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4.7 out of 5 stars
133
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 20 July 2005
This film is incredibly moving. The story of a mentally ill woman with an overprotective brother who just can't let her go. When she falls in love with Sam, who is a little mentally challenged, her brother is a little angry to say the least. I won't spoil the end for anyone but I will say it is so......nice! At one point in the movie when Sam wants to apply for a job and has to fill out a form it almost broke my heart to see his handwriting like a little childs and the only part he could understand was his name. it was just so sad. Sam is brilliantly played by Johnny Depp, the most talented actor EVER! I can't imagaine anyone else playing Sam as excellent and moving as Mr Depp who is so blessed with an incredible talent. The rest of the cast are also great. It is a truly amazing, stunning, excellent, moving, touching and funny film. It's everything you could want from a film.
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VINE VOICEon 30 August 2007
Depp continued his early nineties love of starring as offbeat characters, the type of characters that most actors would avoid taking on for fear of embarrassment or losing credibility. It may be true that very few actors have the ability to carry off such characters with skill, and make them believable and charming. Depp is the master of these roles, and in Benny and Joon he again proves his great talent and versatility. He may be the big name, and steals most of the scenes he is in, but the surrounding cast and story make it an enduring film of bittersweet romance and tries to prove that there is hope for all of us when it comes to love.

Benny and Joon were orphaned at a young age, and Benny has spent the greater part of his life looking after his mentally ill younger sister. Joon is slightly unbalanced and sometimes gets herself in trouble by burning things and causing 'public disturbances'. Benny works as a mechanic in a garage, has never been away from home or had a proper relationship as he feels he must always look after Joon. Recently Joon has been getting more unstable leading psychiatrists to advise that she be put in a home under care. Benny wants to live a normal life but cannot leave his sister. Joon is an incredibly smart and talented young woman but would never ask to be put in a home. On one of their regular poker nights Benny's friends play cards with Joon as Benny is late. The stakes are high- a week's washing, a troll toy etc. One friend puts his newly found cousin Sam in the pot, a 26 year old who can't read and spends his time watching movies and emulating Buster Keaton. Joon loses, and Benny has a new house guest. At first he seems odd, but as time goes on he proves to be a source of goodness in the household, and Joon falls for him. Sam also manages to get local waitress and B-Movie star Ruthie involved with Benny. However, when Benny finds out what has been going on between Sam and Joon he is furious, leading to Joon being committed. Benny realises his mistakes and asks Sam to help bring Joon back.

Above all this is a warm hearted tale with some good performances. Depp is superb when getting up to his supposedly unusual antics, Masterson manages well with an equally difficult role, and Quinn holds it together with his subtle performance of a character who must cope with the weirdness around him. Moore provides fine support as Ruthie, and there are a few funny moments. The film does not push for laughs or heart-felt tears and therefore is quietly charming and should hopefully leave most with a feeling of good-will afterwards. The director deals with mental illness as many before have, that it makes a person more lovable, and whether or not this is true it does not get in the way of the plot. Joon does not seem that different from everyone else, and Sam is a born entertainer, but a spontaneous one who should not be put on stage. It may be too slow and subtle for some, and it doesn't have the look or emotion of Edward Scissorhands, but it is nevertheless a fine movie and one which was destined to have a cult following.

The DVD only comes with a trailer, a making of and commentary would have also been nice, but at under a fiver it's a bargain.
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An auto mechanic named Benny is a devoted and adoring brother to his mentally ill sister, Joon. They exist well enough until Joon loses a poker game and both she and Benny have to take in another players cousin, Sam. Sam is quirky and eccentric, his antics falling in with those of the great Buster Keaton. Operating as house keeper, Sam quickly settles in and wins Benny around, but as Sam and Joon start falling for each other, things start to take a rather different course.

When a film has a character win another human being at cards, it's either going to be a dark nasty piece or a whimsical tale. Benny and Joon is the latter. Apparently chided for its poor portrayals of mental illness {tellingly tho, Joon's illness is not identified} Benny & Joon just about survives the pit fall traps because of its engaging cast. Johnny Depp as Sam is utterly beguiling while Mary Stuart Masterton {Joon} is sweet and affecting in what is after all, the difficult role. Very much a serious story cloaked in the afore mentioned whimsy, Jeremiah S. Chechik's film has some things to say about overcoming obstacles and the need for human connection in sometimes trying circumstances. But most importantly it dares to suggest that something as simple as treating the supposedly mentally ill with respect, warmth and dignity just may garner important and life changing results????

I can't honestly say I could be tempted to watch this film again because it's an oddity that seems confused to what it primarily wants to be. If indeed the makers themselves from the off had a course in mind for the story and how it panned out? But it does have a lot of supporters and it's not too much of a stretch to understand why, warm, quirky, and maybe important? 6.5/10
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on 19 July 2007
I stumbled across Benny and Joon by accident whilst browsing on amazon. I had actually never heard of the film but decided to buy it based on the positive reviews.
Really glad i bought it as i thought it was great! The acting is excellent by the whole cast and Sam (Depp) was Very funny.
Even my boyfriend who was very sceptical bout the film actually enjoyed it!
I think that the love story between Sam and Joon is heartwarming yet not too soppy and i loved the happy ending.

Definately worth a watch!
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I've been a fan of Mary Stuart Masterson ever since I saw Some Kind of Wonderful, and Johnny Depp plays the kind of quirky characters I usually like, but something had kept me away from Benny & Joon all this time. Partly, it was the fact that I caught a few minutes of the movie on TV and saw Depp doing a whole vaudeville routine that smacked a little too much of mimes - like every sane person in the world, I detest mimes. At last, though, I have seen the film and I can declare it a wonderful motion picture - quirky, most certainly, but good and exceedingly human. It does stretch the theme of love conquers all just a bit, but who cares?
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. Benny even starts seeing a local girl named Ruthie (Julianne Moore), whom Sam immediately recognized as a B-movie actress from a few years past. Then, of course, romantic love rears its ugly head, and things go south in a hurry for everyone concerned, pushing Joon into a serious episode that shows Sam just how sick she really is.
Aidan Quinn is quite good in his role of Benny (and Julianne Moore is a nice bonus for the film), but Depp and Masterson clearly carry the story with their characters' quirky antics and heart-warming commitment to one another. As I alluded to, I'm not a fan of the whole Buster Keaton comedy shtick, but Depp proves a master at it, and he and Masterson have a real chemistry between them. There's high drama alongside a fair amount of subdued comedy, but Benny & Joon is an unashamedly feel-good movie, quite predictable yet charming and touching - and blessed with an extremely talented cast.
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This is an quirky romantic comedy about two people deemed as misfits by society who fall in love with each other. Featuring outstanding performances by the entire cast, this is a film that lets the viewer know that there is, indeed, someone for everyone.
When eccentric Sam (Johnny Depp) enters the lives of a brother and sister, Benny (Aidan Quinn) and Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson), he changes their lives forever. Benny, it seems, is always worried about his sister who seems to be autistic. He treats her like a baby, making sure that she is never left alone. Highly intelligent, creative, and articulate, Joon, however, chafes a bit under the thumb of her protective older brother, but she does have some issues, as there are certain things that act as triggers for some odd behavior on her part.
When Sam begins living with Benny and Joon, acting as a housekeeper-babysitter, Sam treats Joon like a regular person, and before you know it they are falling in love, each accepting the quirks of the other with complete equanimity. Meanwhile, Benny is attracted to Ruthie (Julianne Moore), who owns the local diner. The only thing is that he cannot seem to concentrate on romance, as he is so worried about what the future holds for his sister.
There are some twists and turns in the romances between Sam and Joon, as well as in that of Benny and Ruthie. There are some very funny moments, as well as those filled with genuine pathos. There is also a certain amount of physical comedy reminiscent of that of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. In the hands of the adept Johnny Depp, it works.
This is a film that will be enjoyed by those who love off-beat, beautifully acted films. Bravo!
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VINE VOICEon 27 August 2003
I bought this film for the fact that Johnny Depp is in it, and while I was not disappointed in the least, he is by no means the only good thing about this crazily brilliant film.
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.
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on 8 June 2001
Johnny Depp plays a young man that is bought into siblings Benny and Joon's lives courtesy of a card game. Benny already has enough on his plate with a mentally challenged sister, but the oddness of Depp's character Benny (Quinn) everyone thinking that he is the perfect babysitter. However, the inevitable romance between Joon and Depp takes many turns for both the better and worse. Some great supporting actors like Dan Hedya (Dick), Oliver Platt (Flatliners) & Julianne Moore (Hannibal) add to this already classic romantic comedy that will will satisfy any Depp fanatic. A must have, especially now on DVD with added quality.
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on 15 July 2017
Fantastic moive. Jonny Depp at his best.
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on 8 November 2001
An absolutly compelling tale of how love conquers all. This film really makes you feel good inside, often hilarious at points, it balances out humour with sadness without bordering on ridiculous. An excellent performance from Depp as usual, he captures the heart and soul of Sam, with hilarious consequences. Masterson's portrayal of shy Joon is absolutely exceptional, we see her character change rapidly as an unlikely romance starts to bloom between her and Sam. A sweet, romantic comedy which proves that there really is someone out there for everyone.
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