+ Recommended – PG-13, Drama, Comedy
I cried a couple times during this film; and it wasn’t necessarily sadness that was causing the dribble of tears, but rather how heart-warming it was.. Even if you can’t put yourself in Simon’s shoes you can, most likely, connect with another storyline or relate to certain characters within Love, Simon. Kudos to Fox for releasing a movie, on 2,400 screens mind you, that will deeply impact many watching; even in 2018.
Outside of indie or short films, there hasn’t been many LGBT stories told the way Love, Simon is. First off, unlike Call Me by Your Name, it’s marketed for a wider and more general audience; that’s not to say that the film suffers from a lack of stylistic visuals or any other characteristic you would associate with the art of filmmaking. Rather than completely focusing on the love between two people, Love, Simon depicts the complications of a person who is determining their identity and how they’re going to establish themselves in their otherwise “normal” life.
Simon, played by Nick Robinson, learns that he isn’t the only guy that’s closeted when one of his high school peers comes out anonymously on a social media platform. From there, the two exchange countless emails while they both figure out how they are going to disclose their true identity. Simon’s family play a huge part in the story, his mom is played by Jennifer Garner and his dad by Josh Duhamel. Even Simon’s younger sister, played by Talitha Bateman, has a significant role in the film. It’s one of those plots where every character feels well-written and serves a purpose for the story. In the supporting cast of Simon’s friends you have: Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse), and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming). I do applaud the casting decisions in this movie, because they didn’t have to work hard to make their characters diverse.
Robinson adds emotional resonance to Simon and that connects with people in the audience. There were grown men in the row in front of us that were wiping tears from the eyes at many points during the film. Audible reactions from the audience meant that they were engaged and actively participating in the story. While it sometimes dips into cliché territory, the heart and triumph of Simon and his story overcome everything negative.
It’s one of those films where I walked in happy and I left ecstatic; we need more of this in cinema.
Should you go see this move? YES. In recent memory, this was one of the best screenings that I have gone to. From the story being told, to the incredibly dynamic cast, Love, Simon will have you smiling, laughing, and most importantly: accepting yourself. Let us know what you thought in the comments below and watch out for our video review coming shortly.