Thirteen year-old city brat Ben (Brandon Tyler Russell) has done it again, and his struggling, single mother (Mira Sorvino) has had enough of him getting into mischief. Now, Ben has to ...
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Thirteen year-old city brat Ben (Brandon Tyler Russell) has done it again, and his struggling, single mother (Mira Sorvino) has had enough of him getting into mischief. Now, Ben has to choose between going down the path of juvenile hall, or spending the summer in Iowa on a farm with his estranged grandfather, Jack (Peter Fonda). The day after arriving, Ben is ready to leave. To help Ben get a friend, Jack gets him a smart farm dog from an animal shelter to keep Ben company and in line. Between the dog and a friendly neighbor (Louis Gossett, Jr.), Ben soon learns life lessons about friendship, family, and responsibility. It may take a village to raise a child, but when you only have a handful of people and a dog at your side, you have to make do with what you have. Through it all, Ben has the most memorable summer of his life.Written by
Plays by the Rules, But Still a Decent Coming-of-age Story
"Smitty" is the typical kind of movie that fits perfectly in the general formula of movies. It is a family movie that combines the elements of tales about animals and coming-of-age themes. It is a movie that plays it safe but still manages to provide viewers with a pleasant experience and a lesson to learn.
Brandon Tyler Russell plays Ben, a 13-year-old teenager who under certain circumstances has to move in with his grandfather whom he has never met before in his life. In the countryside, amid a small town, farms and beautiful landscapes, among a number of interesting characters, Ben begins to learn about the past of the relationship between his grandfather and his mother, and comes to understand people and himself better.
He later meets his dog, adopted from a lost or abandoned animal shelter, and also Smitty, a mid-aged store-owner who befriends him and whose guitar appeals to him. Relationships between characters are clearly shown, and storytelling techniques are simple but effective. Its simplicity along with the plot pull the audience into the feelings in the tale, which include family relationships, human-animal relationships, growing up and a taste of life in the farms.
Overall, it is a great film for a whole family to sit down and watch on a weekend. The story is simple, moving and carries certain messages.
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