Love, Simon is the young adult novel adaptation that we needed at this time. It is a film that does not ask you at the beginning to start with an open mind —it just takes you on the coming-of-age journey of Simon Spiers, a teenager that, like any other, is trying to find himself during this tumultuous age. Simon’s story is presented in a refreshing, charming fashion, and it will certainly find itself welcomed with open arms by today’s modern audience.
The film, based on Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda, follows a closeted teenager who has found trust in a fellow classmate who is in the same situation —the fear of coming out to friends and family. Through anonymous emails, Simon (played by rising star Nick Robinson) opens up and eventually falls for his pen pal, “Blue.” While trying to discover the identity of his classmate, Simon finds himself trying to balance his family, friends, and the unfortunate discovery of his secret by a fellow classmate.
Now, I have not seen a young adult romantic film that felt so heartwarming in a while. There was some concern at first when I saw Greg Berlanti’s name attached on the director title —do not get me wrong, I have enjoyed some of his work as writer and producer for the CW’s “Arrowverse” shows; however, I was not sure what to really expect when his last directorial works were Political Animals and the negatively received comedy Life as We Know It (Josh Duhammel‘s performance is not that different in that one as it is from this feel-good flick, by the way). In the end, it was such a nice surprise to see that Berlanti managed to do so well, and that he had such a promising young talent working with him, together with some familiar faces who stole the show (Tony Hale from Arrested Development was key for the comedic part of the film).
“Simon’s story is presented in a refreshing, charming fashion, and it will certainly find itself welcomed with open arms by today’s modern audience.”
The film is not perfect, but it picked up where it needed to. The climax presented issues that were resolved quickly without much thought, but being a high school movie, how is this not expected? Love, Simon does not lose its charm a bit after this and manages to keep the audience rooting for our protagonist to get his happy ending.
The romantic comedy presents a good balance of humor and heartwarming moments. It is reminiscent of the classic teenage flicks like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, having a nostalgic air in its modern setting that mesh well together. It might not be as groundbreaking as it might try to be, but Love, Simon is still relevant for its positive portrayal of love and acceptance. It certainly a film that both young and old audiences can enjoy.