What a wonderful teen angst movie Love, Simon is. Simply put, it reminded me of my teen years watching John Hughes films and I just felt like this is something he would have made had he ever done a film of the challenges of a teen coming out. Our storyline focuses on Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) and his one ‘big ass secret’ that no one in the world but him knows. As he is not the type of flamboyant, gay guy obsessed with musicals etc, he is just an average high school teenage boy with a seemingly picture perfect suburban family. He has a sister Nora (Talitha Bateman), whom he actually admits to liking, a very picture-perfect pretty mom Emily (Jennifer Garner), and the I-just-get-better-looking-with-age- Josh Duhamel as his dad Nick. He has his circle of best friends in Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) Leah (Katherine Langford) whom have known each other all throughout their childhood, and along with new addition Abby Suso (Alexandra Shipp) rounding out their little clique, they are just your average high school teens..or so it seems. They go to a fairly average high school with a rather funny, hammy-over the top, trying to hard to be cool, Vice Principal Worth (Tony Hale) as I don’t really remember any Vice Principal in the history of Vice Principal’s ever being, but hey, it’s a movie after all.
The story focuses on Nick’s coming out – or more the fact that he’s not done so. He has however, started emailing someone named ‘Blue’ who is also a ‘hidden’ gay student at high school. They found each other on “Creek Secrets”, the local school gossip site where Blue does a coming out, in a sense. He reveals he’s gay, but not who he actually is. Nick responds to this with his own fake moniker “Jacques”. Unfortunately the whole secret emailing starts to get really messy when fellow classmate Martin (Logan Miller), the school’s somewhat nerdy dimwit, stumbles upon the email exchange. It’s with this that he proceeds to blackmail Nick into manipulating all sorta of social situations so that he can ‘get with’ Abby, whom he wants in a big way. This whole thing goes terribly wrong and you guessed it – Nick is outed by Martin in the worst way possible.
Even with the dramatic outing – can you sometimes feel the movie is a bit homogenized? Sure you can – but it’s also sweet and likable. As someone who has many gay friends and knowing sometimes the total and complete trauma they’ve undergone in coming our and how many have never been fully accepted by family or friends – they did make that all on the more simplistic side of things with having supportive parents and friends and of course a magical ending of Nick finally meeting his ‘Blue’ and everyone living happily ever after. But even with those few nitpicks, and that’s all they are is nitpicks – I still highly enjoyed myself and ran the gamut of emotions of laughing, tearing up, smiling & being happy for them all. Jennfier Garner & Josh Duhamel are really wonderful here as the parents and the whole cast of teens are highly likable and do a completely believable take on these characters. From me to you, take the family, take your friends, take everyone as it’s a wonderful film for teens and adults alike.
Media Review Screening: Tuesday, February 22, 2018 ~ Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
LOVE, SIMON will be out in theaters Nationwide on Friday, March 16, 2018 // U.K. and Worldwide release to follow starting in April