Empty shortening of Irving's book reaches for profundity, and comes up courageous but brainless. It's actually a bittersweet string of sketches, attempting to explain a man's growth from birth to adulthood and how he deals with the vices of lust and fanaticism that whirl around him.
Garp is born to a formidable unmarried mother, Jenny Fields, played by Glenn Close. (The various stages of Garp's childhood are played by Thomas Peter Daikos, Brendon Roth, and James McCall before Robin Williams takes over as Garp reaches young adulthood.) The story follows him through childhood
at a boys' prep school, where Jenny is the school nurse, through his high school passions...