Doing romance by halves
Netflix brings us a heartfelt story about love, friendship, romance and acceptance.
The Half of It follows the story of Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), an exceptionally smart yet shy high school student who is approached by school jock Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) to ask for her help in writing a love letter to his crush, the popular yet kind-hearted Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire).
Strapped for cash, Ellie agrees to help Paul out, but there’s just one issue: Ellie also has a crush on Astrid.
This movie takes a fairly common high school romance plotline and tweaks it a bit to make something new and incredibly sweet.
From the first interaction alone, you can tell there’s chemistry between Ellie and Astrid, and I spent the duration of the movie hoping they would get together.
The film also gives a good deal of attention to the relationship that grows between Ellie and Paul.
Though both characters are very different from one another, they end up building a beautiful friendship that is as equally sweet as the romance in this movie.
There’s great character growth among the three leads, as their opinions shift and their confidence grows.
While some of the side characters are stereotypical cut-outs that you commonly see in high school dramas, there were a few stand-outs.
This includes Ellie’s father, Edwin Chu (Collin Chou), who also develops a friendship with Paul, and Ellie’s English teacher, Mrs Geselschap (Becky Ann Baker), who adds the perfect amount of snark to the scenes she is in.
Overall, this was a solid teen romance flick. The characters were engaging and the narrative was entertaining with a satisfying ending.
If you’re in the mood for a good story about young love and friendship, I’d recommend checking out The Half of It.
FOUR STARS OUT OF FIVE
OUT NOW (NETFLIX)
RUNNING TIME: 104 MINUTES