Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Franco Amurri|
|Produced by||Mimi Polk
Heidi Rufus Isaacs
|Written by||Franco Amurri
|Music by||Mark Mancina|
|Edited by||Ray Lovejoy|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
9-year-old Eva Gregory longs for a pet to call her own, but her divorced mother, Amy, does not think she is responsible enough, as her room is a mess, and she's completely unwilling to help out at all with her little half-brother, Jack. Also her stepfather, Tom, a police lieutenant, is allergic to fur. She can't keep the pet at her father Peter's house because he is a pilot and travels a lot.
One day, a Capuchin monkey named Fingers runs away from his drunken master, a gypsy thief named Shorty, who had trained him to pick pockets and now blames him for Shorty's domestic woes. He meets Eva in the park, and she names him Dodger. At home, she finds that keeping him a secret is trouble. She only allows Jack, who can't speak yet, into her room with him.
As Eva spends certain weekends with her father, one arrives. However, he leaves a phone message that he's in Canada and can't have her over. She takes advantage of this circumstance to have a personal weekend alone with Dodger in her father's empty house, and hides his message from her mother and stepfather, and has her friend Katie's mother drive her over to her father's house. Once there, they realize that they have no food, but they manage to raise money at the nearby boardwalk with Dodger (who is secretly pickpocketing everybody) as a main attraction. At a grocery store that evening, he steals food and hides it in Eva's backpack, but she catches him in the act and returns the stolen groceries. When she returns home, she discovers golden jewelry and wallets in her backpack that he had also stolen. So she spends the rest of the weekend teaching him not to steal.
Shorty, who has been looking for Fingers all this time, finds and kidnaps him at a pet shop where Eva had left him while she was at school. Shorty discovers that the monkey won't steal anymore. Meanwhile, Amy and Tom, who has been dealing with reports on stolen jewelry, discover more stolen property in Eva's room. They confront her about it, and she tries to explains about her hidden monkey, but they refuse to believe her. Things get worse when Peter stops by and reveals that he had been in Canada all weekend, which reveals that Eva had lied about that time. She, already heartbroken at the disappearance of her beloved pet, is additionally upset that no one will believe her, and so she runs away to look for Dodger. She is accosted by Shorty, who is furious about her teaching Dodger not to steal. Meanwhile, Jack ends up saying his first word, "monkey", revealing to Amy, Peter, and Tom that there really is a monkey in the house (Dodger escaped from Shorty again, shortly after Eva ran off and sneaked back into her bedroom) and that Eva had been telling them the truth. They all go out, along with Tom's fellow police officers, to look for her. Dodger saves her and Shorty is arrested by Tom. His son, Mark, tries taking Dodger back, but fails. He ends up living with Eva, after she shows her mother that she is responsible and her stepfather discovers that he is not allergic to the fur of monkeys.
- Finster as Fingers/Dodger
- Frank Welker provides Dodger's vocal effects
- Thora Birch as Eva Gregory
- Mimi Rogers as Amy Gregory
- Christopher McDonald as Tom Gregory
- Harvey Keitel as Shorty
- Alison Elliott as Tessa
- Adam LaVorgna as Mark
- Robert Miranda as Drake
- Victor Argo as Charlie
- Remy Ryan as Katie
- "Sold for Me" – The Aintree Boys
- "Posie" – The Aintree Boys
- "Who Gets the Loot" – Quo
- "VB Rap" – Gee Boyz
- "Girls" – Gee Boyz
- "Monkey Shines" – Robert J. Walsh
- Monkey Trouble at Box Office Mojo
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