Film review: Mr. Hurt – Sunny Suwanmethanon stars in Thai rip-off of Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Ittisak Eusunthornwattana’s generic rom-com about a heartbroken guy who just can’t get away from his ex ultimately commits too many cinematic violations, but at least the main characters are easy on the eye
For people who’ve seen the 2008 Hollywood romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall – about a recently dumped, heartbroken music composer who goes on a self-healing sabbatical, only to realise his movie-star ex and her new rock-star boyfriend are staying in the same resort – Mr. Hurt may justly feel like a shameless rip-off.
Not only is the premise exactly the same, but two of the three characters’ professions remain unchanged – the only difference being that the protagonist here, played by popular Thai actor Sunny Suwanmethanon, is a tennis star instead of composer. Still, considering that Forgetting Sarah Marshall wasn’t exactly a classic, there is plenty of room for this unauthorised Thai remake to improve on the original.
But while the cinematography and production values are impressive, this film – set in Pattaya – suffers from a series of juvenile slapstick gags that usually culminate with cartoon sound effects to accentuate the punchline. Example: a character lets out a loud fart during a tense scene, followed by everyone in the room turning their heads toward her to the accompaniment of an audible “swoosh” sound effect pulled straight out of Bugs Bunny animations.
Because Mr. Hurt follows generic rom-com beats to a tee, it’s not a spoiler to say that a fourth character enters the equation after the first act: a bubbly young girl (Thai supermodel Mashannoad Suvalmas) whom the defeated protagonist initially dismisses but eventually falls for. This is where filmmaker Ittisak Eusunthornwattana takes things too far, by giving said character a life-threatening illness that of course pops up during the third act.
We can put up with the unoriginal plot, considering all four major players are likeable and easy on the eyes. We can even tolerate the Wong Jing-level lowbrow comedy. But to cram melodrama into the third act after all of that is one too many cinematic violations.
Mr. Hurt opens on July 13
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