292 user 76 critic

The Half of It (2020)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 May 2020 (USA)
2:36 | Trailer
When smart but cash-strapped teen Ellie Chu agrees to write a love letter for a jock, she doesn't expect to become his friend - or fall for his crush.


Alice Wu


Alice Wu
2,164 ( 206)
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Leah Lewis ... Ellie Chu
Daniel Diemer ... Paul Munsky
Alexxis Lemire ... Aster Flores
Wolfgang Novogratz ... Trig Carson
Collin Chou ... Edwin Chu
Becky Ann Baker ... Mrs. Geselschap
Enrique Murciano ... Deacon Flores
MacIntyre Dixon MacIntyre Dixon ... Father Shanley (as Macintyre Dixon)
Catherine Curtin ... Colleen Munsky
Alec Tincher ... Senior Guy (In Hallway)
Bonnie Flannery ... Senior Girl (In Hallway)
Tyler Crozier ... Truck Teen
Spencer Wawak ... Hangout Dude
Patrick T. Johnson ... Tom Carson
Gabi Samels ... Quaddie Girl #1 (Amber) (as Gabrielle Samels)


A shy, introverted, Chinese-American, straight-A student finds herself helping the school jock woo the girl they both secretly love. In the process, each teaches the other about the nature of love as they find connection in the most unlikely of places. Written by Netflix

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


a different kind of love story


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language and teen drinking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Aster's text handle is Diega Rivero (a play on the name of Mexican artist Diego Rivera), alluding to Aster's Mexican heritage. See more »


As Mrs. Geselschap first talks to Ellie, the distance between Geselschap's drinking mug and her face keeps changing between cameras. See more »


Ellie Chu: Is this really the boldest stroke you can make?
See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movies of 2020 (So Far) (2020) See more »


Bring on the Rain
Written and Performed by Hudson Moore
Under license from Good Sort Music Group
See more »

User Reviews

Beautiful Story about Love, Friendship and Longing
30 April 2020 | by rannynmSee all my reviews

The Half of It is certainly a beautiful story about love, friendship and longing. It is a very relatable story about the process of discovering love and what comes with it. The acting is splendid and writer/director Alice Wu is very assertive in both capacities.

The story follows Ellie Chu (Leah Lewis), a shy and introverted, straight "A" student, in her senior year, helping a friend, Paul, to capture the attention of the girl of his dreams, Aster. Initially, Ellie writes just one letter, but the story evolves into an exchange of text messages before their first date. During the journey, the characters discover the truth of the stress and challenges of courtship.

The film starts with a beautiful, artsy animation and excellent voice over work, guiding us into the mysteries of love at a very young age. The Half of It is a very well narrated story, keeping you intrigued, making you wanting to know more about the characters and how they will end up. The editing and music are very interconnected and they work in perfect harmony, turning into amazing storytelling.

I enjoyed the acting and the honesty of Leah Lewis' portrayal of a very timid, but determined girl. I love Paul naiveté and his struggle to communicate and show his emotions and how his innocence contrasts with Ellie's intelligence. Despite their differences they become friends, which is one of my favorite aspects of the film. I also love Collin Chou who plays Ellie's dad. He barely speaks English but he's really funny. He portrays a very loving and kind man and wants what's best for his daughter. Ellie's Dad loves classic films and, throughout the movie, there are several references to art in different disciplines like painting and poetry. This makes the film feel very grounded. "The Best Part," as Ellie's Dad refers when interrupted when watching his cinema classics, is when Ellie and Aster are in a secret lake and just talking. The scene itself is beautiful and the acting feels so natural. I love how this scene is shot and found it really relaxing.

The Half of It is not the typical high school movie, because in almost every high school movie there is a popular girl, a shy nerdy girl with lots of clichés and no substance. But in this movie the characters are real, current and deep.

The message of this film is "be the best version of you." Ellie used to be an artist and one of the things she learns is that "you can have a good painting, but to make it a great one you need to make a bold stroke." I think what she means by "bold stroke" is the best version that you can possibly be of yourself. Also we hear that "love is the journey we pursue with determination."

This film is wonderful! I could watch it a million times and still be entertained. I give The Half of It 5 out of 5 stars and recommended it for ages 12 to 18.

Reviewed by Zoe C., KIDS FIRST! Film Critics. For more reviews by youth, visit kidsfirst dot org.

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Release Date:

1 May 2020 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Half of It See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Likely Story See more »
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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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