Fans of the new Netflix romantic comedy “The Half of It” are hoping the film actually is only half of the story.
The movie premiered Friday and has not only wowed critics — it currently has a 95% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes — but also found a fan following that is already screaming for a sequel.
And it raked up a major award: On Wednesday, the Tribeca Film Festival — which is bestowing honors virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic — gave it the Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature.
In the movie, directed by Alice Wu (“Saving Face”), Leah Lewis plays Ellie Chu, a smart — and closeted — Chinese-American teen in the Pacific Northwest. She agrees to write love letters for a dim jock named Paul (Daniel Diemer), who wants to win the heart of Aster (Alexxis Lemire) but doesn’t quite have the word skills for it.
Naturally, there is a twist: Ellie finds herself falling for Aster, too.
Viewers are applauding the queer coming-of-age story on Twitter with excessive praise, not to mention all-caps declarations and plenty of exclamation points.
“I KNOW ITS BEEN OUT FOR ONLY AN HOUR BUT GIVE THE HALF OF IT A SEQUEL,” said one viewer who apparently got up before dawn to check out the teen flick.
“Just saw #TheHalfOfIt and I just wanna say I NEED A SEQUEL ASAP!!! Ellie and Aster are everything!!!!” wrote one fan. Another emotional Twitter poster said the film “left my heart feeling incredibly full but empty at the same time and that’s how you know 1) that it’s incredible and truly touches you on a profound human level and 2) THAT WE NEED A SEQUEL.”
One Twitter devotee thought the filmmaker was being pretty obvious about her intentions from the start, saying, “Don’t you think Alice Wu is hinting a sequel for #TheHalfOfIt ? I mean, it’s in the title.”
They could have a point. Without spoiling too much, the end of the movie does seem to tease a potential new storyline that would take place, in the words of one character, “in a couple years.” One fan suggested that is the movie’s way of “lowkey dropping signs” that a sequel is a done deal.
While director Wu has been mum on whether a sequel actually is in the works, fans could have a chance to ask her about it themselves at 8 p.m. ET Friday night when she and the cast “will be watching along and engaging” during a viewing party.