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
The world premiere was June 1, 2015 in Kirkland, Washington as part of the Seattle International Film Festival. See more »
Smith's mother says that he can have his Halloween costume after dinner as a Diwali present. The movie claims Diwali and Halloween were on the same day in 1979. Halloween is on October 31st, whereas Diwali was on October 20th in 1979. See more »
Excellent coming of age story, though some parts may be off colour
Growing Up Smith is a coming of age story for a 10 year old Indian boy, whose family has moved from India to middle America. His parent's dream is for them to retain their Indian values while living the American dream, hoping to make enough money to return to India as kings. The kids just want to be normal (to their surroundings) kids.
The movie opens with Smith, the 10 year old boy, being shown a picture of his future bride in India for when he's 22. Smith, meanwhile, is pining for the girl next door. The two families try and act neighbourly, with some lighthearted culture clashes happening along the way. However, Smith and Amy (the neighbor) do become close and that leads to a fatherly relationship with Butch, Amy's father.
Smith, thus grows up with different life lessons coming from both of his father figures, his father and Butch, which does result in conflict with his more traditional Indian father. There may be parts of these lessons which some may see as racist, or as the white father figure showing the proper way over the Indian father. To me, though, they seemed more the way life was in the 70s. Kids would dress up in Native American costumes for Halloween. Parents from a foreign country would, and still go, get upset for leaning too heavily towards Western culture.
The film is lighthearted, fun to watch, and while not brimming with laugh out loud moments funny in its own way. The last 10 minutes of the movie are melancholy compared to the first 90, but they do seem real to the story, and anything else would likely be a betrayal to the characters.
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