Over the last few years, Netflix has almost single-handedly fueled the rom-com rebound with films like Always Be My Maybe, Set It Up, and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Their latest rom-com, The Half of It, is a different kind of romance. It might be more apt to call this movie a friend-com, because the central relationship isn’t romantic, it’s about two unlikely people finding friendship while crushing on the same person. The Half of It stars Leah Lewis and Daniel Diemer as Ellie and Paul, respectively, high-schoolers who get involved in a Cyrano scheme to woo resident cool girl Aster (Alexxis Lemire). It looks FREAKING ADORABLE.
As in any Cyrano story, both the face, in this case Paul, and the brain, Ellie, love the same person, which means The Half of It isn’t just a teen Cyrano story, it’s an LGBTQ Cyrano story. Honestly, this movie looks like a lot—it’s a Cyrano rom-com, it’s a friend-com, it’s a coming of age story, and a coming out story—but the trailer, at least, gives an impression of consistency where all the parts look of a piece. It’s not easy to balance the needs of all those narrative threads, but I like the vibe The Half of It is putting out there. It’s low-key and sweet without seeming saccharine, and since we can’t hang out with our friends right now, it is nice to watch things about friendship instead (currently re-watching New Girl for just this reason).
I also really like any teen-oriented entertainment that is about boys and girls being supportive friends. We need more positive boy-girl friendship representation in the world. It can’t all fall on Steve Harrington’s shoulders. So yes, let’s kick off what will undoubtedly be a weird f-ckin’ summer with a sweet friend-com that will simultaneously make us miss our friends and give us warm fuzzies. Best friends is the soulmate story we want and need right now.