Love, Simon Review

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High school romantic comedies have been a staple of Hollywood for a long time now. As everyone rightfully focuses on equality in film, the LGBT community hasn’t been represented much when it comes to high school romantic comedies. Now, Hollywood is ready to take the plunge with the adaption of the book, “Simon vs the Homosapien Agenda”. But is Love, Simon worth the wait?

Like most rom-coms, Love, Simon follows a very predictable storyline. Yet it doesn’t detract from the fact that this film is still important and actually pretty entertaining.

Love, Simon follows Simon Spier, a high school student who is keeping a humongous secret. No one in the school, not even his closest friends, know that he’s gay. When he reads a post from an anonymous student going through the same problems, he starts to fall in love with him. As Simon tries to discover who his crush is, he happens to find himself along the way.

Love, Simon - Jorge Lendeborg, Nick Robinson, Alexandra Shipp, and Katherine Langford

As you can imagine, Love, Simon is not your typical type of romantic comedy. Instead of putting all of the focus on the gay romance, the film explores the stressful journey of coming out of the closet. In other words, it’s the fear that your world will turn upside down when you tell everyone that you’re gay. Not to mention, the film has a deep message of staying true to one’s self.

On the romantic comedy side, Love, Simon works best when it grounds the humor and romance in reality. Some of the humor tends to either be really awkward or really over-the-top. When the jokes are naturally thrown around, it’s great, but when it’s forced, it falls flat on its face.

From a romantic standpoint, audiences can truly believe that these two students could fall for one another without seeing each other. Besides this is the best kind of love since it’s not about physical appearances or anything superficial. No, it’s about them bonding over being secretly gay and their concerns about coming out of the closet. Not to mention, Love, Simon keeps the film intriguing by keeping the identity of “Blue” a secret. Sure, you see Simon’s dreams of who he suspects Blue to be but they’re still all guesses. It’ll keep you guessing until the very end.

Love, Simon - Nick Robinson, Talitha Bateman, Jennifer Garner, and Josh Duhamel

Yet these are the only things that separate it from the other films in the genre. Greg Berlanti fully embraces all the tropes of a high school romantic comedy. In other words, everything you associate with high schools like the dances, the football games, and the house parties. They’re all in this. Unfortunately, not only does Berlanti embraces all of these tropes but he also follows the genre’s formulaic structure too. If you’ve seen even one high school romantic comedies then you can basically pinpoint how the film is going to play out. But if you really think about it, that’s kind of the point. Even though Love, Simon follows a formula we’ve seen a million times before, it’s supposed to work regardless of a character’s sexual orientation. It would’ve been nice if a particular and convenient storyline was kept out of the film.

Of course, the film wouldn’t work if you didn’t like any of the characters. Thankfully, everyone is likable in this film. Nick Robinson gives a terrific performance as the lead. He communicates a wide array of emotions and is able to elicit it through his body language too. The rest of Simon’s crew do a capable job in their supporting roles too. Most notable is Logan Miller as Martin. He deserves major credit for making his character a sympathetic one. Despite his despicable actions, he never really feels like a bad person.

Much like a high school romantic comedy, the adults don’t fare quite as well. Tony Hale and Natasha Rothwell both play the stereotypical high school staff. Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel fare better but they still follow the standard cool parents’ trope.

Overall, Love, Simon is a highly predictable but important film. It’s a bit indefensible that the film used every romantic comedy cliché in the book, but it’s nice to see them used in a different light. Regardless, Love, Simon is a step in the right direction for equality, and it’s proof that conventional rom-coms are no longer just for straight people.

Rating: 3/5 atoms

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