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Little Indian, Big City (1994)
"Un indien dans la ville" (original title)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Romance  |  14 December 1994 (France)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 2,533 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 13 critic

The Parisian broker Steph only needs the signature from his wife Patricia for their divorce - but she left 13 years ago for living with Amazonas indians. Steph finds her in the village and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Stephen
Patrick Timsit ...
Richard
...
...
Patricia (as Miou Miou)
...
Tolsty ...
Pavel (as Vladimir Kotliarov)
Sonia Vollereaux ...
Marie (as Sonia Volleraux)
Jackie Berroyer ...
Jonavisky
Marc de Jonge ...
Rossberg
Louba Guertchikoff ...
Mrs. Godette
Philippe Bruneau ...
Mr. Marshal
Dominique Besnehard ...
Master Dong
Cheik Doukouré ...
Mr. Bonaventure (as Cheik Doukoure)
Marie-Charlotte Leclaire ...
Rossberg's Secretary
Olga Jirouskova ...
Sonia Koutchnoukov
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Storyline

The Parisian broker Steph only needs the signature from his wife Patricia for their divorce - but she left 13 years ago for living with Amazonas indians. Steph finds her in the village and gets stuck for two days, where he learns that he has got a son, who grew up as an indian. Meanwhile he fails to confirm a soy bean transaction and promises his son Mimi-Siku to show him Paris as soon as he will become a man. However, this happens next day when the tribe celebrates the children's festival. So both fly back to Paris, where Steph and his partner Richard try to limit their losses by selling the beans to the Russian mafia, and Mimi-Siku discovers the city with bare feet. He climbes the Eiffel tower and preferes to hunt doves with bow-and-arrow instead of eating cornflakes. Steph moves his son to the family of his partner, where Mimi-Siku falls actively in love with Richard's daughter Sophie. Discovered, Sophie is set to be sent into a boarding school, and therefore rescued by Mimi-Siku, ... Written by Tom Pfeifer <pfeifer@fokus.gmd.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The city is a jungle. Some are just better prepared for it than others.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for crude language, adolescent sensuality and scenes of mild violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 December 1994 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Little Indian, Big City  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ludwig Briand claims he did the Eiffel tower climbing scene without any sort of safety harness, net or wires of any kind. See more »

Goofs

When Mimi-Siku first sees the Eiffel Tower, he stands on the balcony wearing a red headband. When he jumps down, the headband is gone. See more »

Connections

References Dances with Wolves (1990) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The made-in-France product that stinks more than Pepe Le Pew and Camembert combined ...
18 February 2014 | by (France) – See all my reviews

So, it all comes to this, you struggle trying to write one short screenplay and pray God it catches the interest of anyone, only to discover that some filthy pieces of lazy writing like "Little Indian Big City" can count on it, granted they have the budget, and the right casting. It's in moments like this, that I wonder if Cinema isn't the most hopeless art, business industry … whatever you call it.

Anyway, to start this review on a positive note, do you remember that scene in "Wayne's World 2", when asked if he could see him, Rip Taylor said "Of course, I can. How are you going to miss a half-naked Indian?" Well within the film's screwed up logic, he made sense. Except that "Wayne's World 2" is a parody so even if he couldn't see the Indian, it would have hardly affected the film. But "Little Indian Big City" isn't a parody, it's meant as a comedy. And even in a comedy, you know there's something wrong when a half-naked little Indian walks on Paris' streets without being noticed. You know there's something wrong when the extras mix up 'behaving normally' and 'not paying attention to something strange in front of them. And you know there's something really wrong when a boy can climb the Eiffel Tower, and no visitor, no agent, no tourist, no policeman intervenes. Was he that invisible?

And the sequence was supposed to be the culmination of the film, the defining shot: the boy from Amazonian Jungle discovering the Urban Jungle (an overused plot device since "Tarzan"), the sequence even features the song from a French reggae artist, teaching us to follow 'our own roads, our own dreams, our own destiny'. I know it's inspirational but for God's sake, it's not a pilgrimage, the film just want to climbs the giant-arrow-picking-the-butt-of-sky? And why nothing happens after? The sequence has no pay-off, it doesn't make you laugh, not even think, it's a well-shot scene but … purposeless. The scene illustrates what is wrong with the movie; it's a no-brainer with no other purpose than filling the screen with obligatory clichés, where the only novelty is that these clichés serve a French movie, for once. It's a French film that tries to be American, a syndrome that really poisons French Comedy.

Maybe you'd think, I'm being too cynical, maybe the film isn't my cup of tea because I'm not on the right target of a well-marketed film. Wrong, I was 12 when the film came out, I'm of the kid's same generation, I was supposed to enjoy it. Yet for some reason, the first time I saw it, I couldn't stop thinking: "could have it tried harder to be American?". It starts with Thierry Lhermitte as an arrogant and cocky businessman who comes to Venezuela to ask his wife (Miou-Miou) to sign the divorce papers. He's guided to the camp by a talkative local guy and when Lhermitte can finally leave him, he shout a loud "Shut up!" and God, that wasn't funny at all, that was embarrassing. One weak punch line isn't like the best omen to heighten your expectations. So Lhermitte goes to the camp and discover he has a son, who talks indigenous French, like in comic-book movies "me want to" "me do". Apparently, his mother isn't much of a teacher.

To make it short, Lhermitte sympathizes with his son, discover his worlds made of unfriendly small and big creatures, a tarantula, crocodiles, snakes, the whole zoo is there and we're supposed to laugh at Lhermitte getting face to face (with a zoom effect that fools no one) with a crocodile. Ha ha ha. This is not me, IMDb reviewer talking, but the kid who saw the film, and if it ever had a merit, it was to awaken the inner critic in me. Anyway, like in "Crocodile Dundee", it's Mimi-Siku's turn to discover Lhermitte's world, his annoying colleague played by Patrick Timsit, and his no-less annoying fiancée, Charlotte (Arielle Dombasle) a broad so dumb and stupid I wondered if both wouldn't end up married at the end, smart, wasn't I? It's like all the clichés ever existing in movies have been thrown there, without any attempt to elevate them. The film met with popular success, but I know why, only little children can laugh at the film, and naturally, they can't come to the theater, alone.

Enumerating the bad scenes in the film is an impossible task. If I had three in mind, it would be Lhermitte's worst acting ever when he discovers his boy brought up the tarantula at his office, so embarrassing, a weird running gag involving an old neighbor who's not funny and the house's janitor who's not better. And last but not least, guess what, the colleague has a daughter, and guess what, she and Mimi fall in love. So quick, so fast, c'est beau l'amour! And I love Ebert's comment that the boy is cuter than the girl, I wonder if she's still acting now by the way. So, the plot goes on and on, the kids leave, Lhermitte realizes how tough it is to be a father, and finally, he decides to give his divorce a second thought, yadda, yadda, all is well that ends well, etc.The film is one of the worst piece of marketed movies for success, exemplifying one of the worst evolutions of French Cinema in the 90's.

Indeed, with the exception of "The Visitors", the high budgets and special effects allowed many directors to loosen up and make movies the American way, so badly that they stunk more than their own remakes, which is saying a lot. "Jungle 2 Jungle" recycled the same plot but there was a goofiness in Tim Allen that proved that he found the right tone for the film, "Little Indian" was pathetic in its attempt to be funny, and only laughable when trying to be serious.


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