Love, Simon Review
Love, Simon is a teen comedy-drama directed by Greg Berlanti and it is based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. The film stars Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Miles Heizer, Keiynan Lonsdale, Logan Miller, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Natasha Rothwell, and Tony Hale.
The Story/The Direction:
The film follows Simon (Robinson), a closeted gay high school student, who falls in love with an anonymous classmate who has come out online. One day after talking to this mysterious classmate, another classmate, Martin (Miller), sees his emails and blackmails Simon to get one of his female friends, Abby (Shipp), to hang out with Martin. To prevent his secret from being released, he pushes away his friends to help Martin. This film is directed by Berlanti who is known for his work on the tv shows The Flash and Supergirl and there are a good amount of similarities. He is able to create a simple yet good film that is made for teenagers. This film is not in the same arena as films such as Call Me By Your Name or Moonlight but it isn't trying to be. It is a film that offers a good message of being true to who you are with a simple plot. A viewer is not going to get complex film techniques or characters with in-depth backgrounds. Simon is a closeted gay person that is attempting to come out. That's what the film is about, nothing more and that is not a bad thing. This film does capture the high school environment in a very successful way. The comedic parts are pretty funny though some of them are in the trailer. The humor feels real and so does the conflict between the characters.
The cast is led by Robinson but the rest of them are just as good. Langford, Shipp, Heizer, and Lonsdale do very decent jobs playing Simon's friends. They are able to capture adolescence in a very successful way which is one of the film's biggest highlights. In addition, Duhamel and Garner as Simon's parents are fairly decent and both actors feel authentic which makes each scene with them heartwarming. Garner is the highlight of the two especially when she delivers a very touching monologue that speaks to the true message of the film. All the relationships in the film feel real no matter who they involve. This allows for some great comedy between the characters as well as chemistry with the best coming from Rothwell as Ms. Albright, Simon's drama teacher.
The main flaws of this film are that it is very simple and very predictable. Any viewer can predict what is going to happen next because the plot plays it very safe with its story. Not much happens aside from Simon's conflict which can make the film feel longer than its 109-minute runtime The rest of the characters are only there to play stereotypical roles in a story such as this. Aside from Simon, none of them go through any arcs and when the film's climax occurs, it feels lackluster. However, one could make the argument that this film is only about Simon and the rest of them are only along for the journey. In addition, this film went one scene too far. As the film comes to a close on a Ferris wheel in a fairly satisfying way, the film continues to an epilogue of sorts. This part of the film is completely pointless as each item it is wrapping up has been done in a previous scene.
Even with its flaws, this simple story is told very well and it is a great family film. It shows a very good message of being who true who you are which is great for kids to see. The characters have great chemistry and it is a very sweet film. While it may not demand a theatre visit, this good and enjoyable film is definitely worth checking out on video on demand or Blu-ray.
Rating: 4.0/5.0 bowties
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