The Half of It is a Fully Great Movie
Alice Wu’s charming and moving The Half of It is a 100% fully great movie, and it’s very good-ness has me wondering why it’s been 16 years since her first feature.* Things this film does well: captures the environment in “Squahamish,” Washington;** catching the small feelings of longing that aren’t quite kept hidden; being funny and poignant; starting with a situation that wasn’t a good idea, and kept getting worse, all the while not turning me away from choices made by characters. If you like subtle performances, movies about teenagers, movies about small towns, or movies with Becky Ann Baker,*** cue this movie up tonight!
The verdict: Recommended
Cost: Netflix monthly fee ($8.99)
Where watched: at home
Consider also watching:
*Saving Face was released in 2004. The time between movies directed by women can be maddening.
**Good job, New York State! You pulled off Washington’s overcast and green environment like a pro.
***Mrs. Weir in Freaks and Geeks and also Lena Dunham’s mom in Girls. She plays a high school teacher in this film.
- What other films can you think of that involve beginning voice-over narration tell us that things aren’t going to work out?
- What’s your favorite small-town movie?
Favorite IMDB trivia item:
The opening monologue is the story told by Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium. Aristophanes was a comedic playwright at the time of Socrates and Plato and is considered the greatest Greek comedic writer. The Symposium is a dialogue about a dinner that Socrates attends. During dinner Socrates, in typical fashion, begins to ask questions of his host and the other guests. The dialogue centers on the topic of love, each interlocutor attempts to answer the question what is love? Aristophanes’ story tells of how humans use to be whole and the gods got jealous and split us apart. We spend our lives searching for that other half. According to Aristophanes, our other half could be someone of the same or opposite gender.
- Screen Zealots
- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post