3 Friends Mingmongkol Sonakul / Aditya Assarat / Pumin Chinaradee

This video documentary follows model Napakpapah Nakprasit and her friends Penporn Poonsaem and Jitraporn Panit (nicknamed Mamee, Yo and Belle, respectively) as they frolic on the gorgeous beaches of Thailand. We see the real lives of three girlfriends: Belle flirts with a boatman, Yo searches for a cell phone signal so she can call her boyfriend in the city, while Mamee befriends a young Japanese ecologist. Beyond that there is little substance to this film. In fact, 3 Friends resembles a vacation video. The girls lie in the sand, chat in bed and roam the lush, leafy countryside. Their conversations are trivial and their journeys from start to end are insignificant. Apparently, the genesis of this film lies in Thailand's "star films," which are easily available on cheaply produced video discs sold at convenience stores. These discs supposedly reveal the private lives of movie stars and popular models, following them in their daily routines and showing lots of flesh. Produced by big entertainment companies, these videos seem like documentaries but are really sold to titillate viewers, being little more than eye candy. To subvert this genre, the filmmakers contacted Nakprasit, who is a big media personality in her homeland, where she's typecast as a sex symbol. However, there is nothing in 3 Friends to suggest an attack or even parody of this Thai genre of fluffy celebrity documentaries. Sure, the tropical island's translucent blue water, endless beaches and golden skin are beautiful to watch on the big screen, but that's not enough to fill a feature length movie. (Dedicate)