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Benny and Joon

Where to Watch Benny and Joon

PG-13
1993

Benny and Joon is a heartwarming and whimsical romantic comedy-drama released in 1993. This film manages to beautifully meld amusing humor, gentle earnestness, and deeply layered emotion. It is renowned for its unique theme that centers on the idea of neurodivergent individuals finding love and independence, which was relatively unexplored at the time.

Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik, this delightful cinematic experience stars some of Hollywood's reputable talents: Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Aidan Quinn. The film features a compelling narrative that skillfully interweaves drama, comedy, and romance, creating a tale that offers both light-hearted entertainment and a profound examination of the human spirit.

Johnny Depp brilliantly plays Sam, an eccentric and endearing young man who has an uncanny resemblance and mannerism to old-time silent movie icon, Buster Keaton. Sam is a kind, soft-spoken, and quirky individual who lives in his imaginative world. His artistry in miming, cooking, and recreating Keaton's most famous stunts is mesmerizing, giving viewers a taste of vaudeville-era cinema. Depp's extraordinary talent shines through his role, inviting audiences to laugh, marvel, and empathize with his irresistible, unconventional character.

Mary Stuart Masterson delivers an excellent performance as Juniper "Joon" Pearl. Joon is a talented artist who lives with a mental illness, depicted in the film as a kind of high-functioning schizophrenia or similar disorder. Despite her challenges, Joon is independent, passionate, and full of life. Masterson infuses her role with a blend of vulnerability and strength that brings depth and sensitivity to Joon's experiences.

Aidan Quinn plays Benny Pearl, Joon's older brother, who has assumed the role of her primary caregiver since their parents' tragic demise. Benny's concern for his sister is heartfelt and touching, showing a brother's love and struggle amidst the pressing demands of reality. Despite his own desires and the trials they face, Benny's dedication to Joon remains unwavering.

The storyline takes a fascinating turn when Benny wins Sam in a poker game, unaware of the domino effect this will have on all their lives. Sam then moves into Benny and Joon's house, where his innocent charm and kindhearted nature endear him to Joon. This blossoming bond between Sam and Joon sparks the beginning of a beautiful love story, painted with shades of unconventional romance that challenges societal norms.

Adding to the trio’s adventure is their circle of friends, which includes Ruthie, Benny's love interest portrayed by Julianne Moore. Ruthie’s character provides ample comedic relief as well as a juxtaposed "normal" love interest for Benny. Their relationship contrasts Benny's protective role towards his sister, allowing Quinn to showcase his range as an actor.

Benny and Joon plunges viewers into the depths of familial dynamics, the struggles of caregiving, the joy and challenges of love, the beauty of human connections, and the stigma of mental illness. All these elements are woven together with the film’s captivating performances and memorable soundtrack, featuring tunes from The Proclaimers' hit "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" that's bound to be an earworm.

All in all, the movie Benny and Joon is a charming tale of unconventional love, family, and acceptance. It successfully stirs an emotive cocktail of laughter, tear-jerking moments, and profound insights into the nuances of relationships and human complexities. The endearing characters and dedicated performances from Depp, Masterson, and Quinn make this movie a jewel of the 90s cinema. This timeless film resonates with audiences even years after its release, making Benny and Joon a must-watch for anyone who appreciates robust storytelling, great performances, and a poignant examination of life's beautiful oddities.

Benny and Joon is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 1993. It has a runtime of 98 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.1. It also holds a MetaScore of 57.

How to Watch Benny and Joon

Where can I stream Benny and Joon movie online? Benny and Joon is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, MGM+, The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, EPIX NOW. Some platforms allow you to rent Benny and Joon for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.1/10
57/100
Director
Jeremiah S. Chechik
Stars
Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn, Julianne Moore, Oliver Platt
Also starring Mary Stuart Masterson
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