Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down? Simple spoiler free reviews.
Love, Simon is a romantic comedy-drama film directed based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. The film stars Nick Robinson as Simon Spier, a gay teenage boy in high school. He hasn’t told his family or friends that he’s gay and doesn’t know how to or if he even should, when it is suddenly leaked online turning his world upside down. Simultaneously he attempts to learn the identity of the anonymous classmate ‘Blue’ that he’s falls in love with online.
I wasn’t sure what to expect really, but I really enjoyed this film. It’s a funny coming of age film about finding love and being comfortable with yourself. One of the things I liked most was that Simon is a flawed character himself, he makes mistakes and isn’t perfect. Some people are rude to him and others downright cruel but because he fears the rejection of his friends and family so much he ends up putting his relationships with those people in jeopardy. When he himself does some terrible things to his friends just to keep his secret. Nick Robinson is good in the lead role showing real vulnerability and frustration at times. The rest of the supporting cast do a good job too.
A prominent part of the film is the guessing game of who is ‘Blue’. It’s a fun part to the film to see Simon imagining his interactions with these people, acting out the messages or even to just see them typing out the responses he’s reading. As he attempts to figure out who he has been talking to by picking up on subtle clues it often leads him to disappointment or awkwardness down the line.
This is also the first film made by a major studio to feature a gay teenage romance as the main story line, which is a huge step in opening up the diversity of cinema. As someone with gay friends and family members it frustrates me that ‘coming out’ is such a huge thing for people to do. While the film pokes fun at this and that the ultimate message is that you’re still you and to be comfortable with yourself. The fact is it is rarely easy for anyone. What this movie offers you is a little insight and perspective on what people go through and how other people react.
In the end though, I recommend Love, Simon not because it is a story about gay teenage romance but just because it’s a good teen romance film. It’s just as clichéd with its bumps in the road and happy ending as any other, which really is exactly how it should be. It’s a good coming of age film with a strong cast, great soundtrack and a warmhearted approach to an incredibly difficult subject for many people.