In 1979, an Indian family moves to America with hopes of living the American Dream. While their 10-year-old boy Smith falls head-over-heels for the girl next door, his desire to become a "good old boy" propels him further away from his family's ideals than ever before.
GOOD OL' BOY is the story of Smith, a ten-year-old boy from India growing up in Small Town, America in 1979. While the boy's family straddles the fine line between embracing the American Dream and preserving their Indian heritage, there are barbecues, Halloween and hunting. And as Smith falls for Amy, the girl-next-door, he finds in Amy's father Butch the cowboy he wishes his own father could be. But alas, when Smith's father Bhaaskar sees Smith is quickly losing any hope of remaining a respectable Indian boy, he banishes him back to India. Nineteen years later Smith will return to America, back to a place he once called home. Written by
I was so glad that SIFF decided to show this movie because it was a real joy to see! It reminds me of movies like ET, Super 8, and Moonrise Kingdom - a coming of age story with the twist of Indian culture. Having grown up in an Indian family in America, I can relate to a lot of quirkiness in the movie (though we weren't Hindu) - as crazy as some of the stuff may seem, it's very believable. The acting was also really impressive - Roni Akurati is a star all on his own, Anjul Nigam came up with a very realistic portrayal of an Indian father new to America trying to carefully navigate American culture, Jason Lee is amazing as always in the role of a very fatherly neighbor, and Poorna Jagannathan nails it as the loving but stern Indian mother. You don't have to be Indian to appreciate this movie, you just have to have an open mind and an open heart.
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