There are a ton of films about teens coming into their own as they fall in love and learn more about life in general. It may seem hard at this point to put an alternate spin on this premise but Netflix’s upcoming drama The Half Of It, premiering on May 1, is doing something different. The film’s new trailer teases a story with a Cyrano de Bergerac vibe with a modern twist.
The film, written and directed by Alice Wu, stars Leah Lewis as Ellie Chu, a shy girl who lives with her single father. Ellie is a brilliant writer and pens essays for her classmates for a nominal fee, even though they don’t treat her with respect. Her life changes when her jock classmate Paul Munsky (Daniel Diemer) requests her writing skills to pen love letters (hello lady Cyrano) and help him win over “it” girl Aster Flores (Alexxis Lemiere).
This would be an easy task for Ellie—if she weren’t secretly in love with Aster, too. Throughout this process, Ellie and Paul develop an unlikely bond and become close friends. He defends her and she supports him in several ways, including cheering him on at his football game.
The Half Of It’s trailer depicts love in ways which aren’t usually explored in teen films. Love doesn’t always have to be romantic to strike a chord with viewers. Ellie and Paul have a platonic relationship that will be a major part of the film. He doesn’t freak out or reject Ellie over her feelings for Aster. There are also hints that Aster and Ellie will at least form a friendship with each other, too. Will it turn into something more? Maybe.
Ellie’s crush on Aster is also the reality of many high school girls who aren’t sure what to do with those feelings and if they should even pursue them. The weight on both kinds of love feels even in this clip and will hopefully be that way in the film too.
Paul and Aster don’t seem to subscribe to the stereotypical behavior expected from popular kids. They show Ellie, an outsider, kindness and see her as a person instead of someone to carry out a transaction. It’s a refreshing portrayal of teens as opposed to the normal self-centered or mean behavior in a lot of teen flicks.
This trailer certainly doesn’t give away all the details but The Half Of It does set up a beautiful love story about friendship and being your authentic self.
Header Image: KC Bailey/Netflix