If you’re going to make me watch a family-friendly story about young tweens, then do something different and add a little edge to it. The retelling of the same stories over and over is my frustration with kids films in the States, so let’s go to Thailand with Joel Soisson’s My Best Worst Adventure and see if we fare any better over there.
Jenny (Lily Patra) is a rebellious teen with major attitude, particularly for one who refuses to speak. Frustrated with her behavior, Jenny’s step-father sends her to her deceased mother’s village of Banglamung, Thailand, for the summer at the invitation of Lily’s grandmother.
Needless to say, Jenny is not having fun in Thailand. She is the only young person in her grandmother’s home, she has to attend school (on her summer break), and the battery on her phone is fading with no power converter to recharge it. As a reminder, she still refuses to speak.
“…Jenny’s step-father sends her to her deceased mother’s village of Banglamung, Thailand, for the summer…”
At school, she meets class underachiever, Boonrod (Pan Rugtawatr), who ditches school to fish in the river and pickpocket any easy target. Of course, Boonrod has problems of his own. For honor sake, his father will not have a thief living in his home. He’s also in debt with the town “mob” boss, and his pride prevents him from asking for help. Boonrod’s only solace is his pet buffalo, Samlee.
As in all good kid’s films, there are lessons to learn. Jenny is merely existing in life and refuses to take part in any way. She enjoys art, but much of it revolves around a nightmare she’s had since childhood. Could this trip to her mother’s village (who died when Jenny was born) be the answer? We also learn why Boonrod is a thief and disobeys/disrespects his father, and yes, there are deeper, more sympathetic, reasons for his behavior.
"…one of those kid’s films I would watch with my kid and probably more than once."