Hold on, this isn’t your normal teenage high-school movie? Chinese-American lead? Okay.. so this is another To All Boys I’ve Loved Before copycat? Well, The Half Of It has all the ingredients you would need for a classic rom-com with a now more normalised Asian-American lead. However, it is so much more than that… let me tell you why.
Though I was intrigued by the in-film “taco sausage” – I’ll explain later, I had my favourite Lowrey’s Pork Rinds with me as I was stumbled across this open-minded film.
Thanks Lowrey’s for sponsoring this review!
This film follows a 17 year-old Chinese-American, Ellie Chu, who grows up in a very religious part of town. She keeps to herself and has a ‘business’ of writing papers for her fellow students for a bit of quick cash.
Seems all fun and well until, Ellie Chu, a closeted gay may I add, helps her classmate Paul (who cannot finish an understandable sentence for the life of him) to write his love letters to Aster Flores.
So picture this, a shy girl, Ellie, still figuring out her sexuality, but extremely good with words (when written) who could use the $50 that Paul is commissioning her, and Paul, a walking ball of hormones who struggles to strike up any ounce of an interesting conversation with the drop-dead gorgeous (but not your popular dumb blonde) Aster.
So now we have the dynamics of this somewhat sorted, let me just add that both Ellie and Paul are smitten on Aster – are you following?
Okay, let’s pause.
So it’s an interesting love triangle if you will. However, as the film goes on we realise that the friendship between Paul and Ellie is what the film focuses on more than anything. Obviously, striking conversation on immigrant families, LGBTQ+ representation and traditional views of love are present in this film. However, The Half Of It makes us analyse the unlikely friendship pairing and trust established between Paul and Ellie.
After all, they go through all the same emotions (in terms of their feelings for Aster) – and because Paul is spending so much time with Ellie, has grown a close relationship with Ellie’s father. To our surprise, Ellie’s father approves of Pauls “chef” skills when he tastes a Taco Sausage (ultimately just a sausage in a tortilla wrap – I don’t know what you expected).
A simple story about a closeted gay and her friendship with the unlikely pairing of a friend. But, the very fact that this story is actually pretty simple, it’s eye-opening that we haven’t seen anything like this on our screens until now.
This story represents all the stories that have not been told but very much do exist – no matter how hard Hollywood tries to deny it.
And for that, I give it a 4/5.
OUR RATING: 4/5