LOVE, SIMON (2018)

Based on the award-winning book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Love, Simon features a fantastic cast in the perfect gay teen movie for 2018. In fact, it is the first major studio film to focus on a gay teenage romance. Yes, it’s about coming out, bullies and the torture of secrecy, but it’s also just about friendships, school, and being seventeen.

The genius of the writing is how it translates the misery of feeling gay and alone into a high school detective mystery. Closeted, 17-year-old Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) becomes anonymous pen pals with “Blue”, a fellow schoolmate who admits to being gay on a school community secret confessional website. Their blossoming, old-school romance-by-correspondence is real, but who is he? Clever writing and great performances keep us guessing till the very end.

Though undoubtedly emotionally powerful, the film is still ultimately a glossy, feel-good movie about a rich, middle-class white kid and his problems. On the other hand, the treatment of his problems is handled exceptionally well. Simon’s sister (Talitha Bateman), mother (Jennifer Garner) and father (Josh Duhamel) each react differently and surprisingly to Simon’s coming out, in a series of beautifully and truthfully written scenes. Coming out also ruins his best friends’ lives, but not in the way we expect.

Being such an obviously commercial teen movie, it’s hard to see how this could be ground-breaking. But for a closeted, gay, middle-class white kid in America, it absolutely is ground-breaking. There are simply no films like this out there. The fact it’s so witty and well-acted just makes it all the more charming. Gay, straight, whoever you are, go and see it.

Love, Simon is out now at cinemas everywhere.

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