A Little Thing Called Love (2010) [Thailand]
(Puttipong Promsaka Na Sakolnakorn, Wasin Pokpong)
Personal Rating: 63
Ricky (a most excellent Twitter friend) tweeted about this film calling it "adorabubble", and that it is. The editing was all over the place for the last portion of the film, and holy frickin' time skips (there must have been about five or six at least). Mario Maurer was loverly as the hero and Pimchanok Lerwisetpibol was delightful as the ugly duckling heroine who grows up into a swan. Really, all the film is pretty much teenage angst and cuteness, and well, not that much more. It's a nice little piece about love and timing and friendship and all the silliness that goes along with it. Feel good flick if you're in need of something light.
Chocolate (2008) [Thailand]
Personal Rating: 75
A solid martial arts flick with some great editing and fantastic choreography. The fight scenes were excellent, and JeeJa Yanin doesn't disappoint as the incredibly talented and gifted martial arts fighter - who also happens to be autistic. She put in a great performance as did supporting cast members. The plot however was a little sparse on details and left a lot up to the viewer to infer, which isn't a bad thing. It's obvious that the film is first and foremost an action, martial arts film. Not for those who dislike intense martial arts fight scenes.
Love at the First Stop/First Kiss (2012) [Thailand]
Personal Rating: 74
A wonderfully delightful rom-com that calls into question age-biased relationships. For those of you who speak Korean, this is most definitely a noona-donsaeng romance, but I think the dynamic was well done. Kaneungnej Jakkarasamittanon was lovely as the heroine, and Thakrit Hermaornoppajit was heavenly. He was charismatic, funny, and the best kind of rom-com hero. I was also pleasantly surprised with the off the wall, crazy humour expressed throughout the film. While the film was not perfect, it was delightful and sweet, and I would most definitely watch it again.
Love Letter (1995) [Japan]
Personal Rating: 92
After hearing about this movie several times (often in Korean drama), bustered and I decided to watch it. It is quietly paced, beautifully shot, told well, and has an absolutely gorgeous soundtrack. A beautiful story about love, loss, forgiveness, and letting go. Miho Nakayama does a great job playing both female leads, and the actors portraying the younger versions of Itsuki Fujii were lovely (especially the most handsome Takashi Kashiwabara). The film moves slowly, and it isn't really until the end of it that you realize how much you love it.
Only Yesterday (1991) [Japan]
Personal Rating: 95
It is truly amazing to me how realistic an animated film can be. It boasts a lovely score, beautiful cinematography, a lovely understated romance, and one of the loveliest coming of age stories I have seen. The only Studio Ghibli film to never be released to home video in the US (Disney has bought the rights and never released it), it is a most definite must see. Find it, watch it! (Oh and watch the credits, it's important).
Shall We Dance? (1996) [Japan]
Personal Rating: 84
What a delightful film that can't help but charm the viewer! For some reason, in the English speaking press it seems to have acquired this idea of a heartfelt romance (see movie poster), but more than anything, this is a lovely ensemble piece with heartfelt moments, friendship, goofiness, and just all round charming sweetness. Koji Yakusho was charming and rather handsome as the office-worker-cum-wannabe-dancer, and each of the other characters were funny and quirky. I would definitely recommend watching this.