With a strong cast, great story, smart soundtrack and touching relationships Love, Simon successfully tells a gay love story for teens that will appeal to a mass audience.
Simon (Nick Robinson), is a regular kid with a regular family and regular life, except he has a secret, he’s gay. He doesn’t even want to tell his best friend. His hesitation stems from witnessing the one openly gay boy at school being constantly teased and his fear that his revelation will unseat his happy family.
One night Simon is reading the school social media page and sees the post of a boy who comes out but doesn’t want to reveal his identity. Simon immediately sends him a message not knowing who the boy is and they begin a texting relationship. His imagination takes hold of him and he begins to imagine all of the people who could’ve written the message. Is it the cute boy at the waffle house? His friend who is a jock? Or maybe the quiet boy in the theater class?
Simon has a cool, diverse group of friends and as the story unfolds in somewhat predictable but precious way, viewers will have fun witnessing the ups and downs of the charming teen navigating his future. Based on the best-selling novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli the film adaptation should satisfy most readers as the changes are minuscule and honor the intended tone and flow of the book.The film contains one of the most genuine and touching coming out scenes that I’ve seen and it can serve as a real gift for gay teens who have come out or who want to come out and their families.
Nick Robinson gives a fully formed performance as Simon. One can’t help but feel for this boy trying to make his way in the world. His parents played by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel have an enviable ease with each other and are believable heads of the family. Natasha Rothwell plays the stressed-out theater teacher who steals every scene she is in. Tony Hale as the school principal is another welcome addition and provides consistent comic relief.
There are some scenes and drinking and allusions to sexuality, but it’s a pretty clean picture that most families could comfortably see together. Sweet, funny, romantic and memorable, Love, Simon is a safe bet for teen film-goers.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Release date: March 16, 2018
Director: Greg Berlanti
Writers: Elizabeth Berger and Issac Aptaker (screenplay)
Main Cast: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Tony Hale