Title: The Half of It
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Alice Wu
Starring: Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer, Alexxis Lemire
Runtime: 1 hr 44 mins
What It Is: Ellie Chu (Lewis) is a teen with a sudden cash shortage. That’s to be expected since her dad recently lost his job. Paul (Diemer) isn’t the type of guy who can really TALK to a girl. Especially not one like Aster Flores (Lemire). The smart and artistic preacher’s daughter isn’t like most of the girls in her small town. Enter Ellie who’s begged by Paul to write text and notes for Aster under the guise of Paul. Like a 21st century Cyrano de Bergerac.
What We Think: Netflix is a place that makes two kinds of RomComs. Really good ones and absolutely awful ones. This thankfully is a really good one. It’s a balancing act of sweetness and bitterness that just makes the whole narrative work. Ellie Chu ends up looking like a straight-up star here. She’s the heart of the film and whatever she’s feeling the film makes you feel. Alice Wu has only one other directing credit (2004’s Saving Face) which has similar LGBTQ+ themes to some of the ones seen here. Those are themes that thankfully are being explored more and more and to varying degrees of success. This one is a really good one.
Our Grade: B+, With references to Edmond Rostand’s play all over this, is a film that is very…on the nose…with what it wants to do. I’m going to go ahead and leave now after that terrible joke. Anyway, access to this film is fairly easy as all you need to see this one is a Netflix subscription. This is a quick fun 104 mins that plays faster then it is. It flies right by. This is one really worth your time. So do it.