Being a teenager in high school is not easy, and Love, Simon perfectly illustrates that fact. Based on the young adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by Becky Albertalli, it revolves around a seventeen-year-old secretly gay student named Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), who receives an email from a mysterious user who goes by the name ‘Blue’. They gradually start falling in love with each other, but one of Simon’s classmates named Martin (Logan Miller) attempts to blackmail him. This might not just affect his life, but also his friends.
Director Greg Berlanti managed to create not just a funny teen romance movie, but also a very heartfelt one. While it is categorized in the romance genre, it’s more of a coming-of-age story. If you think about it, anyone can watch this movie and have fun with it. It doesn’t have a specific target audience as it tries to aim to everyone including both young teenagers and adults. But as a romance movie, it totally works. It’s undeniably cheesy, but it’s not annoyingly exaggerated like some love stories out there. It takes its time to build up the chemistry between Simon and ‘Blue’, and it pays off at the end.
The main character Simon, portrayed wonderfully by Nick Robinson, is a very likeable and relatable person, and you always understand where he’s coming from. He’s very insecure to reveal his secret in front of everyone, and the film does a good job in not making him a stereotypical gay man. After being in previous YA novel adaptations such as The 5th Wave and Everything, Everything, this is the best performance Robinson has ever given in his acting career. Also, his friends are great supporting characters, played by Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp and Jorge Lendeborg Jr., and they fit well in the narrative. While unfortunately they do feel kind of left out at times, it doesn’t change the fact that the actors still do a good job playing them and making us care about them when they’re on screen.
The film heavily explores the theme of knowing and understanding your true identity in a very enlightening way without making it cringe worthy all the time. It knows when to be dramatic and humorous, and it’s able to balance those two things really well. Surprisingly, all the jokes are pretty clever and their timing is well executed in the story. They’re not throwing jokes for the sake of throwing them, because as we know, too much humour can be overkill at times.
Love, Simon is one of the biggest surprises of the year, and it’s quite impressive. Whether you hate or love coming-of-age stories that take place in high school, anyone can relate to Simon and have a great time with the movie. It’s a very sweet and heartfelt film about a man wanting to know more about himself as a human being, and falling in love with the one he wishes to be with. Let’s be real here, anyone can relate to that.
Love, Simon is now playing in theatres.