And that’s how you do a coming-of-age, finding-your-way film for teenagers in a way that isn’t bubblegum colours, dubious voice-overs and an aggressive soundtrack.
That might make The Half of It dull for some people. Protagonist Ellie goes through life in the shadows and not in the Everyone Notices The Wallflower-way but really: in the background of everything. Her fellow pupils only notice her because of her essay writing skills, and one of them decides to use those skills for a more romantic endeavour. ‘Romantic’, as this is a teenage story and Cyrano de Bergerac-ing a relationship is never a good idea.
But that’s what happens, and Ellie is confronted with things that hang out with her in those self-chosen shadows. Do I make it sound too much like a horror film like this? I swear it isn’t!
Although looking at the poster.. that’s a bad poster.
Anyway, focus. The Half of It is a film for the children of immigrants, the half-orphans, those who have ever been confused with their identity, and those that didn’t view high school as the highest point of their life’s experience. It’s sweet in a cool way.
Worry it’s all too teenager for you? Watch Saving Face by the same director.
The Half of It, Netflix 2020