This was a very unexpectedly joyful film I used as a ‘palate cleanser’ after watching an extremely violent Green Room. The plan was to cool down and switch it off after 15 minutes but pleasantly surprised by its wit and humour I stuck with until the end. Let me be clear, it is not a masterpiece. But Alice Wu wrote and directed a film, which can easily be placed very high on the list of teenage comedies to watch when you are in need of one.
It is a story of Chinese-American loner Ellie Chu, who to support herself and her widowed father writes essays for money. One day, a simple-minded but cute Paul Munsky asks her to write a love letter to Aster Flores, a girl out of his league, who…Ellie is also in love with. And so the love triangle begins.
Wu handles sexual orientation, racism, religion, and small town mentality themes with charm and ease without trivialising any of the issues these teenagers are dealing with.
From the start we know that this story will not offer an everyone-gets-what-they-want ending but rather one where hearts are broken. Nevertheless, new friendships are born and we leave with a sense that at least some get to enter adulthood a little bit wiser and less lonely.
I watched it on Netflix