Movie: The Half of It
Where to watch it: Netflix
Ellie Chu is a quiet, friendless high school senior who assists her single father financially by writing papers for her classmates. When fellow student, Paul Munsky, approaches her with an unusual request of helping him write a love letter to popular Aster Flores, Ellie turns him down. That is until her electricity is threatened to be turned off. She begrudgingly takes the assignment. Ellie and Paul work together researching Aster’s interests, improving Paul’s ridiculously terrible communication skills, and inadvertently becoming friends. When Paul finally scores his dream date with Aster and its successful, it seems that Ellie’s job is done. However, Paul continues to show up for Ellie when she needs her the most. Meanwhile, Aster begins to silently question her relationship with Paul as he doesn’t quite seem to have the same depth he did when Ellie was assisting him. In the end, it turns out that the constructed relationship was doomed to fail. Paul had fallen in love with Ellie. Ellie’s reluctances to assist Paul initially was due to her own romantic feelings for Aster. And Aster, well, she still needed to discover who she was and what she wanted in her own life. In this story, no one gets the girl. However, this allow of all our characters to find their next steps onto their future path.
Is it worth watching: I think so? It is a little teen angsty with some typical tropes. However, I really like that the point of this movie is not about a happy ending – though it does not end on a bad note. Instead, it is about allowing each of these characters to go through a process of finding themselves and what they want as individuals. It is about not living for the expectations of friends, family, and community but finding our own path in life. Sometimes that means staying in the little town where you’ve always lived; leaving your family to grow; or questioning everything that is expected of you.