Starring: Mario Maurer, Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul, Sudarat Budtporm
Director: Puttipong Pormsaka Na-Sakkonakorn, Wasin Pokpong
Running Time: 118 mins
Crazy Little Thing Called Love is a Thai film about a dorky 14 year old girl with a secret crush on an older boy, and one of the most popular students in school. In order to impress him, she decides to completely reinvent himself, in the hope that he will finally notice her.
This is a nice little film. Managing to make the typically trivial world of high school romance both enjoyable and engaging, Crazy Little Thing Called Love succeeds as a sweet and light-hearted watch throughout. It is undoubtedly a little overlong, and loses some of its charm in somewhat of a morally muddled second and third act, but on the whole, it’s light enough to enjoy as a sweet and simple romantic comedy.
First off, let’s look at the bright side of the film. The high school romance genre is one plagued with horrible flops and tedious messes. It’s a genre that almost always takes the worst tropes of romantic comedies and then adds whiny and dull teenagers into the mix, almost always overemphasising the importance of everything that’s going on at the age of 15.
However, there are some far more pleasant little gems here and there, and although I wouldn’t necessarily call this film a gem, it does avoid the worst mistakes of the genre for the most part. Above all in its sweet and very genuine opening act, we get to know a collection of very likable characters in a far more relaxed and realistic high school setting, and that makes the set up to the romance that unfolds for the remainder a lot more enjoyable.
With no annoying or whining teenagers, nor anybody overplaying the social importance of being in a relationship, the film does well to portray a teenage romance as a much sweeter and more innocent affair, something that’s replicated in the lovely performances from both Mario Maurer and Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul, making everything a lot more pleasant that what I’ve come to expect from the genre.
Despite that, however, the story does have a few pitfalls when it comes to the meat of the story. While the opening act is wonderfully sweet and very innocent, the second and third acts undo that a little bit with a somewhat morally dubious message about how to get your crush to notice you.
The problem is, the story tells about the main character effectively changing everything about herself in order to impress her crush. Now, on the one hand, there are some elements of her development that are entirely positive, including gaining more self-confidence and taking more care of herself, however some elements, including making it so her skin colour appears lighter, seem a little off to me, and really undid a lot of the opening act’s good work in making the film so sweet and pleasant.
That’s not to say it’s an unpleasant watch later on, but that loss of innocence through some of the changes she makes really leaves a big hole in the middle of the movie, and that means that the less likable story in the latter acts feels like it drags on more and more, contributing to what feels like a bit of an overlong running time.
Overall, I did like Crazy Little Thing Called Love. It’s a sweet film that starts off wonderfully as an innocent and nostalgic romantic comedy, and although it loses its way later on, it’s generally pleasant and light-hearted enough to enjoy all the way through, so that’s why I’m giving it a 7.2.