LGBTQ representation is so important though it is not always handled well on screen. How many times have I seen a movie where these individuals are sexualised or are only used as a plot device for the main character? That is why I appreciated The Half Of It. It was refreshing to finally come across a director who gets it!
This is the story of Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), a smart teenage girl who works at the small railroad station in her hometown of Squahamish. Her mother passed away years ago and she does what she can to help take care of her dad (Collin Chou) who struggles to speak English. As a side gig, she writes the school assignments of her classmates, but aside from that, tends to stick to herself.
When popular jock Paul Minksy (Daniel Diemer) asks Ellie to write a love letter to Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire) the prettiest girl in school, Ellie isn’t sure what do to. After thinking it over, she complies thinking it will be helpful for her and her father. As Ellie begins communicating with Aster, she starts to feel things she didn’t know was possible. However, the entire time Aster believes that she is speaking to Paul and she can’t figure out why he acts one way in person and another in his letters? How will she react once the truth comes out?
This movie was super cute! The love story was totally believable and I liked watching it blossom. The dynamics between Ellie and Aster, Aster and Paul and Paul and Ellie were all great to watch. Despite the inevitable love triangle and their social rankings at school, the friendships were rooted deep.
Another stand out aspect of this picture was the Asian representation. This is something that has only been present recently thanks to Crazy Rich Asians. And for our heroine to be gay as well is pretty groundbreaking. I don’t understand why this isn’t more common.
I have to admit that I did find parts of the film to be rather slow. I found it difficult to stay focused and would often be checking my watch for the time. But I also understand that the style worked for the storyline, so it didn’t bother me too much.