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By Eric Campos | August 4, 2007

Thai film “Right By Me” focuses on the lives of two friends – gay college students Tat and Nat. They’ve been best friends for a good part of their lives, but Nat wants to push things further as he’s fallen in love with Tat, but Tat has the uber hots for college basketball player Ek, So there’s a bit of a “Pretty in Pink” dynamic here. We join their lives just as Ek is beginning to struggle with the fact that he might be gay. This makes Tat’s romantic future bright as Nat grows more and more jealous of the attention he heaps upon the confused Ek.

Along with the story of this awkward love triangle, “Right By Me” offers a look at gay culture in Thailand, revealing that it’s still looked down upon by society, leaving gay people as outcasts. The idea of “coming out” is a difficult one and this film illustrates that as all three of these characters are in different stages of unveiling their true selves.

It’s a cute movie with a message, but there’s a price to pay -some may not be able to afford it. The filmmaking and production value of this shot-on-video feature are extremely shoddy, so much so that I was shocked that I was watching something so rough and amateur looking at the Director’s Guild in Hollywood. I’m not talking so much about the feature’s obvious budget restraints, but mostly about bad filmmaking technique – problems like awful cinematography and editing that could be fixed within any kind of budget to at least make it so it’s not so distractingly bad. But, if you have a lot of patience to spend, you will be rewarded with enjoyable characters that grow on you and an overall charming feature. In the end, despite its problems, “Right By Me” will charm your socks off.

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