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.
GROWING UP SMITH is the story of 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 red mustang in the garage was supposed to be an extra. Upon seeing the car, Jones wanted it to appear to be his own car and had it parked in the garage. See more »
The movie was based in the years 1977-1980 judging by Saturday Night Fever, Star Wars, etc. In those days US$1 was approximately 8-9 Indian Rupees. So in the beginning when they said $2 was 125 Rupees, that is based on currency rates of 2015 on wards. See more »
It's 1979 America. Smith Bhatnagar is a 10 year old Hindu American boy. He is introduced to the two loves of his life. His father tells him about his arranged marriage expected when he's 22. There is also Amy Brunner, the girl next door. His older sister is secretly dating a white boy. He gets bullied at school often rescued by Amy's father Butch (Jason Lee). Amy's parents, Butch and Nancy (Hilarie Burton), are the wild, fun couple of the neighborhood which hides some inner conflicts. Smith deals with the culture clash while Amy deals with a disintegrating home life.
There are some funny insightful takes on an immigrant boy in the white suburban world. The two kids are endearing although less narration would help. The narration gets used as Smith's inner voice whereas I would prefer the character to say many of those things out loud. There is a couple of incidents where it should be his inner voice. There are scenes that surprise me. I'm taken by Butch's talk with the bully which is something I've never seen before. The adult Smith section is missing a couple of scenes. It's missing him with his sick Indian wife and it's missing him with an Adult Amy. They don't have to add much but I would have liked visual images of the two women. I just have a lot of little issues with new director Frank Lotito. For example, the closing song is "I can't help myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" from The Four Tops. That's a 60's song and this movie is almost 80's. A better filmmaker would figure that out.
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