The World According to Garp

audience Reviews

, 78% Audience Score
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    The World According to Garp just goes to show that you can stuff a movie full of great actors and great scenes, but if it isn't a great story then you're going to come out of it wondering what you were supposed to get out it. In its favor, I will say this is one of the few films which span a person's entire life I've seen that actually FEELS like an entire life.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    Characters I didn't care about shown living their lives. Just not interesting.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    I’ve always struggled with movies that tell a massive life story and do it all in small vignettes. The World According to Garp explores the title character from conception until about his mid-30s. I will commend the film for spending some time at every stop along the way so that they fully develop the characters, and tell a cohesive story, rather than bouncing around in short little 5 minute segments which can completely hurt any flow. However, the story this film was telling was painful for me to watch. There were very few moments in the entire film when I felt like I had a reprieve from the constant skin-crawling uncomfortableness of Garp’s life. I mean the film starts with a nurse describing how she raped a patient and it feels like that’s one of their attempts at a funny moment. I was hoping it might go up from that point on, but there are countless awkward scenes throughout. The movie is obsessed with sex and sexuality to a degree that never worked for me. It doesn’t seem to have any problem bringing those issues into a marriage, or even showing how it impacts little kids. My prude meter was pushed to its maximum as I found myself occasionally tempted to fast-forward certain scenes. Perhaps the biggest climactic moment in the entire film is so devastating and awful that I could not comprehend where it would go from there. Shockingly, the expectation was that the characters might find forgiveness and reconciliation mere minutes later, and I was dumbfounded. Looking for the root cause of all my troubles enjoying The World According to Garp, I suspect it comes from the fact that I never connected with any of the characters. They all lacked sympathetic qualities, and therefore a lot of the story (and all of the humor) did not work for me. And just to add to my frustration...this movie managed to make Robin Williams dull.
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Forty years ago I thought Garp was wonderful: quirky, whimsical, surprising and different. Time has dulled those impressions. It now seems slow, aimless and slightly annoying. The performances are good, and George Roy Hill (who gives himself a cameo as the downed airman) directs smoothly on beautiful New England settings, but the slightly twee humour combines uneasily with the sexual politics and violence and by the end you don't really know what you're supposed to take away.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    Depressing pseudo-feminist tripe. George Roy Hill's overly sentimental melodrama The World According to Garp (1982) is a massively disappointing movie as a sincere fan of George Roy Hill, Robin Williams, and Glenn Close. John Irving's writing is just atrocious. It's rare that I encounter a film that pretends to be feminist, while actually being incredibly sexist against both men and women. Irving wants to be this feminist writer full of independent women, sensitive men, and representing trans people, but he makes the women all punished for speaking their minds, emasculated men in more than one way, and never misses a chance to insult the trans character. It's just grotesque and the worst feel bad movie I've seen in awhile. I might make the argument that The World According to Garp is totally devoid of morality, taste, or empathy. John Irving's depressing script is so jaded and flawed in his cruel and cynical perspective it is shocking. What's not shocking is Irving's numerous shocking twists that are contrived and so incessant that The World According to Garp has about 5 endings too many. You can only shoot so many characters or get in so many car crashes before I lose interest. George Roy Hill used to direct classic pictures like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, The Great Waldo Pepper, Slap Shot, or A Little Romance. The World According to Garp is not one of those films. It is a movie that tricks you into thinking it's a sweet romance drama, until halfway you realize it is a pessimistic melodrama, wherein everyone is awful. Robin Williams is so funny and endearing as the charming and oddball T.S. Garp. But his characters' charm wears thin as he's just an immature man, obsessed with being a popular writer instead of being happy for his mother's success as a writer or interested in his wife's career or satisfaction. He becomes increasingly mean spirited, departing from Williams' usual funny and likable self. He's even cruel towards women who sympathize with a girl that's raped and loses her tongue. It's one of Garp's many twists that Glenn Close, who seems extraordinary at first as Garp's protective mother Jenny Fields. Then you realize her character raped Garp's father, becomes a feminist writer to sate her own ego, then takes up politics to satisfy her own ambition without caring about other women. Glenn Close's mother is just there to emasculate Robin Williams' formally good natured Garp, but they are both terrible people by the end. I'm glad he loses his son and she gets shot. Mary Beth Hurt seems like a sensitive and thoughtful woman named Helen Holm, who feels like an actual feminist, then her character cheats on Garp with a creepy student called Michael Milton, played weirdly by Mark Soper. Hurt bites off his penis in an obvious castration fantasy fulfillment and a totally ridiculous twist scenario. Hurt is the only sympathetic character and that's completely ruined when her character cheats. John Lithgow is the sensitive trans character Roberta Muldoon, who is only abused and insulted at every opportunity. Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy have a cute cameo in the beginning, but then never appear again. Swoosie Kurtz has a smaller supporting role as The Hooker, who feels more like a gag than an attempt to be female positive. Jenny Wright is fun as Cushie, but she's barely in the movie. John Irving cameos as the referee and George Roy Hill cameos as the plane pilot who crashed into Garp's home in an actually funny scene. I did appreciate Amanda Plummer's cameo as Ellen James, the survivor whom Garp writes about for his second novel. In all, I only liked the first half and that's mostly because of Robin Williams and Mary Beth Hurt's charisma and chemistry.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    The acting is far better than the script.
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    This movie (based on a book) is original, risky, clever, funny, heartbreaking, irreverent, and confusing. I love it.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    This move is so bad that I am a little bit ashamed for having read the book.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    This is a fantastic movie. Trust me, Iï¿ 1/2 1/2 1/2(TM)m Robert Ebert.
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    What a gem of a film that I had never heard of prior to Metrograph offering one day of screenings in 35MM.