Netflix dropped its latest high school romantic comedy The Half of It on Friday, and viewers already love it so much that they’re desperate for another movie.
Written and directed by Alice Wu, The Half of It tells the story of shy student Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), who runs a small side-hustle by writing homework assignments for the wealthier kids at her school. Ellie agrees to help handsome jock Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) write a letter to the girl he likes, Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire), but things become more complicated when, in a twist on the classic Cyrano de Bergerac tale, Ellie finds herself developing some surprising feelings for Aster as well. What follows is a nuanced and touching portrayal of first love and self-discovery.
The Half of It drummed up quite a bit of hype before its release, due to the fact that it centers an Asian-American girl in the story, was written by an openly gay woman, and depicts canonically gay and bisexual characters on-screen.
“The fact that a queer love story is given the same attention to detail, the same tropes and pitfalls as a classic heterosexual love story, is another reason to celebrate The Half of It,” writes Gabriella Geisinger at Digital Spy. “But this alone isn’t enough to make a movie good. What makes The Half of It good is the self-awareness that these tropes and this story are universal – feelings of otherness and loneliness compounded by things like race, sexuality, and wealth.”
The fact that Netflix is stepping up the diversity in its teen movie offerings is great, and as the viewer reaction on Twitter demonstrates, there is an audience hungry for this kind of content. In short, the movie is giving people major feels, and fans are hoping that Netflix will greenlight a sequel and continue the stories of Ellie, Aster and Paul, maybe even spinning out The Half of It into a franchise like it did with the similarly swoonworthy teen rom-com To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
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