What is it about the genre of rom coms from Netflix that hooks you into the streaming service. Perhaps it's the millisecond you get when hovering over a poster exposing the full blown trailer, or the clear definition of young faces staring at you - somehow it successfully helps you push the little square button to play. 'The Half of It' is a new addition which follows a timid brainy asian girl helping the jock boy to woo the popular female in school whilst hiding her own feelings of lust for the girl. This modern day spin was sure to turn Troy and Gabriella from High School Musical on it's head.
You know instantly a feature belongs to Netflix. The camera movements are wide and colourful, as they pick up the various angles of the scenery. This film's colour is stunning and the director Alice Wu did a fantastic job with this. I enjoyed the music throughout and felt the film had a documentary style to it which made it interesting as you were drawn through the narrative and the characters challenges. This is a new version of a rom com having a lead character as a homosexual Asian female which is monumental and aspiring for wider audiences.
Unfortunately, this tale has been done a hundred times. 'Cinderella Story' 'John Tucker Must Die' 'Easy A' have all told the high school story before with the 'secret lover behind the mask'. To me it was a less entertaining 2 hour episode of Netflix's series 'Sex Education' with bike rides to school and teenagers training in derelict old toilets and cabins. What lacked was the emotion in the characters, perhaps down to the acting, or the shadow which is placed over them. The training days with Ellie and Paul were draining and repetitive. The focus on technology and messages was also a bore as the characters portrayed their feelings staring at a screen, similar to our modern day world. The story itself got deflated after Aster and Ellie had spray painted the back wall of the restaurant, probably the most thrilling part of the film.
If you catch the smiling teenagers as you scroll through Netflix, if you're under the age of 18 and haven't seen the last 5 rom coms depicted in high school, then you might find surprises in the lovers tale. The film needed more drama, realism and emotion to keep me involved. Aster says in the movie, 'It takes 11 muscles for you to yawn' and I was using all 11 in the first 20 minutes.