May 6, 2011

ClassicMovieRIMF # 4: Benny and Joon (1993)

Classic movies haunt me. Definitely. Yesterday I was in the mood to watch a more recent film so I picked a movie called Benny and Joon. All I knew about it is that was a comedy, starring Johnny Depp and the actress from Fried Green Tomatoes. The end.

So, it starts, lalalala, nice music, parallel scenes introduce the main characters; a girl painting and a guy in a train looking like this:

And that was minute 02:43. I mean, classic films leave me alone! So, the painter woman (Mary Stuart Masterson aka Joon) is mentally ill (likes to start fires, hears voices, has panic attacks) and lives with her brother (Aidan Quinn, Brad Pitt's brother in Legends of the Fall).

One night Aidan Quinn takes her to a night of poker games with his friends. Well, second classic movie reference: someone is betting a Deanna Durbin album.

Another guy says his cousin arrived to live with him. He says the cousin doesn't know how to read, spends his time polishing plastic forks and..."keeps me up all night watching stupid old movies".

Well, the cousin is Johnny Depp aka Benny and he's kind of weird, but in a good way. He loves doing tricks and performing acrobatics and always wears a pork pie hat. At a restaurant, he recreates Chaplin's famous table ballet scene, as you can see:

Then he copies some Harold Lloyd acts, like he pretends that his hat has a life of its own and he can't catch it or that he can't let go a sticky handkerchief (watch). 

When Johnny Depp sees Mary Stuart painting he says: "Kirk Douglas, Van Gogh ear". They start a relationship and at some point Johnny gets a job in a video store. Here's a conversation with a client:

Johhny Depp aka Benny: I think that Fred Astaire is the way to go.
Lady: Yeah?
Johnny: That's a good choice
Lady: Who is the woman who starred in the Roman...uh...
Johnny: Audrey Hepburn
Lady: Yeah, thanks a lot. 
There are more references according to Imdb, but I didn't notice them, so maybe you should see this film. I really liked it, it was a nice movie with a great casting (besides Johnny, Aidan and Mary Stuart you can see Julianne Moore, Oliver Platt and William H. Macy).

Hope you enjoyed this Classic Movie Reference in Modern Films!


  1. I absolutely adore this film! Thank you for this post!

  2. “Hello, fellow LAMB. Just wanted to let you know that The LAMMYs are coming up and we are hoping for the best voter turnout for the nominations ever. Every LAMB #1-900 is eligible to vote (and to win!), and that includes you. To participate, please go to this site:


  3. Flickchick: Thanks, I really liked this film, and I had never heard about it before. Thanks for stopping by!

    cinehouse: Done :)



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