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.


Frank Lotito
5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Lee ... Butch Brunner
Anjul Nigam ... Bhaaskar Bhatnagar
Brighton Sharbino ... Amy Brunner
Hilarie Burton ... Nancy Brunner
Roni Akurati ... Smith Bhatnagar
Poorna Jagannathan ... Nalini Bhatnagar
Samrat Chakrabarti ... Older Smith Bhatnagar
Shoba Narayan ... Asha Bhatnagar
Jake Busey ... Officer Dick
Tim Guinee ... Officer Bob
Alison Wright ... Mrs. Reynolds
Austin Harrod Austin Harrod ... Billy MacNamara
James Hyland James Hyland ... Stan Swanson
Jack Hyland Jack Hyland ... Steve Swanson
Paul Castro Jr. ... Patrick


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 AN

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Living the American Dream! See more »


Comedy | Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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 »


References Saturday Night Fever (1977) See more »

User Reviews

Hindu Americana
25 March 2018 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

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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Release Date:

3 February 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Growing Up Smith See more »

Filming Locations:

Kingston, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,867, 5 February 2017

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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