Having heard about the movie by word of mouth, I finally watched the Thai summer hit Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
For reasons I can’t explain, I liked it. I guess thousands of reviewers on Douban.com would agree.
It’s a coming-of-age story, about a schoolgirl called Num who is an ugly duckling with glasses. She has a crush on the school’s heartthrob Zone, portrayed by Mario Maurer.
It’s a familiar, even clichéd story–not exactly what Thai films are all about.
Usually when we consider Thai movies we think of kungfu flicks and horror films. But in recent years the Thai films which have impressed young Chinese audiences are those which we call “pure and fresh” romantic films.
For example, movies about puppy love: the sad and beautiful The Love of Siam ; the funny and encouraging Season Change; the naive and sweet My Girl; and this latest offering, Crazy Little Thing Called Love.
These films have something in common: the storylines are simple; the supporting cast have a great sense of humor; the films are sometimes too long; and the main characters are breathtakingly good-looking–which is an attraction for cinema-goers.
If you look at the posters for Crazy Little Thing Called Love, your eyes will be dazzled by the beauty of the actors and actresses. You’ll ignore the fact that the posters have nothing to do with what actually happens in the film.
Yet how could such simple stories be so popular? Thai director Komgrit Triwimol who directed Season Change and My Girl once said: “The magic of Thai films lies in the way they tell a story. You already know the ending, but you want to know what happens next.”
To me, this type of Thai film has some of the exuberance and energy of the John Hughes teenage romantic comedies of the 1990s, such as Pretty in Pink or Sixteen Candles.
But without Hollywood’s commercial element, the Thai films are more sincere.
Production values are good, too. The films are often set in Thai tourist towns, which are lushly and lovingly displayed on film. Audiences can enjoy beautiful Thai landscapes while watching the films.