Review: ‘Love, Simon’ will warm the hearts of young people everywhere
April 23, 2018
With mindless, fun flicks such as Mean Girls, American Pie, and High School Musical, high school movies appeal to every demographic. However, Love, Simon makes its mark on Hollywood by emerging as one of the only YA films to leave audience members in tears.
Focusing on an unconventional protagonist, this film follows the life of Simon, a high school senior who appears to have a normal and wonderful life but declares he has a secret. As closeted gay individual, Simon struggles to hide his feelings and copes by embarking on an online friendship with an anonymous closeted user who goes by the alias, Blue.
Posing with the screen name, Jacques, Simon and Blue exchange their deepest thoughts and daily happenings without ever revealing their own identity. The story is told in the point of view of Simon as he searches for Blue. In this endeavor, he ends up learning more about himself, his friends, and the social dynamics of his high school.
The stupendous acting of 23-year old Nick Robinson (Simon Spier) plays a major role in the success of the film. Robinson paints Simon as a lovable friend and a tragic hero. Also Kathrine Langford, who was made famous in her role as Hannah Baker in Netlix’s 13 Reasons Why, plays the role of Simon’s best friend fantastically.
Director, Greg Berlanti, illustrates the high school backdrop both beautifully and realistically. Feeding into the quirkiness of certain characters, the audience is often rewarded with comical scenes which portrays the relatable awkwardness of being a teenager.
Despite all its superb features, the film is not perfect. Conforming to a lot of common archetypes, the story was often very predictable and did not invoke much excitement. Many of the characters seemed to be placed as an afterthought as they did not contribute much to the storyline. Even the ending was not as spectacular as many would have hoped. This movie strays off anything too theatrical and is contained to the most real and expected outcomes.
Despite the narrative is shooting for realism, many of the characters are not believable, including Simon. The protagonist seems to have an overwhelmingly and unbelievably perfect life. Viewers may even question why Simon chooses to remain closeted when he has a more than perfect support system in place. The film falls short by neglecting to concentrate on anything outside of the homosexuality of the main character.
Therefore, the breakthrough of this romantic comedy may mostly be attributed to the topic, rather than the film itself. Outside its emphasis on the LGBTQ community, the movie barely pushes mediocre in terms of plot. However, the filming, camerawork, and sets are done spectacularly. The cast is diverse, and the acting is terrific. Love, Simon is an enjoyable movie, despite some flaws, that will appeal especially to the younger audience.