Review Romantic comedy
I FINE... THANK YOU... LOVE YOU (PG13)
117 minutes/Opens tomorrow/***
The story: Gym (Sunny Suwanmethanon) hopes to win back his ex-girlfriend Kaya (Sora Aoi), who has left Thailand to work in the United States. In order to join her there, he must ace an upcoming job interview in English, a language he can barely speak. Worse, he gets off on the wrong footing with Pleng (Ice Preechaya Pongthananikorn), the English tutor he employs.
Thai film-makers, already well known for their horror flicks, are proving to be just as adept in the romantic comedy genre.
As recent popular Thai romantic comedies such as Hello Stranger (2010) and Bangkok Train Love Story (2009) have shown, Thai film-makers have the formula down pat: pretty leads, goofy sidekicks for laughs and plenty of unrealistically sweet scenarios that get young romantics swooning.
This latest example, which has become Thailand's No. 1 local romantic comedy of all time, adheres to every predictable romantic comedy convention there is, and yet still manages to be greatly entertaining.
Many scenes are laugh-out-loud hilarious and, in this case, there is no concern over lines getting lost in translation because the bad language would likely be the punchline. Most of the jokes, after all, stem from misunderstandings surrounding the English language.
So you have Gym pronouncing the letter H as S, and him awkwardly blurting out "Who are you?" instead of "How are you?" when he greets a foreigner for the first time.
When his English tutor Pleng asks him, "Do you understand?", all he can make out is the last part of the line - and awkwardly gets up on his feet.
It helps that the leads are so likeable and earnest in their delivery of puns that can get old very quickly.
Suwanmethanon, a classic heart-throb with his pan-Asian good looks, is hardly the typical romantic comedy prince here, given his uncouth and foul-mouthed mechanic role. Yet, there is charm in his sincerity and resolve to better himself at the workplace and as a boyfriend.
He certainly comes off as a lot more real than Pruek (Two-Popetorn Sunthornyanakij), the wealthy, handsome and devoted language student who woos Pleng using grand gestures.
Alongside the lovely Pongthananikorn, who first won over fans in the hit Thai romantic comedy ATM: Er Rak Error (2012), the leads share excellent chemistry. It is entertaining enough just to watch the pair bicker incessantly, whether they understand each other or not.