The Best Bad Thing was originally a book authored by Yoshiko Uchida. A screenplay was developed and a film released in 1997. The story is set on the U.S. west coast during 1935 when the U.S. economy was still recovering from the effects of the Great Depression. It opens in a city, then moves to a rural Cucumber farm, where the majority of the action takes place. The farm is described as along California's central coast.