Why Everyone NEEDS to Watch the Netflix Film "The Half of It"

Quarantine is a lonely, boring time where days are filled with TikToks, baking and Netflix binges. From Outer Banks to Tiger King, Netflix is keeping everyone sane during this time with a constant stream of content. One of their newest additions is the movie, The Half of It. 

 

Now, if you are like me, you are wondering if any of these Netflix Originals are actually good or are you just that bored. After watching various shows and films, I know I am super bored at this point, but let me tell you something about The Half of It. 

 

It's actually THAT GOOD. 

 

Within the first twenty minutes I fell in love with everything about, from the characters to the plot, to the cliche tropes every movie of this genre includes. I was never bored or thought the movie was basic. I was in love.  

 

The Half of It follows Ellie Chu, a gifted outsider in her small, fictional town of Squahamish, Washington where she feels isolated from the rest of peers. That is until she meets popular jock, Paul Munsky, who pays her to write a love letter to his crush, Aster Flores. Ellie and Aster share many similarities, making Ellie the perfect person to help Paul. While Ellie writes his letters, helps him text Aster, and sets the two of them on dates, Paul and Ellie develop a genuine friendship. Troubles only start to arise when Ellie realizes she has feelings for Aster, but she suppresses them in order to maintain her friendship with Paul. This is not your typical love triangle, and this film is not your typical love story. 

 

The story presented in The Half of It is deep, complex and pulls at your heartstring in many different directions. 

 

What sets the film apart from so many other teenage rom-coms is the fact that the central love story is not between Paul and Aster or Ellie and Aster, but between Ellie and Paul. No, they do not fall in love romantically, but every viewer truly feels for their platonic love. The two actors are able to convey the feelings of what it is like to find your best friend, all while going through the stages of meeting each others’ parents to coming out as gay. 

 

These experiences are so special in their own right, and the way the film develops the importance of friendship makes it so special. It makes every viewer more lonely in quarantine, to be honest, because watching the movie makes everyone miss the friends they currently can’t see. Despite these evoked feelings, the emphasis on friendship and platonic love throughout the film ultimately makes the viewer truly appreciate their friends even more. 

 

Secondly, the movie shows some much-needed representation. Not only is the lead Chinese-American, but she is also a member of the  LGBTQ+ community. Seeing a lead be either is rare, so a lead who is both is almost unheard of. This casting not only adds the necessary levels of representation the movie industry is so desperately lacking, it makes Ellie’s character more multidimensional. She feels isolated in her community due to elevated intelligence, her race, and her sexual orientation. Squahamish is a deeply religious community, which contributes to her feelings as an outsider. These additional levels to Ellie’s identity make her relatable to a larger audience. 

 

Finally, Paul Munsky is a Netflix boyfriend worthy of dethroning Peter Kavinsky. Paul is sweet, kind, loving, dedicated, and protects those he cares about. Whenever mean kids at their school make racist remarks towards Ellie, he stands up to them and defends her. He befriends and hangs out with her dad, even when she is not around. Even in difficult times, when he makes mistakes, he owns up to them and apologizes. Paul is someone that you want in your life no matter the form. Sorry Netflix. I know you tried to make Paxton Hall-Yoshida from the series Never Have I Ever your newest craze, but a true intellect knows that Paul Munsky reigns supreme. 

 

The Half of It was honestly the quaran-content I had been waiting for but never knew I needed. It was genuine, heart-felt and original. The cast performed their parts so well; it is basically impossible to not relate to someone in the film. Additionally, isolation has been tough, and this film made me appreciate my friends during this time even more than I already do. I miss them and this movie proved to me why. Best friends trump any romantic relationship you can have; however, on that note, if Paul Munksy (or I guess Daniel Diemer) is reading this, feel free to hit me up. :)