Review of Benny & Joon (1993)

Moving picture, 98 minutes

Seen in 2015.

A heinous example of the “positive” portrayal of mental illness as mere romcom quirkiness. The schizophrenic/psychotic episode on the bus, which is the only serious attempt to show a downside to the character’s condition, is terribly unimaginative: drawn-out shots zoomed in on the external display. I would have preferred a less cute—but still romantic—story told from Joon’s perspective. I would also have preferred if Sam were obsessed entirely with Keaton and the illusionism of 1920s cinema, rather than physical comedy clichés.

fiction moving picture