale of the eccentric, John Irving's novel of the same name has been adapted into the story of T.S. Garp, a man whose life has never been normal. Raised by a nurse who raped a dying soldier, and works in a boys' dormitory, Garp finds his footing amongst writers, falls in love, and has an entire lifetime of adventures along the way. This film is bigger than life and contains strange incidents that make up Garp's life, including marital stress, death, assassination, heartbreak, and a gaggle of Ellen James' admirers. Supported in his life is his professor wife (Hurt), children, transsexual friend Roberta (Lithgow), mother, and other friends. The story is very strange, and by the end you will think so too, and yet it's also exquisite in its weirdness, its ability to shift and change as it adapts to new characters, new challenges, and new ways of thinking. It's simply a beautiful film that feels like a novel in poetic repose.
September 9, 2014
It's been years since I've seen this movie, and it's still a great movie. Robin Williams gives a great performance in this dramedy about life, love, family, childhood crush, loss, death, and redemption. I have the actual novel (by John Irving) the movie is based on. This is my idea of a classic.
September 6, 2014
"Wow" is almost all I can say at this point, having just finished watching it. I knew Robin Williams was a great actor, but this has to be the best dramatic role I've ever seen him in so far (keeping in mind that I haven't seen quite a few of his dramatic roles yet). He lays his emotions bare as T.S. Garp, the "bastard son" of Jenny Fields. The film is quite an emotional roller coaster, taking you from laughter, to shock and tears at various points throughout the long, but never dragging, narrative. It basically the entire life of Garp squeezed into about 130 minutes, consisting of snapshots and various episodes that he experiences as he gets older. His mother Jenny, played by Glenn Close (in her film debut) with motherly tenderness and wisdom, was also highly impressive. Even though it's Garp's story, his mother plays an integral part in shaping his worldview, which is unique to say the least. There's so many great moments in this film, that it's impossible to pick just one. Although, there is a couple scenes towards the end that were particularly poignant in the wake of Robin Williams' untimely death. I'm not afraid to admit that I cried a couple of times. There was even some of the relationship drama that struck a chord with me due to recent events in my own life that I'm still getting over. In short, I think this is one of the best films I've ever seen in my life, and is certain to be one of my favorites in years to come. On a side note, John Lithgow has a outstanding supporting turn as a trans-woman named Roberta. While Jared Leto might have done an excellent job in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, Lithgow did it first and better in my opinion. There's also a small cameo by Amanda Plummer, in what was probably one of her first roles. So, it is with no hesitations that I can wholeheartedly recommend this film. It is honest, unpretentious and sentimental without being sappy (for the most part). A must-see for Robin Williams fans and cinephiles in general.
August 20, 2014
Watched this in honor of Robin Williams, but I'm not sure what to make of it. The performances were strong, but the story was just weird. I didn't get it.

Grade: C
August 16, 2014
My personal favourite Robin Williams movie, while everyone is on the topic
½ August 14, 2014
I enjoyed Garp, the character, but the movie was a little confusing especially trying to find solid themes. My overall dissapointment may have stemmed from my high expectations for the movie which ended up leaving me more puzzled than satisfied. Overall the story seems like a run-on sentence with the point of the movie being scattered and reckless. It's almost as if its constantly about to present the meaning of the film but squanders it quickly into a new introduction of scene and characters. Basically, a film with potential but lacks focus to have any significance.
½ August 14, 2014
Robin Williams stars in his second major movie, The World According to Garp. Adapted from the John Irving novel of the same name, this movie also introduces Robin as a dramedy actor. His portrayal as T.S. Garp is truly captivating, effective, and inspiring. As far as the rest of the movie goes, it's an odd, humorous, poignant story that comes with many inspirational quotes and takes on human life. It also contains some very surprising performances (John Lithgow as a transgender, Glenn Close in her first movie).
August 12, 2014
This has got to be the absolute best, most excellent thing Robin Williams has done. At times I've both marveled at Robin's talent both comedic and dramatic ( he's the best comic who can both..he totally kicks Carrey's ass in this department, and will probably always be the best at this..unless, Sandler has a deep connection to drama that he's always kept hidden from some strange reason), and bemoaned some of the things he's done, wondering why he'd waste on his considerable skills on such lesser works. But once I saw this film, it was only a reminder of how truly brilliant Mr. Williams can be. He truly is Garp, there's no touches of his improvisational comedy like in Dead Poets or Good Will Hunting.

He's tragic, shy, goofy and heroic all in one, which is incredible, especially the shyness aspect, as it's been portrayed by the one most outspokenly outrageous people on the planet. But this film is more than just a showcase for Mr. Williams skills, the story cooked up by John Irving is just insane, and has to be seen to be believed.
August 11, 2014
In memory of Robin Williams, watching my favorite film he starred in (also happened to be one of his first).
½ July 24, 2014
(First and only viewing - 3/9/2010)
½ July 21, 2014
Drama you wouldn't have expected from Robin Williams. Well written, entertaining.
January 27, 2014
Storytelling at its finest.
½ January 26, 2014
one of those pix where the book was way better than the film adaption
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