The Half Of It ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
Who isn’t a sucker for movies set in the state where they live? Director Alice Wu once lived in Washington State.
I set it in East Washington state because I spent my twenties living in Washington state. I didn’t want to make a film where the town felt menacing, like skinheads were going to come in and beat people up. But I wanted it to be a town where it’s just accepted that there are certain attitudes that people have and no one really questions them. I was actually hoping to lure people in who live in a town like that right now, or grew up in a town like that.‘The Half Of It’: Alice Wu, On LGBTQ Representation In Film : Code Switch : NPR
Before we get to Ellie Chu’s adventures in this tale, if you haven’t seen the movie yet and want to do so without spoilers, then stop reading here and please come back. Bookmark or use the site search to easily return here later so you can join us with a deeper dive into this film.
…you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …
Ellie Chu is a very smart lesbian student
Ellie fits the narrative of the super smart character that makes side money writing reports for other students. When her friend asks her to rewrite his love letter to the Aster, the pretty, popular girl, Ellie resists. She only changes her mind when their power is about to be turned off. Initially, it seems like Ellie is all in to help craft a skilled, effective letter, but soon there is more to the game. Ellie has feelings for Aster, too. When will she act on her feelings?
Does anybody get what they want?
By the film’s ending the viewer is left pondering if anybody in this story gets what they want, including Ellie. She’s boarding the train and heading out of town. She’ll be back in a couple years. Where will Aster be? What about Paul?
Reviews by Others
How do others feel about The Half Of It?
- Carolina V. / Satana Reads: “…with its tenderness and celebration of all types of love, isn’t a rom-com. It’s a love story, and a hell of a good one at that.”
- Cookie N Screen: “…is gentle. It broods with the quiet of the Squahamish forests. Exquisitely filmed with stellar centric performances”
- dev/dave: “this was a brilliant movie from start to finish. I appreciated that this movie was brave enough to poke holes in all too common—oftentimes harmful—romantic tropes and gave them a fresh, queer twist.”
- Eamon Hennedy: “…puts a legitimately modern, LGBTQ spin on the idea by having the film’s central character not only be Asian but gay and Wu gives Ellie’s story a realistic quality that feels both modern and real, but is delivered in a naturalistic way the feels wonderfully out of the norm compared to the frequent glossy teen fantasies that Netflix frequently release.”
- Film Daze / Emily Jacobsen: “The joy of The Half of It is watching the young characters navigate these ideas and struggles. Hopefully, it doesn’t take Alice Wu another 16 years for her next film, because the direction she is headed in is a promising one.”
- High Contrast: “I found all of this refreshing, particularly for a film aimed at teens, a group that is so often provided shallow, sappy and ultimately inaccurate representations of what love is. Such honesty alone would make The Half of It worth checking out, but the aforementioned attention to character development could make it a future classic.”
- Irfan Nordin / Irfan Review Films: “For viewers in search of an uncommonly smart, tender, and funny coming-of-age story, The Half of It has everything.”
- Laksh: “It has thoughtful text(s) back and forth. It has smoldering looks and a tension I easily identify with. It has friendship. It has love. It has heartbreak. Most of all, it has heart.”
- Metamorphoreader: “The whole script is this huge letter to us who are wondering what is really love, how do we love, who do we love and it’s also a letter on how there is no right way to love or a formula that will make it perfect.”
- Obsess Reviews: “I found myself wondering if trimming some of the fat and making The Half Of It 90 minutes instead of 105 might have lead to a sharper, more refined end product. Nonetheless, the personal touches that went into this movie almost resulted in the flaws becoming strengths, reflecting themes of communication, LGBT loneliness, and personal growth, and I finished the film delighted with what a fresh, unusual perspective I had just seen on the rom-com genre”
- Quibbles & Scribbles: “If you want a different take on a “love” story, one that highlights the many different kinds of love that don’t just involve romance, that can come out of nowhere, then I highly recommend”
- The UnderSCENE / Arianne Binette: “What I’ve come to realize all these years after is that through form of love stories, Wu is capable of telling so much more. With Saving Face, she was able to blend family and love in a unique way. With The Half of It she does it again but this time with friendship and love. It might not be the cute rom-com that some might have wanted but it’s the coming of age story we all deserved and should love.”
- Tom Moore / Moorereviews: “It’s standout direction and story from Wu make it a film that cannot be missed and harnesses the meaningful messages about life and love and feel good vibes are something that we could all use right now. It’s a true must-watch.”
There were actually no non-recommended reviews found from those I read. I believe this is the very first movie this has happened with here.
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Happy movie watching!