Source: KC Bailey/Netflix

These Real-Life Locations Make up "Squahamish" in 'The Half of It'



Touted as a modern remake of Cyrano de Bergerac, Alice Wu's latest young adult queer coming-of-age Netflix film The Half of It is a must-watch.

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It is a more than enjoyable romp through the confusions of high school, the triangulations of crushes, and figuring out who you really are in a sea of all-American conformity. 

Set in the fictional Squahamish, USA, the tiny town plays a key role in The Half of It. But where is the new Netflix movie filmed? Keep reading. 

Source: KC Bailey/Netflix
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Where is 'The Half of It' set?

The teen drama The Half of It tells the story of Ellie Chu, whose mother passed away and who now lives in the very white town of Squahamish, Washington with her Chinese immigrant father, who operates the city's trains.

Ellie helps her father by working at the train station, and helps her family out financially too by writing her classmates' assignments for money.

The film picks up when one of her classmates, Paul, hires Ellie's essay-writing services to pen a romantic letter to this crush, Aster. During the course of getting to know Aster well enough to court her through correspondence, Ellie realizes she might be developing feelings for Paul's crush as well.

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Where is 'The Half of It' filmed?

While The Half of It takes place in the fictional Washington town, where young Ellie moved at the age of five and was brought up her whole life, many subplots of the film revolve around the students finding a way to get out.

Source: KC Bailey/Netflix
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Even Ellie's teacher, Mrs. Geselschap urges her brightest student to dream bigger than the small town, though Ellie can't imagine leaving her father behind. And as our protagonist struggles with what it might mean to have developed a crush on another girl, it's clear the small town is conservative and religious, and looks down on same-sex relationships.

As it turns out, the town of Squahamish, Washington is a fictional one — there is in fact a town with a similar name: British Columbia's Squamish in Canada.

But The Half of It filmed neither in Canada nor in the Pacific northwest area the movie is set. Instead, it filmed in Upstate New York.

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The train station where Ellie Chu and her father live and work is actually in Thendara, New York, near Old Forge. The station is part of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, which connects Utica to Lake Placid.

Source: KC Bailey/Netflix
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The bike path that Ellie takes to and from school, where she is teased by her fellow classmates until Paul stands up to them in her stead, is the Moodna Viaduct in Salisbury Mills, located near Cornwall. According to Atlas of Wonders, fans of the 2007 movie Michael Clayton will also recognize the town sign and bridge path from that film.

Sparky's Diner, where the teenagers eat fries and go on dates, is a real diner in Garnerville, New York. Julia Roberts' film Ben Is Back, NBC's Billions, and Jonah Hill's True Story have also filmed at the eatery.

The final scene, where Ellie and Aster share a kiss and say goodbye before heading off to their respective colleges, was shot in the downtown of Piermont.

And best of all, for a little Easter Egg, Atlas of Wonders reports that the coordinates Ellie gives to Aster for the wall painting scene actually point to the world-famous Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, Spain!

For how dull they paint it in the film, it seems like Squahamish actually has a lot going for it, after all! Stream The Half of It on Netflix today.

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