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‘The Half of It’ is the unique, queer coming-of-age romcom you’re waiting for

We really need more young, queer romcoms. Good thing Alice Wu’s “The Half of It” is here to end our queer coming-of-age romcom drought. And here’s a plus: It’s coming to Netflix real soon.

What’s “Half of It,” you ask? It’s a classic romcom: Boy meets girl, boy can’t talk to girl, boy meets another girl to write sweet texts to girl, another girl falls in love with another girl. Think of Edmond Rostand’s French play “Cyrano de Bergerac”—except it’s gayer and set in 2020.

It tells the story of Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), an introverted Asian girl in a small, white community who is trying to help her single father with money problems by ghostwriting essays in her school. One day, the school’s average jock Paul (Daniel Diemer) asks her help to write love letters for his crush, a popular girl named Aster (Alexxis Lemire). And as you can imagine, everything snowballs from there. 

The text in a trailer reads: “Not every love story is a romance.” It’s evident in its first teaser that “The Half of It” is layered with a lot of themes; growing up, self-discovery, unlikely friendships and of course, young love. “I used to think there was only one way to love. That A plus B minus C equals Love. Now that I’m older, I see there are more. So many more ways to love than I had ever imagined,” says Wu in a Deadline interview.

Read more: Watch 10 LGBTQ+ films where nobody dies

Wu also directed another romcom back in 2004 called “Saving Face.” If you read our listicle on queer movies where no one dies, you’ll know it’s about Chinese-American lesbians trying to navigate their sexualities and cultural expectations together. This is rarely seen in Hollywood—and now we get to see more stories like this.

Watch the trailer for “The Half of It” below: 

Read more:
7 relatable Filipino coming-of-age films for young LGBTQ+ people
8 underrated films made by female filmmakers
Discover Bikolano queer culture through this literary anthology

Still from “The Half of It”

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Rogin Losa
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