Directed by: Greg Berlanti
Screenplay by: Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger
Run Time: 1h 49min
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
‘Love, Simon’ is a touching story about a high school student named Simon (Robinson). He has a secret that he has kept from everyone in his life. That secret is that hes never told his family or friends that he’s gay. The film, in a way, encourages those who haven’t, to do the same. Why do I say that? Because it shines a light on how much his friends love him and how much support his family would give him. There’s no way he doesn’t know this, yet he’s still terrified to tell anyone. The reason for that is he’s focusing only on those people who wouldn’t approve, instead of those who love him enough not to care who he loves.
‘Love, Simon’ is a coming of age story, like the many who have come before it, but there’s something special here. If you can get past the bad jokes, some which are set up, so the audience will feel for Simon, some just cheesy and ineffective, you’ll truly enjoy the film. After those are out of the way, about halfway through, ‘Love, Simon’ finds its own voice instead of trying to be a crazy, teenage romp. It’s an unusual movie with a terribly important subject and told in a brave and unique way but not until later in the film, when the filmmakers decide they’re not trying to be ‘Revenge of the Nerds’, ‘Sixteen Candle’s,’ or your basic romantic comedy, will you feel that it is. Had they stayed away from the horrible character of the principal (Hale), it might not have been judged so harshly but at times it was so over the top, especially with him, that I can’t help mention how mediocre it could be at times. To break the vibe of faculty trying too hard to fit in comes the drama teacher, Ms. Albright, played by Natasha Rothwell. She was hysterical and it’s her class that not only gives Simon the first true place he can feel himself but gives the film its first real laughs, as well.
In the end, all Simon wants is to be accepted and that makes the film relatable. Most of us, at one point or another in our lives, have felt that very same way. The circumstances may have been different but being acknowledged as part of a pack has been ingrained in us. Simon is no different. The scenes primarily take place in his high school so the movie will have a younger audience who understands the roles of electronics and the complications of having them in their lives.
In the library, Simon begins an email exchange with someone who wishes to remain anonymous, as does Simon. This person calls himself ‘Blue.’ After these emails begin, Simon desires more and more to meet him and tell the world that he loves him. What ends up happening is that Simon spends the rest of the film trying to figure out who Blue is. They do a great job of hiding this from you!
Simon struggles with his own way of coming out to everyone but, unlike Blue, doesn’t get to decide the time, someone chooses it for him. An all-student online chat has been created where the students do and say horrible things about one another and, in a scenario that’s hard to believe would happen, Simon’s announcement is made here. Blue sees this and, afraid the same thing will happen to him, decides to step away.
Essentially, we’ve seen this movie before, just not with two young men. But, as I’ve mentioned, when ‘Love, Simon’ shifts from comedy gear to a more serious tone, the movie stops trying to imitate and becomes a special piece to witness. What they’ve done well, works to close the film and has you leaving with a sense of fulfillment. It’s dramatic and emotional and wins you over because the rom-com formula doesn’t work and that’s not hard to see but you will enjoy it for what it is.
LOVE, SIMON Official Channels