Benny And Joon [DVD] 
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Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson) is a mentally-disturbed young woman who spends her time painting. She lives with her over-protective brother Benny (Aidan Quinn), who cares for her while ignoring his own needs. One day Sam (a Buster Keaton-impersonating Johnny Depp) enters their lives and falls in love with Joon. Suddenly forced to compete with another for his sister's attentions, Benny is also faced with the dilemma of whether to send Joon into residential care.
Longing for a romantic Hollywood film that will make your heart leap but not have you reaching for the sick bucket? Try Benny & Joon. Few mainstream US films manage to walk the thin line between emotion and schmaltz, but here is one film that pulls it off admirably. In the wrong hands the concept of marrying love and mental illness could have been a disaster but, as with the low-budget British film Some Voices, Benny & Joon manages to extract genuine humour and warmth from the subject. As the brother and sister of the title, the relationship between Aidan Quinn and Mary Stuart Masterson is central to the story, Benny desperately trying to keep home and job together while looking after the sick Joon. Their lives take an unexpected turn with the arrival of Sam, a brilliantly comic turn by Johnny Depp, as gradually the characters learn that the happiness that all thought beyond them is within their grasp. Depp adds yet another character to his liturgy of slightly odd outsiders but plays it with such panache, this time drawing heavily on Buster Keaton, that you cannot help but fall for him. Indeed, there is not a single character here that you would not wish well.
On the DVD: The usual scene selection and a very clear audio track, given the film's musical moments a huge boost. Few will probably be able to resist The Proclaimers' "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles" which opens the film. Excellent picture quality too. --Phil Udell
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Top Customer Reviews
This film touched my heart and the hearts of those who I have shared it with. I love this film so much that Benny, Joon and Sam will forever be in my heart.
Mary Stuart Masterson is Joon, the "mentally ill" sister of Benny (Aidan Quinn). Their parents are unfortunatlely deceased and Benny has spent the majority of his life caring for Joon, never really having the time to make a life for himself. Cue Sam (beautifully played by Johnny Depp) who Joon "wins" when she loses in a game of poker... but never has there been a losing hand at poker that has had such an amazing impact on someones life.
Sam... the oddball (who has traces of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton about him) sees the world through innocent eyes and is perfect for Joon, he sees past her condition and finds his way into her heart through his caring and quirky nature. This film takes you on the journey of a romance that is pure and unblinkered by what society expects of people... it's able to open your eyes and show you a twinkle of hope that love is still untainted and still able to sweep you off of your feet.
It's moving... heart wrenching even, but perfectly intwined with all the sweetness and innocence that a lot of movies of today lack. Benny and Joon never fails to put a smile on my face and I genuinely have fallen in love with the character Sam...
Mary Stuart Masterson plays Joon, a young woman with a mental illness that is never clearly delineated - she's been known to start little fires, she sometimes hears voices in her head, and there is a somewhat childlike character to her nature. Aidan Quinn plays her brother Benny, a truly good guy who puts his sister's needs ahead of his own - even if it means turning down dinner with a hot chick. The siblings are approaching a crossroads, though - Joon has just run off another housekeeper, Benny can't find anyone to stay with her during the day, and all the while Joon's doctor is urging Benny to put her in a group home. Then Sam (Johnny Depp) arrives, after Joon wins him in a poker game - he's one of Benny's buddy's cousins, and he's driving the guy crazy. Benny takes him home temporarily, and things soon begin to change around the house.
Sam is even weirder than Joon (he makes grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron, for example), so naturally the two hit it off quite well. He has his own problems, but his quirky ways and Buster Keaton-inspired antics quickly win over Benny and most especially Joon.Read more ›
The basic premise of the film is that Joon, a girl with psychological problems and a very protective older brother, wins a guy named Sam in a game of cards. She and Sam fall in love, leaving them with the task of telling Benny and living to see another day, and getting past Joon's harder problems associated with her mental disorder.
From this summary, you can already see how this film is such a mix of genres.
'Benny and Joon' could be classified as a romance, a drama, a comedy or an angst flick, but really it's simply a perfect blend of all four, with a quirkiness factor that just makes it very original and incredibly amusing to watch.
I laughed out loud more times than I can count: I had no idea Depp was so talented at playing comedic roles. On the other hand, there are moments when Sam shows sincerity and maturity, which keep his character admirable and realistic- no one can be a clown *all* the time without ending up looking stupid and insensitive. And Depp even manages to pull off a character who wears a top-hat and tails in marvellous style!
There is such a balance of the elements in this film: the romance scenes between Joon and Sam are my favourites of any film I've ever seen, and this is already one of my favourite films of all time. It's just so different from the usual, samey 'boy meets girl' sludge from the bottom of the Hollywood barrel.
You should definitely see this film. It's one of a kind, and more than entertaining.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great film! I smiled the whole was through, so sweet and lovely. Plus the DVD came very quickly and in good condition!Published 8 days ago by Badwolf
cant beet the old films I saw this in the pictures then I saw this film in amazon and reminded me how I loved this film so I had to get it filled with love and special moments cant... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Geraldine Eva Stiles
I love this film. '93 Johnny Depp films. This is a feel good film that always cheers me up. Good soundtrack song too. Johnny Depp's brilliant in this.Published 27 days ago by Wild Wolf Tears
I love this romantic story I had it on video taped from tv,so made up to have it on DVD,received today with thanks.Published 1 month ago by Maxine
What a terrific film. I loved it. Johnny Depp shows all his talents with his clowning about and must have worked hard on practicing the tricks he performs. Read morePublished 3 months ago by EAP of B
Depp is brilliant in this film. He won awards for his performance & it was truly deserved.Published 4 months ago by E Bayley