The One Line Summary: The eldest son of a troubled family fights to cope with a morbidly obese mother, a mentally handicapped little brother and a girl who has just come into town and got him thinking about leaving it all.
The Two-Line Blurb: Much of what people remember is the outstanding performance of a very young Leonardo DiCaprio, but it is the amazing work of Darlene Cates that deserves equal praise. When someone walking up a flight of stairs can nearly put in you tears, this is something special.
The Three-Line Set-up: When Gilbert reached his breaking point, he took off, just as his father had done years before. When he comes comes back, it’s an emotional moment for his mother. No one ever comes back.
The Four-Line Moment: Johnny Depp is not the oddball for once and plays a quiet, down-to-earth young man torn between the obligations of a family he was born into and the desire to live a life far from home. His mother has been the source of much embarrassment, amusement, fear, and even pride for Gilbert. The taste of freedom was sour though, and he knows his place is with his family. Her tender and deeply personal confession is a highlight of the film.
The Five-Word Review: I’m gonna need a hanky.