Love, Simon Movie Review
Gay drama goes mainstream in Love, Simon, a highly entertaining, funny and accessible film about a teenage boy who is struggling to come out to his family and friends.
Starring Nick Robinson and directed by Greg Berlanti, Love, Simon should be any instant fan favorite thanks to an enjoyable cast of actors and characters, a sharp screenplay that has a strong Mean Girls vibe to it, and a well-meaning story that of course all works out in the end but maybe—as a straight dude, I don’t know—captures the struggles of accepting yourself, even when you’re surrounded by a bunch of liberals.
Based on a book with a weirder name by Becky Albertalli, Love, Simon strings together a sort-of complex web of plots and subplots that includes a mysterious love attraction, blackmail and of course plenty of teen relationship challenges. Thankfully, though it is ultimately a teen romantic comedy-drama, Love, Simon avoids many of the cliché pitfalls you’d might expect, delivering sincere, relatable and well-developed characters that are easy to like (or hate). The movie isn’t without a few teen trappings, but oh well.
Robinson is terrific in the lead role, and the supporting cast, which includes recognizable stars such as Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel and others including Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Logan Miller and Jorge Lendeborg Jr., are great. Oddly, despite being a teenage-aimed theme, some of the most memorable comedic moments belong to Natasha Rothwell, who plays a teacher, and Tony Hale, the vice principal.
And Love, Simon has some very good zingers (Clark Moore is another beneficiary of the film’s snarkier moments – “Can we get some hummus to go with that baby carrot?”). When the movie isn’t making you laugh it at least brings a smile to your face; it’s funny, but not excessively so.
As my wife describes it, Love, Simon is a movie that she’ll likely watch over and over again. It’s fun, funny, and heartwarming, and presents a believable, grounded journey of self-discovery and acceptance. It’s hard to find many faults with the film, and that’s how I’m going to end this review.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.