Robert Downey Jr.
Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor and singer. His career has included critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of substance abuse and legal difficulties, a resurgence of commercial success in middle age. For three consecutive years from 2012 to 2015, Downey topped the Forbes list of Hollywood's highest-paid actors, making an estimated $80 million in earnings between June 2014 and June 2015. Making his acting debut at the age of five, appearing in his father's film Pound, Downey appeared in roles associated with the Brat Pack, such as the teen sci-fi comedy Weird Science and the drama Less Than Zero, he starred as the title character in the 1992 film Chaplin, for which he earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor and he won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. After being released in 2000 from the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison where he was incarcerated on drug charges, Downey joined the cast of the TV series Ally McBeal playing Calista Flockhart's love interest.
For that he earned a Golden Globe Award. His character was terminated when Downey was fired after two drug arrests in late 2000 and early 2001. After his last stay in a court-ordered drug treatment program, Downey achieved sobriety. Downey's career prospects improved when he featured in the black comedy crime Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, the mystery thriller Zodiac, the satirical action comedy Tropic Thunder. Beginning in 2008, Downey began portraying the role of Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, appearing in several films as either the lead role, member of an ensemble cast, or in a cameo; each of these films, with the exception of The Incredible Hulk, has grossed over $500 million at the box office worldwide. Downey has played the title character in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, which earned him his second Golden Globe win, its sequel, both of which have earned over $500 million at the box office worldwide; as of 2018, the U. S. domestic box-office grosses of Downey's films total over US $4.9 billion, with worldwide grosses surpassing $11.6 billion, making Downey the third highest-grossing U.
S. domestic box-office star of all time. Downey was born in New York on April 4, 1965, the younger of two children, his father, Robert Downey Sr. is an actor and filmmaker, while his mother, Elsie Ann, was an actress who appeared in Downey Sr.'s films. Downey's father is of half Lithuanian Jewish, one-quarter Hungarian Jewish, one-quarter Irish descent, while Downey's mother had Scottish and Swiss ancestry. Robert's original family name was Elias, changed by his father to enlist in the Army. Downey and his older sister Allyson grew up in Greenwich Village; as a child, Downey was "surrounded by drugs." His father, a drug addict, allowed Downey to use marijuana at age six, an incident which his father said he now regrets. Downey stated that drug use became an emotional bond between him and his father: "When my dad and I would do drugs together, it was like him trying to express his love for me in the only way he knew how." Downey began spending every night abusing alcohol and "making a thousand phone calls in pursuit of drugs."During his childhood, Downey had minor roles in his father's films.
He made his acting debut at the age of five, playing a sick puppy in the absurdist comedy Pound, at seven appeared in the surrealist Greaser's Palace. At the age of 10, he was living in England and studied classical ballet as part of a larger curriculum, he attended the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Training Center in upstate New York as a teenager. When his parents divorced in 1978, Downey moved to California with his father, but in 1982, he dropped out of Santa Monica High School, moved back to New York to pursue an acting career full-time. Downey and Kiefer Sutherland, who shared the screen in the 1988 drama 1969, were roommates for three years when he first moved to Hollywood to pursue his career in acting. Downey began building upon theater roles, including in the short-lived off-Broadway musical American Passion at the Joyce Theater in 1983, produced by Norman Lear. In 1985, he was part of the new, younger cast hired for Saturday Night Live, but following a year of poor ratings and criticism of the new cast's comedic talents, he and most of the new crew were dropped and replaced.
Rolling Stone magazine named Downey the worst SNL cast member in its entire run, stating that the "Downey Fail sums up everything that makes SNL great." That same year, Downey had a dramatic acting breakthrough when he played James Spader's sidekick in Tuff Turf and a bully in John Hughes's Weird Science. He was considered for the role of Duckie in John Hughes's film Pretty in Pink, but his first lead role was with Molly Ringwald in The Pick-up Artist; because of these and other coming-of-age films Downey did during the 1980s, he is sometimes named as a member of the Brat Pack. In 1987, Downey played Julian Wells, a drug-addicted rich boy whose life spirals out of his control, in the film version of the Bret Easton Ellis novel Less Than Zero, his performance, described by Janet Maslin in The New York Times as "desperately moving", was praised, though Downey has said that for him "the role was like the ghost of Christmas Future" since his drug habit resulted in his becoming an "exaggeration of the character" in real life.
Zero drove Downey into films with bigger budgets and names, such as Chances Ar
Madeleine Marie Stowe is an American actress. She appeared on television before her breakthrough role in the 1987 crime-comedy film Stakeout, she went on to star in the films Revenge, Unlawful Entry, The Last of the Mohicans, Bad Girls, China Moon, 12 Monkeys, The General’s Daughter, We Were Soldiers. For her role in the 1993 independent film Short Cuts, she won the National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress; as of 2015, Stowe's most recent film appearance was in the 2003 thriller Octane. From 2011 to 2015, she starred as Victoria Grayson, the main antagonist of the ABC drama series Revenge. For this role, she was nominated for the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama. Stowe, the first of three children, was born at the Queen of Angels Hospital, in Los Angeles and raised in Eagle Rock, a suburb of Los Angeles, her father, Robert Stowe, was a civil engineer from Oregon, while her mother, came from a prominent family in Costa Rica. One of Stowe's maternal great-great-grandfathers, politician José Joaquín Mora Porras, was a younger brother of President Juan Rafael Mora Porras, who governed Costa Rica from 1849 to 1859.
Another maternal great-great-grandfather, Bruno Carranza, was President of that country in 1870. One of Stowe's maternal great-grandfathers was a German immigrant to Costa Rica. Stowe's father suffered from multiple sclerosis, she accompanied him to his medical treatments. Stowe aspired to become a concert pianist, taking lessons between the ages of ten and eighteen, she explained that playing the piano was a means to escape having to socialize with other children her age. Her Russian-born music teacher, Sergei Tarnowsky, had faith in Stowe teaching her from his deathbed. Following his death at the age of 92, she quit commenting, "I just felt it was time to not be by myself anymore." Not being interested in her college classes, she volunteered to do performances at the Solaris, a Beverly Hills theater, where a movie agent saw her in a play and got her several offers of appearances in TV and films. In 1978, she made her debut in an episode in the police drama series Baretta, followed by a string of TV work with guest appearances on The Amazing Spider-Man, Barnaby Jones and Little House on the Prairie.
In 1978, she played a leading role as Mary in The Nativity. She starred in two NBC miniseries: Beulah Land and The Gangster Chronicles, which starred Brian Benben, her future husband, she starred in several television films, such as Amazons and Blood & Orchids. In 1987, Stowe appeared in her first breakthrough role in the feature film Stakeout with Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez; the film debuted at No.1 at the box office. She co-starred with Mark Harmon in the comedy Worth Winning, with Kevin Costner in the 1989 thriller Revenge, opposite Jack Nicholson in 1990 in The Two Jakes, she played a leading role in the 1991 independent film Closet Land. In 1992, she appeared opposite Kurt Russell in the crime drama Unlawful Entry; that same year, Stowe played Cora Munro in The Last of the Mohicans, which starred Daniel Day-Lewis. Her critically acclaimed performance in the film, which grossed more than $75 million worldwide, elevated Stowe from supporting player to an A-list movie star; the next year, director Robert Altman cast Stowe in the award-winning ensemble cast movie Short Cuts, where she gave one of her most acclaimed screen performances as the wife of a compulsively lying and adulterous police officer played by Tim Robbins.
She won the National Society of Film Critics Awards for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe Award and a Volpi Cup for Best Ensemble Cast for her performance in the movie. She made a cameo appearance in Stakeout's sequel Another Stakeout; the following year, Stowe played a leading role as a blind musician in the thriller Blink, in the neo-noir thriller China Moon, in the Western Bad Girls. The year after that, she was a sympathetic psychiatrist in the financially successful and critically lauded science-fiction movie 12 Monkeys. Stowe received a Saturn Awards nomination for this performance. In 1994 Stowe was named one of People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World". In 1995, Stowe was chosen by Empire as one of the "100 Sexiest Stars in Film History". Stowe postponed her acting career in 1996 to concentrate on her family life, she settled for several years with her daughter May and husband Brian Benben. In 1998, she came back with The Proposition and Playing by Heart, The General's Daughter, opposite John Travolta in 1999.
In 2001, she starred in the science-fiction box office bomb Impostor. In 2002, she played Julia Moore in the war film We Were Soldiers with Mel Gibson, the box office flop action-comedy Avenging Angelo opposite Sylvester Stallone. In 2003, she starred in the thriller Octane as Senga Wilson, a single mother trying to save her teenage daughter from a bizarre cult obsessed with blood and cars. Stowe's onscreen appearances rarefied in the 2000s, she stated in an interview: "I never thought, "I’m retiring," but I didn’t feel that "thing" revving in me. I was much more focused on May, it was frustrating at times, but now I see how she’s turned out, I wouldn’t have it any other way." She occasionnally appeared in some TV productions, such as Saving Milly, an adaptation of Morton Kondracke's book
The Brat Pack is a nickname given to a group of young actors who appeared together in teen-oriented coming-of-age films in the 1980s. First mentioned in a 1985 New York magazine article, it is now defined as the cast members of two specific films released in 1985—The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire—although other actors are sometimes included; the "core" members are considered to be Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy. The term "Brat Pack", a play on the Rat Pack from the 1950s and 1960s, was first popularized in a 1985 New York magazine cover story, which described a group of successful film stars in their early twenties. David Blum wrote the article after witnessing several young actors being mobbed by groupies at Los Angeles' Hard Rock Cafe; the group has been characterized by the partying of members such as Robert Downey Jr. Estevez and Nelson. However, an appearance in one or both of the ensemble casts of John Hughes' The Breakfast Club and Joel Schumacher's St. Elmo's Fire is considered the prerequisite for being a core Brat Pack member.
With this criterion, the most cited members include: Emilio Estevez Anthony Michael Hall Rob Lowe Andrew McCarthy Demi Moore Judd Nelson Molly Ringwald Ally SheedyAbsent from most lists is Mare Winningham, the only principal member of either cast who never starred in any other films with any other cast members. Estevez was cited as the "unofficial president" of the Brat Pack, he and Demi Moore were once engaged. In 1999, McCarthy said he was never a member of the group: "The media made up this sort of tribe. I don't think I've seen any of these people since we finished St. Elmo's Fire."The initial New York article covered a group of actors larger, or more inclusive, than the understood meaning of the term "Brat Pack". For example, most of the cast members of The Outsiders were mentioned, including Tom Cruise, C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Ralph Macchio, none of whom starred in any other 1980s movies with any "core" Brat Packers, besides Patrick Swayze. Charlie Sheen appears in several lists – more for his family relationship to Brat Pack leader Emilio Estevez and his partying than for his collaborative film work with other members.
James Spader and Robert Downey Jr. have been considered members, performed alongside other Brat Packers: both of them with Andrew McCarthy in Less Than Zero. Other actors who have been linked with the group include Kevin Bacon, Matthew Broderick, Jon Cryer, John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Jami Gertz, Mary Stuart Masterson, Sean Penn, Kiefer Sutherland, Lea Thompson. In her autobiography, Melissa Gilbert connects herself with the Brat Pack, as her social life centered on Estevez and Lowe. Through frequent collaborative work, the actor Harry Dean Stanton in his late 50s, became a mentor for the group of young actors. David Blum's New York story, titled "Hollywood's Brat Pack", ran on June 10, 1985, it was supposed to be just about Emilio Estevez, but one night, Estevez invited Blum to hang out with him, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, others at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was a typical night out for the group; that night, Blum decided to change the article's focus to an entire group of young actors at the time. The St. Elmo's Fire crew members did not like Blum and sensed that he was jealous of the actors' success.
When the piece ran, the actors all felt betrayed Estevez. The article mentioned people in several films but focused on Estevez and Nelson, portrayed those three negatively; the "Brat Pack" label, which the actors disliked, stuck for years afterward. Before the article ran, they had been regarded as talented individuals. Interviewed for Susannah Gora's 2010 book You Couldn't Ignore Me If You Tried: The Brat Pack, John Hughes, And Their Impact on a Generation, Blum admitted that he should not have written the article. With the increased negative attention to them, the actors soon stopped socializing with one another. On the group's camaraderie, Ally Sheedy said, " just destroyed it. I had felt a part of something, that guy just blew it to pieces." During the late 1980s, several of the Brat Pack actors had their careers mildly derailed by problems relating to drugs, in Lowe's case, a sex tape. According to Gora, "Many believe they could have gone on to more serious roles if not for that article, they were talented.
But they had professional difficulties, personal difficulties after that." By the 21st century, the term "Brat Pack" had lost its negative connotation. The films themselves have been described as representative of "the apathetic, money-possessed and ideologically barren eighties generation." They made frequent use of adolescent archetypes, were set in the suburbs surrounding Chicago, focused on white, middle-class teenage angst. According to author Susannah Gora, these films "changed the way many young people looked at everything from class distinction to friendship, from love to sex and fashion to music." They are considered "among the most influential pop cultural contributions of their time."In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed The Breakfast Club as the best high school movie made. On VH1's list of the 100 greatest teen stars, Molly Ringwald was ranked #1, Rob Lowe was ranked #2
Manhattan referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U. S. state of New York. The borough consists of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson and Harlem rivers. S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower and Upper Manhattan. Manhattan has been described as the cultural, financial and entertainment capital of the world, the borough hosts the United Nations Headquarters. Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial center of the world, Manhattan is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization: the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
Many multinational media conglomerates are based in Manhattan, the borough has been the setting for numerous books and television shows. Manhattan real estate has since become among the most expensive in the world, with the value of Manhattan Island, including real estate, estimated to exceed US$3 trillion in 2013. Manhattan traces its origins to a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan. Manhattan is documented to have been purchased by Dutch colonists from Native Americans in 1626 for 60 guilders, which equals $1038 in current terms; the territory and its surroundings came under English control in 1664 and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York. New York, based in present-day Manhattan, served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790; the Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to the Americas by ship in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and is a world symbol of the United States and its ideals of liberty and peace.
Manhattan became a borough during the consolidation of New York City in 1898. New York County is the United States' second-smallest county by land area, is the most densely populated U. S. county. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a census-estimated 2017 population of 1,664,727 living in a land area of 22.83 square miles, or 72,918 residents per square mile, higher than the density of any individual U. S. city. On business days, the influx of commuters increases this number to over 3.9 million, or more than 170,000 people per square mile. Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York City's five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, is the smallest borough in terms of land area. Manhattan Island is informally divided into three areas, each aligned with its long axis: Lower and Upper Manhattan. Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan are well known, as New York City received a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017, Manhattan hosts three of the world's 10 most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Grand Central Terminal.
The borough hosts many prominent bridges, such as the Brooklyn Bridge. Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere, the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, part of the Stonewall National Monument, is considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement; the City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan, the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the city's government. Numerous colleges and universities are located in Manhattan, including Columbia University, New York University, Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medical College, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the world; the name Manhattan derives from the Munsee dialect of the Lenape language'manaháhtaan'. The Lenape word has been translated as "the place where we get bows" or "place for gathering the bows". According to a Munsee tradition recorded in the 19th century, the island was named so for a grove of hickory trees at the lower end, considered ideal for the making of bows.
It was first recorded in writing as Manna-hata, in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen. A 1610 map depicts the name as Manna-hata, twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River. Alternative folk etymologies include "island of many hills", "the island where we all became intoxicated" and "island", as well as a phrase descriptive of the whirlpool at Hell Gate; the area, now Manhattan was long inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. In 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano – sailing in service of King Francis I of France – became the first documented European to visit the area that would become New York City, he entered the tidal strait now known as The Narrows and named the land around Upper New York
Immediate Family (film)
Immediate Family is a 1989 drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan. It stars Glenn James Woods as a married childless couple who want a baby, they decide to adopt from a pregnant teenage girl played by Mary Stuart Masterson who gets second thoughts. The successful couple Linda Spector and Michael Spector have been married for ten years and want to be parents, they are unable. They meet the pregnant 17-year-old Lucy, she thinks the couple can provide better for her baby than her boyfriend Sam. The Spectors take care of Lucy during her pregnancy and they become close but Lucy becomes uncertain about giving up her baby. Glenn Close as Linda Spector James Woods as Michael Spector Mary Stuart Masterson as Lucy Kevin Dillon as Sam Linda Darlow as Lawyer Susan Drew Harrison Mohr as Eli Mimi Kennedy as Eli's mother Charles Levin as Eli's father Jessica James as Bessie Ken Lerner as Josh Jane Greer as Michael's Mother Immediate Family received mixed reviews from critics, as the film holds a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
National Board of Review of Motion Pictures 1989: Won, "Best Supporting Actress" - Mary Stuart MastersonYoung Artist Award 1990: Nominated, "Best Young Actor Supporting Role in a Motion Picture" - Kevin Dillon Immediate Family on IMDb Immediate Family at the TCM Movie Database Immediate Family at AllMovie Immediate Family at Rotten Tomatoes Immediate Family at Box Office Mojo "Immediate Family", review by Roger Ebert
Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival is a prominent film festival held in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, showcasing a diverse selection of independent films. Since its inaugural year in 2002, it has become a recognized outlet for independent filmmakers in all genres to release their work to a broad audience. In 2006 and 2007, the Festival held 1,500 screenings; the Festival's program line-up includes a variety of independent films including documentaries, narrative features and shorts, as well as a program of family-friendly films. The Festival features panel discussions with personalities in the entertainment world and a music lounge produced with ASCAP to showcase artists. One of the more distinctive components of the Festival is its Artists Awards program in which emerging and renowned artists celebrate filmmakers by providing original works of art that are given to the filmmakers' competition winners. Past artists of the Artists Award Program have included Chuck Close, Alex Katz, Julian Schnabel.
The festival now draws an estimated three million people—including often-elusive celebrities from the worlds of art and music—and generates $600 million annually. The Tribeca Film Festival was founded in 2002 by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff in response to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the consequent loss of vitality in the Tribeca neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, although there are reports that its founding was underway prior to the events of 9/11; the inaugural festival launched after 120 days of planning with the help of more than 1,300 volunteers. It was featured several up-and-coming filmmakers; the festival included juried narrative and short film competitions. The 2003 festival brought more than 300,000 people; the festival showcased an expanded group of independent features and short films from around the world, coupled with studio premieres, panel discussions and comedy concerts, a family festival, sports activities, outdoor movie screenings along the Hudson River.
The family festival featured children's movie screenings, family panels and interactive games culminating in a daylong street fair that drew a crowd estimated at 250,000 people. At the end of 2003, De Niro purchased the theater at 54 Varick Street which had housed the closed Screening Room, an art house that had shown independent films nightly, renaming it the Tribeca Cinema, it became one of the venues of the festival. In an effort to serve its mission of bringing independent film to the widest possible audience, in 2006, the Festival expanded its reach in New York City and internationally. In New York City, Tribeca hosted screenings throughout Manhattan as the Festival's 1,000-plus screening schedule outgrew the capacity downtown. Internationally, the Festival brought films to the Rome Film Fest; as part of the celebrations in Rome, Tribeca was awarded the first "Steps and Stars" award, presented on the Spanish Steps. A total of 169 feature films and 99 shorts were selected from 4,100 film submissions, including 1,950 feature submissions—three times the total submissions from the first festival in 2002.
The festival featured 90 world premieres, nine international premieres, 31 North American premieres, 6 U. S. premieres, 28 New York City premieres. In 2009, Hatkoff and De Niro were named number 14 on Barron's list of the world's top 25 philanthropists for their role in regenerating TriBeCa's economy after September 11; as of 2010, the festival is run as a business by Tribeca Enterprises. Andrew Essex has been the CEO of Tribeca Enterprises since January, 2016. In 2011, L. A. Noire became the first video game to be recognized by the Tribeca Film Festival. In 2013, Beyond: Two Souls, featuring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, became only the second game to be premiered at the festival. 2018 – Diane and directed by Kent Jones. 2017 – Keep the Change written and directed by Rachel Israel 2016 – Dean, directed by Demetri Martin 2018 – Jeffrey Wright in O. G. 2017 – Alessandro Nivola in One Percent More Humid 2016 – Dominic Rains for Burn Country 2018 – Alia Shawkat in Duck Butter 2017 – Nadia Alexander in Blame 2016 – Mackenzie Davis for Always Shine 2018 – Wyatt Garfield for Diane 2017 – Chris Teague for Love After Love 2016 – Michael Ragen for Kicks 2018 – Diane, written by Kent Jones 2017 – Abundant Acreage Available, written by Angus MacLachlan 2017 – Son of Sofia written and directed by Elina Psykou 2016 – Junction 48, directed by Udi Aloni 2015 – Virgin Mountain, directed by Dagur Kári 2014 – Zero Motivation, directed by Talya Lavie 2013 – The Rocket, directed by Kim Mordaunt 2012 – War Witch, directed by Kim Nguyen 2011 – She Monkeys, directed by Lisa Aschan 2010 – When We Leave, directed by Feo Aladag 2009 – About Elly, directed by Asghar Farhadi 2008 – Let the Right One In, directed by Tomas Alfredson 2007 – My Father My Lord, directed by David Volach 2006 – Iluminados por el fuego, directed by Tristán Bauer 2005 – Stolen Life, directed by Li Shaohong 2004 – Green Hat, directed by Liu Fendou 2003 – Blind Shaft, directed by Li Yang 2002 – Roger Dodger, directed by Dylan Kidd 2017 – Rachel Israel, director of Keep the Change 2015 – Zachary Treitz for Men Go to Battle 2014 – Josef Wladyka for Manos Sucias 2013 – Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais for Whitewash 201
Benny & Joon
Benny & Joon is a 1993 romantic comedy film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer about how two eccentric individuals and Juniper "Joon", find each other and fall in love. Aidan Quinn stars, it was directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik; the film is best known for Depp's humorous physical comedy routines and for popularizing, in the United States, the song "I'm Gonna Be" by The Proclaimers. Benny & Joon was shot on location in Spokane, while the train scenes at the beginning were shot near Metaline Falls, Washington. Benjamin "Benny" Pearl and his mentally ill sister Juniper "Joon" Pearl, live together following the accidental death of their parents. Benny's friend Mike has his cousin Sam staying with him. Joon loses a bet that commits Sam to live with the Pearls. Benny is at first angry, but after an evening with Sam at the local diner and coming home the next day to find Sam has cleaned the house, Benny decides Sam should stay. Joon aids an illiterate Sam when he is struggling with writing to his mother, the two go to the local diner where Ruthie is working.
She takes them on an errand, takes them home. After Ruthie stays for dinner, her car won't start, Benny drives her home, where they set a dinner date. Meanwhile, left alone and Sam kiss. Benny and Ruthie have a fun date. Sam goes to a video store to apply for a job there. Benny and Sam go to a park where Sam starts doing tricks with his hat, attracting an appreciative crowd. Benny sends Joon home with Sam, where they make love. Sam tells Joon he loves her which Joon reciprocates; when Benny makes suggestions to Sam about his comedy routines, Joon becomes agitated and makes Sam explain that he and Joon are romantically involved. An angry Benny throws Sam out, yells at Joon, shows her a pamphlet about a group home that would be a better home for her. Joon starts hitting Benny and screaming, he pushes her away. Feeling bad, Benny leaves to get her some tapioca. While Benny is away, Sam arrives, they pack suitcases and get on a bus, but Joon soon begins to hear voices in her head and argues with them, in great distress.
Sam tries to soothe her. The bus is stopped, two paramedics restrain Joon; when Benny arrives at the hospital, the doctor tells him Joon. He finds Sam in the waiting room, they argue. Sam goes to stay with Ruthie. Meanwhile, Benny begins to feel guilty about his treatment of Joon. Benny finds Sam, now working at the video store, asks for his help, they go to the hospital. Benny apologizes to Joon, persuades her to consider getting her own apartment, tells her that Sam has come back for her. Joon tells the doctor. Benny and Joon reconcile and Sam and Joon are reunited. Benny brings roses to Ruthie, he takes another bouquet to Joon's apartment but leaves the flowers in the doorway when he sees Sam and Joon making grilled cheese sandwiches with a clothes iron. Laura Dern and Woody Harrelson were cast to play the title roles. Dern changed her mind, Harrelson quit to take a role in Indecent Proposal. Aidan Quinn was brought in at the last minute to replace Harrelson. Unbeknownst to Harrelson, the producer was Donna Roth, the wife of then-Paramount Studios head Joe Roth.
A lawsuit ensued with Winona Ryder, dating Johnny Depp at the time, was slated to play Joon after Dern quit. Depp and Ryder broke up, leaving the role of Joon open, given to Masterson just days before production began. Roger Ebert gave the film three out of 4 stars. Owen Gleiberman gave the film a grade of "B", saying "the movie is full of absurdist fripperies we're meant to find magically funny. Beneath the domesticated surrealism, Benny & Joon becomes genuinely touching–a love story about separation anxiety. Benny, the saintly grease monkey, thinks he has to devote his life to Joon in order to keep her out of an institution. Can he give her the space she needs to fall in love? You know the answer, but Quinn and Masterson–now gentle, now sniping–let it play out with tender conviction." Janet Maslin wrote: In a more realistic film, troubling issues might well shade the story. But Benny and Joon succeeds in remaining blithe and sunny, directed by Jeremiah Chechik with a commercial liveliness and a suitable sense of the absurd.
The film's greatest asset is the obvious conviction of its actors, who never condescend to their roles. Mr. Depp may look nothing like Buster Keaton, but there are times when he genuinely seems to become the Great Stone Face, bringing Keaton's mannerisms sweetly and magically to life; as Mr. Depp and the rest of the film makers must have known, an impersonation like, an all-or-nothing proposition. Ms. Masterson, a remarkably incisive and determined actress, never sentimentalizes Joon despite many ripe opportunities to do that, she remains fierce and persuasive when the film conveniently soft-pedals the reality of Joon's situation. Mr. Quinn in the position of playing straight man to the other two leads, still makes Benny a touchingly sincere and sympathetic figure; as of November 2018