Marvin’s Room (1996)

Leonardo DiCaprio can honestly be one annoying little shit!!!

The tables are turned when straight-laced Bessie (Diane Keaton) — who devotes her life to caring for her chronically ill father (Hume Cronyn) — must ask her estranged, bohemian sibling (Meryl Streep) for help after Bessie suffers a health catastrophe.

Never in my life have I seen a more touching and delicate little film about the biggest thing in life, dieing. Throughout the film I couldn’t help but be reminded of the 1993 film What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, also with Leo. Both have the same themes of love, but that one was so much better than this.

Marvin’s Room has some little nice touches of humor and drama. The scenes of humor all come from Robert De Niro and Dan Hedaya as the brother combination in the doctor’s office. I thought some of these scenes we’re funny, but after awhile they just started to get too repetitive and way too lame. I think they were trying a little way too hard on making this a light-hearted drama with comedy that would stick, but in all honesty it didn’t really quite work.

The main problem I had with this film was how annoying Leo was in this film. Honestly, I love Leo and all the films he does but in this one he really is one of the most annoying characters I have ever seen in a film. He whines and complains so many times throughout the whole film, and I really have no clue why nobody did anything and slap his ass up. If that was my kid he would be so blue, people would think he was a cut-scene from the Smurfs. He acts very bi-polar during the whole film, but it tries to act like that we don’t even suspect and just tries to cover it up with a little message of a lost father.

I liked the story between the two sisters (Keaton and Streep), I thought that this was the main strong point of the film and really did add a lot more emotional depth to the story. I realized how much these two missed out on, and you can tell by the way they speak with one another that they really do miss what they both could have had as sisters.

Keaton does the best job out of this whole cast and really shines. She adds a lot more depth, and makes this one-dimensional character very bold and likable, and mostly a person that we all cheer for and love. Meryl Streep does well also, but I don’t think she quite gave it her all in this film, and really did shine away with what could have been a really good chemistry on screen.

C0nsensus: Marvin’s Room tries to be funnier than it actually is, but is a touching if at times stiff, look at the fate and reality of death.


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