The Half Of It is the Netflix teen romance we never knew we needed
In need of something to watch over the weekend? Look no further.
Netflix may have conquered our hearts with teen romance To All The Boys I've Loved Before but we're here to tell you that the streaming service has nearly gone one better.
The Half Of It is the story of shy high school student Ellie who agrees to write love letters for jock classmate Paul in return for cash, only to wind up falling for the girl he likes too.
Right off the bat, this LGBT twist makes the film an outlier of its genre - but that's just one reason to check it out. Here are a few more.
The plot is refreshing
Deception and forbidden lust are teen movie staples. What's new here is the queer, non-white teenage girl grappling with her sexual identity. How many times have we seen a 17-year-old Asian-American girl explore her crush on a female classmate in a mainstream romance film?
The fact that Ellie's love interest, Aster, appears torn between not only a guy and a girl but also her faith is an added layer and means that never feel like you know how things will pan out.
The ending may be frustrating - but it works
Not to spoil anything, but The Half Of It doesn't exactly finish how you might expect it to. It could even feel underwhelming but the film's restraint in choosing not to wrap up neatly pays off; reflecting both what it's really like to have a crush and to be a teenager.
Director Alice Wu has acknowledged that not everyone loves the ending but said that there's a bigger point to it.
"The reality is it’s not about who gets the girl. I think this is the happiest ending possible because I do think this is true to all three characters," she told Collider.
The casting is perfect
Not only do Ellie, Aster, Paul and their classmates actually look like teenagers but they feel like teenagers too, thanks to leads Leah Lewis, Alexxis Lemire and Daniel Diemer. Leah Lewis especially is fully in control of her character, so much so that you can't help but watch her every second she's on screen.
The Half Of It is streaming on Netflix now.