At the beginning, writer / director Alice Wu’s movieThe Half of Itdoesn’t appear to be particularly different from the high school films you may have seen before. Yet, as you continue watching, it soon reveals itself to be more than you expected.
Starring Leah Lewis, Daniel Diemer and Alexxis Lemire, Wu’s film turns into a beautiful, sweet and well written story about two high school students who bond over the girl they both secretly love.
As someone who’s always been partial to well told stories of beautiful friendships, The Half of It ticks a lot of boxes for me. From the scenes that showed the growth of the bond between seventeen year old Ellie (Lewis) and Paul (Diemer), to the film’s pacing, dialogue and the believable performances by the young talented cast. As I watched The Half of It, I found myself interested, engaged and often moved.
I also like that Paul and Ellie’s friendship isn’t the kind that doesn’t get tested. It is in fact the smart way the story navigates those all important tests through the key themes that emerge which made me like Wu’s movie even more.
Watch The Half of It because it’s good but also for a beautiful friendship story that features the kind of connection and love that absolutely anyone would be lucky to have. After all, as per the film’s trailer, ‘Not every love story is a romance’
Set in New York City (of course!) and directed by Peter Segal, Second Act is about an underestimated retail worker who reinvents her life and her life-story, leading to her finally landing her dream job and more.
Even though Second Act is similar to the other Lopez romance / comedies mentioned – in a few ways, there’s still a difference or two that I didn’t see coming. Generally, I enjoyed the humour and watching the dynamic between the three main female characters. The fact that Leah Remini and Lopez happen to be close friends in real life somehow only added to my experience of this movie.
Other personal highlights include the way Lopez and Vanessa Hudgens were styled, the New York City setting plus the wise and very accurate wisdom shared at the very end.
Watch Second Act especially if you like Lopez and the two Lopez movies mentioned. Segal’s film is definitely a little different in a good way; and who knows, perhaps you may even prefer it. Maid In Manhattan and The Wedding Planner remains my favourites.