When sitting down to view “Love, Simon” for the first time, I did not expect much more than a cookie cutter rom-com plot. Assuming this was just another cheesy film whose only distinctive factor was being the first major box-office film to feature a teen, gay, male protagonist (claps for that though, it’s about time), I prepared to roll my eyes continually for the duration of the two-hour film.
The official “Love, Simon” movie poster
Essentially this is what “Love, Simon” gives audiences. However, there are nuances to the film that push it deeper than this surface level. Directed by Greg Berlanti and written by “This Is Us” co-writers Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker, this coming-of-age movie features realistic characters, an endearingly quixotic plot and pockets of droll humor that combine to form a modern, charming, feel-good piece.
The main character, Simon Spier, played by Nick Robinson, is just a normal high school senior, living with his aspiring “Top Chef Junior” sister, Nora, played by Talitha Bateman, in a quintessential Atlanta suburban home. His parents are the classic DILF and MILF high school sweetheart couple who are always happy and supportive and are played by Josh Dunhamel and Jennifer Garner, respectively.
The only kink in Simon’s seamless, privileged, white, life is that he is gay. After emailing with an anonymous gay blog poster who goes by the name of “Blue” and also attends Simon’s school, Simon begins his journey towards self-acceptance and love (aww).
While Simon becomes more and more enamored with his mysterious virtual pen pal, he begins to hypothesize about who the man behind the screen may be. However, things get complicated with irksome classmate, Martin Addison, played by Logan Miller. Martin’s appearance prompted recall to Coconut Head from “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” and I will, therefore, refer to him as such.
Logan Miller as Martin Addison in “Love, Simon” is shown on the left. He is compared to Coconut Head, played by Rob Pinkston from the Nickelodeon show “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”. Pinkston has had quite the hair transformation since his days on the show.
Coconut Head sees the emails and starts blackmailing Simon so that he can win the affections of one of Simon’s female friends. While Coconut Head acts as the antagonist, it is hard to completely hate his round little head, because he really is just a sweet dork who is desperate for some loving.
The back half of the movie takes a sharp turn from whimsical to dramatic. Coconut Head acts like a very bad nut, Simon has to confront his sexuality while his friends simultaneously turn their backs on him, and resident DILF and MILF are clueless.
Ultimately, the movie has a happy ending that left my heart feeling like the rice inside of a warm burrito – cherished and comforted.
Even though the script was obviously what adults think high schoolers sound like when they talk and the ending was cheesy, the acting compensated for this and gave the movie an authentic feel. Plus, who doesn’t love a cheesy mozzarella stick now and again?
Is this movie a one of a kind, ground breaking, artistic masterpiece? No. But it does hit on topical issues, such as cyberbullying and casual homophobic remarks. It accurately portrays the emotions of a boy who seemingly has it all, but is scared to be himself, even in our modern society.
“Love, Simon” is a great step forward for LGBTQ+ media and it featured a diverse and well-rounded cast. I award it a five out six.