Yes. This is a Thai movie review. So, apologies if you guys, the readers, were waiting for a korean film/drama review. It was an unexpected decision to see it because never in my life would I have thought of having a thai film in my list of have-watched films/dramas but, it was a pleasant surprise!
When my friend introduced this movie to me, I was a little hesitant about the suggestion. I wasn’t exactly excited about thai productions since most of the shows they are famous for are violent fighting shows. But then again, it’s a show with ‘love’ in its title..so..
** Spoiling the show for you beyond this message, by yours truly :P**
Anyway, ACLTCL is first and foremost, a film about crushes with Nam’s told in an ugly-duckling-to-swan style.
‘Nam’ is a 14-year-old female student who harbours a secret liking for ‘Shone/Chon’, the grade 10 heart-throb of the school. She has tanned skin, has short hair and wears glasses. Basically, she’s a tomboy and her grades aren’t that good either but she worked harder later on to see her USA-stationed dad. From the start, Nam already has a crush on Shone/Chon. And what’s not to like? He’s good-looking, he’s a gentleman and he’s smart. In short, he’s perfect despite that mischievous streak in him. With the help of her 3 buddies, she succeeds in her makeover and becomes very pretty for the sake of getting him to look at her, even if it’s just once in a lifetime.
What I liked about the show was how realistic they portrayed someone having a crush and whom, would willingly do the silliest but cutest things for their crush. Simple things like keeping the drink he/she bought for you for eternity, talking to him/her, him/her knowing your name, going to books for advice, (day) dreaming about him/her, giving him/her gifts and then taking everyone else’s away, wanting to be in the picture he’s taking, prank-calling him and then squealing, and keeping whatever he/she dropped like a treasure.
As for the characters,
Nam’s a nice girl but her outer beauty doesn’t match her pre-makeover look. I really enjoyed seeing Nam’s reactions to anything related to her and Shone/Chone. Looking at her spazz just over a small conversation she had with him or her getting nervous whenever she is very near or in slight contact with him just endears her to me. Seriously, she’s too adorable for words! And because she’s also the underdog here in terms of looks, you just want to see her get the boy. The actress did a good job.
** Major Spoilers!! Leave while you can!**
Shone/Chon was a character you had to see from beginning to end and then from beginning to the end again. Okay, you have to watch his scenes twice. Because…, he liked Nam from the start of the show too. I actually guessed that because of the way he notices small things about her but then that thought got erased immediately after seeing that he remembered the stupid girl who baked that stupid mango cake for him. So, I thought that maybe, just maybe, he had a good memory. It’s logical, since he’s supposed to be smart.. But then when his friend, ‘Top’ a transferred student, takes fancy in the makeover-ed Nam and intends to court her, Shone/Chon oh-so-casually comments that he shouldn’t. Aww..
Like I guessed, in the later parts of the show, the other side of him that had always liked her is revealed to us. The melted chocolates, pictures he had secretly taken of her, the thoughts that he had at the time the pictures were taken that’s always about his crush towards her. Everything he did that involved Nam, made him smile. That Valentine’s Day flower he coolly gave her and added that it was his friend’s and subsequently turned away regretfully? OMG HE GREW IT FOR HER JUST FOR THIS DAY. AWW! Stab me why don’t you?! The day his friend, Top, confessed to Nam was perhaps the worst. Timing and love are each other’s nemesis.
But then there’s a thing I found questionable: Why didn’t Shone/Chon confess before his friend (Top) came? Okay, you are shy. But people don’t usually confess either because it’s something fleeting or they fear rejection. However in this case, he surely could tell Nam likes him. It’s so obvious! Then, I understood the loyalty part but also felt that it was him being stupid. Seriously, the two have already broken up and your friend’s just being indignant. It’s unfair for all 3 to be miserable! 😦
Speaking of which, there’s Nam too. I found her beginning with Top unnecessary and painful. She was leading him on though I’m glad she eventually initiated the break off of her own accord. However, I don’t understand why she should date him in the first place? What was pressuring her into silently accepting Top’s confession? She could have said no or perhaps then wasn’t a good time for her brain. But she could have rejected him on another day! That’s…mean..but..it also doesn’t make sense for Nam! Was this part used just to fulfil the timing criteria?
As for the other characters, Nam’s friends were cute. I love their constant teasings. 😛 The scene where Nam wanted reconciliation was so sweet and sad! Her female teacher is probably the show’s comic relief, but I enjoyed her as well. Top was actually quite the cutie. 😛
On the whole, it’s not the storyline but the characters that made this show worthy of my praise and time. The story was good, but what made the film worthy of a favourite in my eyes, were the people of the show. The many heartfelt and funny-cute moments, balanced out the movie quite well.
On another note, ACLTCL was kinda bordering on unrealistic territory. The thought of having a perfect boy liking an ugly duckling was certainly not something that happens frequently or regularly in real life. But guess what? This show was inspired by a true story and that made the show an even sweeter watch than it already is.
Besides a show on crushes, ACLTCL also focuses on the question of whether love and good looks have to go together. Throughout the show, a person’s looks keeps being emphasised as playing a significant part in starting a relationship. It’s definitely something we, men and women, all can relate to and I don’t see anything wrong with it. We, superficial human beings, are attracted to all things pretty, there’s no denying.
But, if one judges another by the way he or she looks, then that’s totally, completely and atrociously wrong. I once heard a boy say: ‘Looks are all that matters when finding a girlfriend. It doesn’t matter if she’s a bitch or not.’ This statement is wrong on so many levels, but it also reflects what kind of (aesthetical) aspects in a partner, most are searching for. This is why, when I found out that the movie was based on a real couple’s love story, I felt that the show itself was an inspiration as well as a self-esteem boost for all girls, and guys out there.
And needless to say, I definitely recommend this show. It’s so loveable I wish I could hug it!!
Thanks for reading!