My Best Friend
Inept drama with talking horse is full of cliches.
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My Best Friend
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that My Best Friend is a drama about a girl (Alexis Rosinsky) who must leave friends, school, and the city behind to relocate to a horse ranch. An oil man trying to get mineral rights to the ranch so he can extract natural gas from the land by fracking uses unscrupulous means to trick ranchers into helping him. The oil man also tricks a ranch hand who knows too much into digging his own grave. Once it's done, the oil man tries to kill the rancher with a shovel. A girl falls a short way down a stony hill and gets her foot stuck under a large boulder. Friends save her. An oil man downplays the water supply contamination that's widely reported to accompany the process of fracking.
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What's the Story?
The MY BEST FRIEND this title refers to is a talking horse called Standford. He advises Kristen (Alexis Rosinsky), who feels that she "sticks out like a sore thumb" in her new country home/school. The horse gives her fashion advice, and he's also at the ready to show her some country moves when she attends her first dance. Soon she attracts the interest of Zach (Dane Jamieson) -- and incurs the jealousy of Zach's ex, Amber (Laila Haughey). Kristen's dad, Allen (Patrick Muldoon), who grew up in the country, immediately runs into Sandra (Madeline Vail), the high school girlfriend he insensitively left behind years before. She's now a riding instructor who works for Allen's mom, Pearl (Catherine Bach). Kristen notices Sandra's romantic potential and declares she's not ready for a new mom. Emergencies draw Kristen's dad and grandmother away, leaving her to bond with Sandra and, basically, save the ranch from fracking doom.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is bad in every way; the writing, directing, editing, and, most especially, casting are below the standards of most movie-of-the-week fare offered on low-budget cable. The script is filled with clichés -- people give each other "the cold shoulder" not once but twice. The villain is cartoonish and transparent. Blaming the actors may be unfair, as their seeming failures may stem directly from the terrible script. Exceptions to the badness include Bach as Grandma Pearl and Muldoon as Allen, but the script provides them each with emergencies that remove them from the action early on.
With their departures, viewers must cope with the fact that My Best Friend is meant to focus on its two least interesting characters, Kristen and Sandra. Most jarring is a development in the final moments, when an absent character swoops in from out of nowhere to save the day, with no explanation offered. But that's OK. By that time, no explanation could help.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how difficult it would be to leave friends, school, and hometown for a new home. How does Kristen try to cope in My Best Friend?
Kristen uses her creative skills to refashion old clothes into something that fits in better with her new country life. What else might someone have to change to fit in?
Kristen's horse talks to her. Do you think this fantasy element makes the story better?
How does this movie compare to other horse tales you've seen?
- On DVD or streaming: July 19, 2016
- Cast: Paul Della Pelle, Patrick Muldoon, Catherine Bach
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Run time: 95 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: March 31, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
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Stirring, inspiring docu about unlikely champion.
For kids who love horses
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