Sometimes on this site, there are differences in opinion. If you would like to read our earlier review of Love, Simon by Corbin Stewart, click here. I saw the film as well and had a different opinion. Check it out in my review below.
Synopsis: Everyone deserves a great love story. But for Simon it’s complicated: no-one knows he’s gay and he doesn’t know who the anonymous classmate is that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, scary and life-changing. (20th Century Fox)
Starring: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, and Jennifer Garner
Writers: Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker
Director: Greg Berlanti
Rating: PG (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 109mins
For showtimes and more, check out Love, Simon on movietimes.com.
Ever since it’s release, Love, Simon has more or less become a cultural phenomenon. The first big studio gay teen romance based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli has made quite an impression on viewers and after watching it, it’s simple to see why. Playing as a part high school dramedy/part coming of age story, Simon Spier (Robinson) must navigate his seemingly average high school life despite the fact that he was gay and keeping it a secret from the world, including his friends and family.
While there wasn’t necessarily anything new about his coming of age story, it was still handled better than most thanks to a smart script full of comedic and dramatic moments. Simon had his friends named Leah (Katherine Langford) and Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) that he had known since they were young and another who he befriended recently named Abby (Alexandra Shipp). Another side character was an overzealous student named Martin (Logan Miller) who proved to be a thorn in their side though was mostly annoying. Rounding things out as the comic relief was their high school’s inappropriate Vice Principal, Mr. Worth (Tony Hale).
Thinking that he was alone, Simon later bonded with an anonymous closeted high school student in a similar situation named Blue over a series of emails. Over time, in helping and inspiring each other to overcome their personal struggles with coming out to their friends and family, the two started to fall in love. A great part about the film was trying to figure out Blue’s true identity. The story threw several curveballs by giving us several possibilities until his identity was finally revealed which might come as a surprise for some.
The film will ultimately live or die based on the believability of Simon’s inner struggle. The story approached his struggle in a compelling way that will surely resonate with viewers. Not only was he worried about being judged, he also was afraid that he’d jeopardize his relationship with his friends and his family including his mother Emily (Garner), his father Jack (Duhamel), and his sister Nora (Talitha Eliana Bateman). It was easy to see this struggle on his face and how it was taking its toll on him but luckily he had Blue to turn to.
So it goes without saying that the best part of the film was Robinson’s terrific performance as Simon. He showed vulnerability as a struggling closeted teen looking for love and acceptance in a way that made Simon an easy character to root for. He and his friends had excellent chemistry, making them fun to watch together. Sure, the friend characters could have been deeper but they served their purpose and didn’t take focus away from Simon. Simon and his family had excellent chemistry as well which was most evident in the scene where he came out to them, followed by Simon and Emily getting an Elio and his father type moment.
Overall, this was a great, poignant teen drama full of laughs an plenty of emotion that subverts coming of age story tropes thanks to a smart script and a terrific performance from Nick Robinson as the lead.