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Genre: Comedy
Director: Adisorn Tresirikasem
Cris Horwang, Theeradej Wongpuapuan
RunTime: 2 hrs 9 mins
Released By: Golden Village
Rating: PG

Official Website:

Opening Day: 29 July 2010


An urban love story set in the center of Bangkok where thirty-year-old is Mei Li struggling to find true love. When Mei Li accidentally meets a handsome BTS engineer whom she considers as the right man, she plans to make her first move. Though too many obstacles keep popping up, Mei Li will never give up.

Movie Review:

It’s easy to dismiss the Thai smash hit comedy “Bangkok Traffic Love Story” as formulaic, but hey if you avoid movies just because they follow some tried and tested formula, then the rom-com genre is probably not for you. After all, doesn’t Hollywood revel in churning out such rom-com fare ever so often, but continue to attract hordes of adoring audiences (whether male or female) and sometimes their hapless partners into cinemas?

Rom-coms remain a hit with audiences because what they lack in originality, they make up for in both charm and chemistry. They are in essence escapist fare, inviting their audience to fantasise about that dream guy you have a crush on, those silly but sweet moments of falling in love and the indescribable joy when two people finally acknowledge their mutual feelings and commit themselves to love each other. Yes, “Bangkok Traffic Love Story” is that kind of movie, a rom-com that sticks to formula but has plenty of charm and chemistry, and in that regard, is every bit the escapist fare you’ve come to expect from a movie of its nature.

It begins with a not-altogether unlikely character- a young woman approaching her thirties who has yet to find that special someone, even as the rest of her girlfriends are already married or getting married. Mei Li (Cris Horwang) still lives with a strict father, a sympathetic mother and a grandma who only speaks Teochew with whom she communicates through her mother’s translations. That communication barrier is one of the many running jokes in the movie- on the night of her best friend Ped’s wedding, said grandma snidely remarks in her native language how Mei Li insists on dressing provocatively even though she has no breasts.

It is also the night of Ped’s wedding that Mei Li ends up pissed drunk and almost crashes her car into the road divider. As fate would have it, she meets a handsome young man Lung (Theeradej Wongpuapan) who helps her on her way home. Li will meet Lung again when he turns up as “uncle” (like a guardian sort of figure) at her house to a teenager whom Li catches making out with her family’s maid on their rooftop. Through a confluence of circumstances, Li will come to find out that Lung is a Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) engineer who works at night servicing the skytrain. So begins their journey of love, complicated by Li’s own bumbling clumsy nature and her friend Plern’s (Ungsumalynn Sirapatsakmetha) own advances at Lung- both of which are two other running jokes in the movie.

Writer/director Adisorn Tresirikasem (who also wrote and directed the utterly winsome 2003 Thai comedy “My Girl”) keeps the screwball gags coming fast at his audience. Li displays a particular knack for breaking something whenever she hangs out alone with Lung- his sunglasses, his laptop and his digital camera. On the other hand, Plern is the despicably flirtatious romantic rival audiences will love to hate- she has a different handphone for each boyfriend, and each phone is attached to a whole dangling collection of soft toys and charms. One of Plern’s boyfriends is also easily the film’s funniest supporting character, decked out in jeans so tight he has difficulty getting off or on his motorbike.

Most of the gags are reserved for the first half of the film, and even in these laugh-out-loud moments, it’s clear that Li and Lung have good chemistry with each other. Both exude a genuine likeability for each other and as Adisorn devotes more time in the second half developing their budding romance, you’ll easily find yourself rooting for them to get together. Of course, the credit goes to both Cris Horwang and Theeradej Wongpuapan, who keep their performances real and sincere, so that their audience can easily relate to their characters.

The film also acquires a strong local flavour thanks to the sponsorship of the BTS, promoted as part of their tenth anniversary celebrations. Even as an infrequent traveller to Bangkok, this reviewer can identify the many prominent landmarks in the movie- the multi-story bustling Siam interchange station or the Saphan Taksin station where one can change to the boats that ply the waterways of the Siam River. No wonder then that the movie was a runaway hit in Thailand, claiming the crown as the box-office king for 2009.

Indeed, the appeal of this “Bangkok Traffic Love Story” is readily apparent- it takes a oft tried and tested Hollywood rom-com formula, infuses it with genuinely funny screwball humour and great chemistry between its leads, and throws in a generous dose of local flavour for good measure. If you’re looking for a date movie, or a chick flick, or for that matter just a lively comedy, then make “BTS” your choice of movie this weekend.


(Genuinely amusing and delightful, this rom-com from the Land of Smiles is bound to leave a big wide grin on your face)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Ploy (2007)

. Bangkok Love Story (2007)

. Love of Siam (2007)

. Citizen Dog (2004)


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