Out of all the NWPs we've watched, The Half of It is by far the one that's more my norm. A refreshing coming-of-age romantic comedy set in high school, The Half of It challenges who is the protagonist in one's own life and what love looks & feels like.
In a bid to increase her cash flow, whip-smart Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis) agrees to help high-school jock Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) pen a love letter to his crush for a fee but inadvertently ends up catching feelings for the letter's recipient, Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemire), taking them both by surprise. Written and directed by Alice Wu (Saving Face), this film starts off with a very cool animated opening sequence about finding your soulmate which Wu breaks down in the video below.
I really enjoyed the use of illustrations, typography and revered words in this. There were so many good and thought-provoking quotes which earmark key points in the film such as this which was used right from the start and gives a clear indication of where this story is going:
"Love is simply the name for the desire and pursuit of the whole" - Plato, The Symposium
But don't be fooled into thinking that all you'll get out of this is romance, the film subtly discusses racism, family expectations, grief, friendship and self-worth through some of the most interesting characters. And watching the relationship Ellie has with her dad (Collin Chou) unfold in their cosy living room decorated with fond memories, routine and words unsaid was both fascinating and lovely.
I'm off to go find friends and potential love interests who will run after me as I drive off now so, do let us know what you think of The Half of It when you the chance.