I’ve been on a romantic movie kick recently, so checked out The Half of It; a cyrano de bergerac story line set in rural Washington small town with the added thread of the main character, Ellie Chu, being the only Asian (other than her father) in the town. The movie was uneven, but ultimately worth seeing. Ellie Chu supports her emotionally broken father by writing essays for other high school kids. One day, a sweet jock hires her to write a love letter to the most beautiful girl at the high school. Feelings develop all over the place. Mainly what makes this movie worthwhile is the slow development between Ellie and the Jock– not romantically, but in appreciating the depths hidden underneath the high school veneer. There’s some quite unbelievable YA high school tropes I wish the media would get over– such as really mean-spirited hazing, some sudden confessions in public places, etc. But overall, the dreamy literary and artistic exchanges between Ellie and the beautiful girl will please John Green fans. Streaming on Netflix. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Half_of_It

I really enjoyed Netflix’s super cute romantic Christmas comedy Dash and Lilly. Each episode is only about 23 minutes. Even Tokyo boy is watching it which I attribute to the crazy dares. But for me the best part is that they found biracial Japanese actors to play the siblings and venerable actor James Saito to play the grandfather (plus New York’s flagship bookstore The Strand features heavily). It’s got lots of silly side characters (and a cameo by Nick Jonas) but the family dynamics are the best. There’s also a quite ridiculous scene where Dash has to make mochi with a bunch of silent Japanese Grandmothers. It’s a bit awkward and possibly heavy on the “Asian wisdom” stereotype, but I loved the disapproval on the grandma’s faces! #listentoyourinnermochi