- "He's cute. He's cuddly. He's a klepto."— Tagline
Monkey Trouble is a 1994 comedy film starring a young Thora Birch, directed by Franco Amurn and written by Franco Amurri and Stu Krieger. This movie also stars Harvey Keitel, Mimi Rogers, Christopher McDonald and Kevin Scannell.
The film opens to a carnival where a man named Azro is entertaining a crowd of people with his trained Capuchin monkey. His money making is short lived when a couple of men catches on to Azros ruse of having his monkey steal values from his costumers when they hand money to the monkey.
Meanwhile, nine year old Eva Gregory longs for a pet to call her own after feeling left out and ignored when her new baby half-brother arrives. Unfortunately, not only is Evas stepfather Tom allergic to fur and she cant keep a pet at her fathers house for him being a pilot and thus travels a lot, but her mother Amy doesnt believe shes responsible enough.
One day, the monkey runs away from his gypsy thief master who blames him for his domestic woes and winds up at Roxbury Memorial Park. There, he sees Eva walking through the park from school and shows himself to her. After naming the monkey Dodger, Eva decides to adopt him. Taking him home, Eva soon finds keeping Dodger a secret quite difficult so she decides to keep him at the pet store after explaining to the pet store owner that Dodgers a surprise present for her mother and he dad wants her to train him so Eva wants him at the store while shes away.
Eva soon learns of Dodgers talent of thievery when at a grocery store, Dodger steals food and hides it in Evas backpack but she returns it. After finding stolen jewelry upon returning home, Eva starts teaching him not to steal all the while Azros looking for his monkey.
- Abusive Parents: Azros suggested he may have been this to his son Mark.
- Actor Allusion: At one point, Azro calls the monkey Fingers. His actor Harvey Keitel played a character named Fingers in the movie Fingers.
- The Alcoholic: Apparently Azro.
- Brick Joke: Twice in the movie, Eva explains she got Dodger in the Caribbean from some pirates. Then while shes home alone at her fathers house, she mistakes Azro for a pirate when he looks through the window.
- Cassandra Truth: Eva eventually comes clean about Dodger after Azro stole him back. Unfortunately, Tom and Amy discovered the jewel box in her room where Dodger hidden all the stolen jewel.
- Character Development: Throughout the movie, Eva becomes more responsible and becomes nicer to her younger brother Jack, courtesy of Dodger.
- Dedication: To director Franco Amurri's daughter, Eva.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: A Capuchin monkey to be precise.
- Free-Range Child: Eva go places without an adult or any other peers despite being nine years old, going as far as tricking her friends mom to drop her off at her biological fathers house despite him being out of country.
- Lampshade Hanging: After Azro talks to the elderly couple who saw Eva with Dodger, the elderly woman brings up the fact Azro doesnt even look like a doctor.
- Line-of-Sight Name: The elderly couple who mistakes the monkey for Evas pet, asks for its name. Eva hesitates for a moment, looks at the monkey who had taken off her red Dodgers hat while on her shoulder and places it on his head:Eva: His name . . . uh . . . Dodger! He likes the hat.
- Missed the Monkey by That Much: When Dodge escapes Evas room the first time while Evas having dinner, she looks for him in the family room. If she had looked up, Eva would noticed Dodger on top the bookcase.
- Later, as Azro walks on the sidewalk parallel to the beach, he passes Eva with her bike in the background whos getting Dodger out of her backpack when the latter saw the former.
- Playing Sick: Eva pulls this off in order to not have to go to her father Peter for a weekend. Subverted when Peter calls Eva and lets her know he cant see her for the upcoming weekend since his flight schedule got switched at the last minute.
- Signs of Disrepair: Eva tells her stepfather Tom, who went into her room to tell her theres someone on the phone for her, shes on the toilet (actually hiding Dodger), Tom shuts her door and the A of Evas Room falls off.
- Secret Keeper: Eva only allows her baby half-brother Jack into her room where she has Dodger hidden. It helps Jack cannot speak yet.
- Eva has the pet store owner watch Dodger while shes at school.
- Eva later tells Katie of Dodger and they become friends again.
- Shout-Out: After telling the elderly couple she got Dodger from pirates in the Caribbean, the woman suggest Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Sticky Fingers: Dogders a trained pickpocket.
- Tomboy: Eva. She thinks a lot of her outfits are disgusting and she wears a Tomboyish Baseball Cap often.
- Trust Me, Im a Doctor: Azro calls himself Dr. Stevenson when he put up Missing Monkey fliers.
- Tuckerization: Eva is named after the directors daughter.
- Wicked Stepfather: Averted with Evas stepfather Tom who seems to be on good terms with her biological father Peter up to the point he has his fellow police officers look for Eva along with Peter and her mother Amy when the girls kidnapped by Azro.
- Would Hurt a Child: Azro.
- Write Who You Know: Director Franco Amurri was inspired to make the film because of the constant pleading of his young daughter for a pet.