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 Juvi 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.
“Smitty” is a movie about values, change and the realization of the truly important things in life. We see these lessons lived out in the lives of Ben, his mother and grandfather. As the three of them come to learn who the others really are, they experience the necessity of family and friendship.
Ben has moved around a lot in his early life and when he comes to live with his mother in a new town, he falls in with the wrong crowd and is caught vandalizing a restaurant. The judge sentences him to 3 months living with his grandfather who he doesn’t know hoping that a strong father figure will help Ben to learn some valuable lessons about responsibility and respect. All this he does with the help of a pet he not so affectionately calls “dog.” Ben learns the lessons of working for what you want and responsibility. A good lesson for us all to take away is to finish what you start. Dove is pleased to award this film our “Family-Approved” Seal.