Movie Review: Love, Simon

Adapted to the movie screen from the 2015 young-adult novel, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Rebecca Albertalli, Love, Simon tells a coming-of-age story of high schooler Simon Spier, (played by Nick Robinson). The movie begins with Simon, narrating his life in suburban Georgia. He has a mother and father who were high school sweethearts, a little sister who he says he “actually likes,” and inseparable friends; Leah (played by Katherine Langford), Nick (played by Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), and Abby (played by Alexandra Shipp).

He has one secret though, he’s gay.

Simon goes through the motions of keeping this a secret throughout high school, mainly because he just doesn’t know how to go about telling his friends and family.

After an anonymous student comes out as gay online, Simon is intrigued and propels an anonymous correspondence with him through Gmail. Through anonymity, Simon finds comfort in knowing he is not alone. One day, Simon forgets to log out of his email on a school computer, leaving his secret open to his annoying and obnoxious classmate, Martin (played by Logan Miller), who decides to blackmail him. In order to keep Simon’s secret from coming out and potentially scaring away Blue, Simon has to get his friend, Abby, to go out with Martin, a task destined to go awry.

The movie ties in elements typical of young-adult romantic comedies, but it works and doesn’t fall into the worst versions of “cheesy” or “cliché.” The exact opposite succeeded. Towards the end of the movie, there is a scene where crowds of classmates and friends surround a Ferris wheel where Simon sits, waiting for Blue to make an appearance. The scene pays off after so much build up to that moment. As I sat cuddled in my seat at the last showing of the movie, the audience of the theater around me cheered on, then I found myself doing the same, and with tears of joy.

Love, Simon doesn’t try to be anything more than a feel-good, young-adult romantic comedy. It is not trying to be compared to the likes of other gay-themed movies with heavier tones such as; “Call Me By Your Name.” It aims to share the difficulties and joys of self-acceptance within a gay narrative. It is a story aimed at those who relate to Simon and have gone through similar experiences, but it also shares themes anyone can connect to and enjoy. It is also a movie about representation, a theme lacking in this genre of film. It tackles these themes with precision and carefulness, leaving the audience with a sense of fulfillment.

Ultimately, the movie reigns supreme in activating your inner emotional rollercoaster as it is the first of its kind and mainly, because it knows when to pull at your heartstrings. I laughed, I cried, and I even yelled at the movie screen at one point. If you are looking for a feel-good, coming-of-age story, Love, Simon will not disappoint.

 

Marianne’s Rating: ★★★★★