Director: Greg Berlanti
Writer/s: Elizabeth Berger, Isaac Aptaker (screenplay by), Becky Albertalli (based upon the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”)
Starring: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Logan Miller, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., and more.
I will admit, I have always had a liking to these young adult romantic comedies. Even though roughly 80% of them are near carbon copies of each other but seldomly they impress me. Ironically enough, the last young adult comedy I enjoyed was “Everything, Everything” from 2017 starring Amandla Stenberg and… Nick Robinson! The same lead of “Love, Simon”. With this film, it caught my attention early with a topic I can get behind and a cast I have enjoyed in previous TV series’ and films. So my hopes were pretty high heading into my viewing of “Love, Simon”. I was hopeful I would be as satisfied as I expected to be by the time the film was over.
“Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.”
As I anticipated, “Love, Simon” was a joy to sit through. Primarily, much to the effort of the stellar cast and an easy flowing story. The two hour film felt like a moment and I enjoyed nearly every moment of the film. “Love, Simon” is, again, a young adult romantic comedy so if that genre has never interested you in the past, that trend will probably continue. However, if you enjoy this genre, this is by far one of the better films in the category. You may laugh, you may cry, you may get angry. It has the capability to spark many emotions within an individual and it is wonderful film experience for being a young adult film.
One thing about this film that makes me happy is simply the subject matter of the film. While other LGBT films have been released in the past, including the recent Oscar Best Picture “Call Me By Your Name” (Review here). A lot of these films have not been released and mass marketed to the general population like “Love, Simon” has. While a film like “Call Me By Your Name” gains instant attention by the LGBT community and obviously the Oscar community, a film such a this goes blind to a majority of the everyday demographic. “Love, Simon” is a film that has been marketed to everyone. This film needs to be watched and should be watched.
***Minor spoilers ahead
While I thoroughly enjoyed “Love, Simon” and I feel it was entertaining enough for multiple views, personally. There were some points that are glaringly affecting my rating on the film. For one point, when Simon’s friends abandoned him because he was being blackmailed to help Martin get together with Abby, thus messing things up within his friend circle. His friend circle asks him why he would ruin the circle by inserting Martin in and after Martin has exposed Simon of being gay to the whole school, his friend group instantly attacks him despite being at the wrath of the school. From my perspective, if that is how “friends” act, that is garbage. Regardless of being blackmailed into messing with the circle, if they were true friends they would see what was about to happen to Simon now that he was exposed to the whole school. Which leads me to my next point that affects my outlook on the film…
My second point, the bullies/lack of bullies in the film. There are two (maybe three if you count Martin) bullies throughout the film. While the two main bullies obviously symbolize what someone may experience coming out being gay in high school may look like, they are light in regards of the bullying. My main gripe with the bullying was the lack thereof. After Simon comes out, the two bullies put on a mini show making fun of Simon then are destroyed at the hands of a teacher who makes them look like fools. This is all well and good but after this point, the bullying ends. Simon comes out on his own terms on social media and everyone is welcoming. Everyone says hi to Simon that have not before. Everything is well and fine. For me, this does not show the truth of a high school environment. There would be more cyber bullying. There would be more people against him at school. I understand this film and its creators probably wanted to create a welcoming and happy experience for Simon and anyone viewing this movie but for me, I would have rather had a realistic environment that his friends or teachers would help him ignore and get past. Or even finding the strength in himself to ignore the bullying that would be present.
“Love, Simon” once again delivered mostly everything I could have wanted in the film. Lead by a wonderful cast and a smooth and enjoyable story, we have a film that is being viewed by society as a whole and an important film at that. This film thus far has been getting great reviews and has been widely welcomed with open arms. Regardless of my key points which affected my rating, “Love, Simon” is overall a great young adult film that should be held much higher than the stereotypical young adult romantic comedy.