A coming-of-age story about a schoolgirl and her undying crush on the school's hearthrob Jock. The girl named Nam is at first an ugly duckling nerd with glasses. A makeover is needed! So she ditches the spectacles and has her skin lightened. She is cast as Snow White in the school play and lands a spot as the leggy drum majorette leading the marching band. She sets heart aflutter but not that of the school's soccer star...
Whereas Thai horror has found its fortunes declining in its home territory, it is the rom-com genre that has surprisingly caught on of late. Indeed, films like GTHís Hello Stranger, Bangkok Traffic Love Story and this movie have been sleeper hits among their local audiences, proving that not only is the language of love universal, it is better appreciated if articulated in the native tongue.
ďA Crazy Little Thing Called LoveĒ isnít an ambitious movie, but what it sets out to do, it manages to accomplish exceedingly well- which probably explains its box-office success. It tells of a young girl in the 10th grade who has a crush on a cute Senior in school, and subsequently makes it her mission through her school years to get him to like her too. If that sounds familiar, itís probably because most of us would recall our own experience having a crush on someone of the opposite sex in school, and then going out of our way to get the other person to notice us.
Ditto for Nam (Pimchanok Luevisetpaibool), who literally transforms from an ugly dork to a pretty, attractive beauty when she snags the lead role in the schoolís production of Snow White. She loses her glasses, lightens her complexion and starts to keep her hair longer- and even despite getting notices from other guys in school, remains steadfast in her love for said senior Shone (Mario Maurer).
The premise calls for plenty of Ďaw-shucksí moments, and true to its nature, directors Putthiphong Promsakha na Sakon Nakhon and Wasin Pokpong deliver these in spades. Thereís also a little rivalry thrown in for good measure, as Nam meets her match in another fellow schoolmate vying for Shoneís attention. Still, the tender age at which these kids are means that there arenít going to be any cat fights, so one will just have to contend with childish pranks (like mixing chilli into the otherís drink).
And indeed, even though some of the antics seem juvenile, the movie has an earnest and irrepressibly sprightly spirit that you would find hard to resist- especially since it draws on oneís own reminiscence of these halcyon days. It also boasts a winning supporting cast consisting of Namís three young friends, who themselves have their own puppy loves but never fail to find time to aid Nam in her quest for love.
Groundbreaking or original it may not be, but itís not hard to understand why this Thai rom-com became an unexpected hit in its home country last summer. It is romantic, it is funny, and it draws on our experience of when love was simpler, purer and maybe a little crazy. In short, itís a great way to relive your own adolescent memories.
The movie is presented in both its original Thai language track, as well as a Mandarin track. Take note though that subtitles are only available in Mandarin, so if you donít know Thai or Mandarin, youíre best off waiting for another version of the home video. The picture is cropped for your 4:3 TV screen, so everyone else with a widescreen TV will find this wanting..
Review by Gabriel Chong
Posted on 17 April 2011