• The Half of It
  • Alice Wu
  • Black List No Manager Set Up 2018 S
  • 81.2
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Details
Market December 7, 2018    Sold December 7, 2018
Producer Anthony Bregman
Agent Steve Jo Eads, Darian Lanzetta, John McGregor (CAA)
Financier Netflix
Set to start shooting April 2019.
Loglines
A smart, lonely teen is commissioned by the high school running-back to write love letters to the object of his,
and her, affection
A simpleminded but kind-hearted jock pays a nerdy girl to pen love letters under his name to a popular girl whom they're both interested in.
A nerdy high school outsider gets hired by an earnest football player to write love letters to the girl that he wants to win and that she too secretly loves.
A female high school student is prompted by a football player to write love letters to his school crush.
Format
Genres
Comedy, Faith/Spirituality, Family, Romance, Romantic Comedy, Teen, Asian Theme, Chick Flick, Coming of Age, Contemplative, Dating, Daughter, Father/Daughter, Feel Good/Uplifting, Female, Female Protagonist, Football, Friends/Friendship, Heartwarming, High School, Identity, Inspirational, LGBTQ, Love, Love Triangle, Philosophical, Relationship, Small Town, Social Commentary, Student, Teen Comedy
Pages
100
Rated
PG-13
Budget
Medium
Lead
F Asian 17 Average
Similar
"To All the Boys I've Loved Before," "Kissing Jessica Stein," "The Fault in Our Stars" "Sierra Burgess is a Loser"
When
Present, Spans Several Weeks
Where
Takes place entirely in and around the town of Squahamish, Washington. Major locations include a high school, a train depot, a road into town, a run-down apartment, and a low quality rec room. Minor locations include a Catholic Church, a gravel yard, a sausage shop, a McMansion, a couple of diners, a movie theater, a pharmacy, a cowfield, a football stadium, and a forest hot spring.

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Synopsis
ELLIE CHIU (17), a high school senior, walks to Squamish high school, being bullied by peer high school students, then enters mass. At mass, DEACON FLORES Ellie is venmoed twenty dollars by a classmate which is later revealed that Ellie runs a business writing papers for students.

After mass, Ellie is conversing with MRS. G about the papers she writes for different students. Mrs. G then attempts to persuade Ellie to apply to Grinnell College. Ellie declines Mrs. G expressing her desire to stay in Squamish.

The next morning rises and Ellie again is bullied on her walk to school, though PAUL MUNSKY (17) football player, aggressively stops Ellie. Ellie, assuming Paul’s desires, immediately lists her prices for academic papers. Paul declines this offer, asking Ellie to write his love letter to his crush, ASTER FLORES (16). Ellie initially declines Paul’s offer.

Later the same evening, Ellie receives a notice that the light and power bill in the Chiu apartment is overdue, and she needs urgent money to pay the bill before the services are removed. The next day, Ellie clashes with Aster in the hallway while on customer service. With limited time and options, Ellie reconsiders Paul’s offer and accepts to help...
Reader 1 Comments
OVERALL (RECOMMEND)
Paul, a simple-minded but kind jock, hires Ellie, a nerdy girl, to pen love letters under his name to the popular Aster, whom both of them have romantic interests for. Ellie is a compelling protagonist whose already well-defined character arc is further complemented by the colorful Aster and Paul. The meticulously developed characters are put into suspensefully difficult positions through the cleverly escalated layered conflicts. Furthermore, the clever dialogue and the creative visual imagery work together to constantly heighten the dramatic irony throughout, establishing a witty and light-hearted yet nuanced and suspenseful tone that’s effective for the high-school romantic comedy genre. While acknowledging familiar tropes in this genre, “The Half Of It” subverts expectations associated with such tropes, resulting in an incredibly engaging and original narrative both in concept and execution....
Reader 2 Comments
OVERALL (RECOMMEND)
A self-reliant nerd becomes friends with a dimwitted but kind jock after he hires her to write love letters to the girl they both secretly love. Ellie is a sympathetic and likeable lead. Her flaw, being too afraid to act on what she wants, is relatable but also provides a significant challenge for her to overcome, and much of “The Half of It” traces her arc of becoming bolder. The external conflict of setting up the jock Paul with complex Aster is challenging but could be heightened, and there are sequences where this conflict is secondary to the development of relationships. Ellie’s internal conflict between her friendship with Paul and her feelings for Aster is compelling but would be more satisfying if it were solved by Ellie rather than bad timing. Events are well-structured, with turning points happening as soon as relationships have been developed enough and tracing Ellie’s journey to overcome her flaw. The dialogue highlights characters’ distinct voices and provides much of the humor, which is further heightened by a tone that effectively balances humor with sincerity and pain. “The Half of It” uses but subverts high school romantic comedy tropes to give a sense of freshness in its glorification of friendship over romance....
Reader 3 Comments
OVERALL (Consider)
Ellie, a high school student marginalized by her peers, is prompted by a football player, Paul Munksy, to aid him in pursuing his love interest. The character is developed adequately, with substantial development of the character's motivation and goals. The conflict is also developed with clear stakes and dichotomies. Though the conflict can be improved to further demonstrate the conflict through the protagonist, Ellie, rather than the main supporting character, Paul. Despite these suggestions, the structure is strategically formed to interweave the narrative and underlying themes such as love and identity. The tone is also consistent and molds the narrative perfectly....