It seems that our Deputy Editor is now getting as deluded as our Editor as he thought that ‘Love, Simon’ would be about him until we pointed out the comma in the film’s title. So here we have the latest in a run of gay themed drama’s which started back with God’s Own Country followed Call me by your name then by 120 bpm and now this. With its 12a certificate this is far more teen friendly with the audience that this has been directly intended.
Simon (Nick Robinson) is a 15 year old student suppressing his homosexuality and is hardly helped by his unaware and thoroughly heterosexual Dad (Josh Duhamel) whose can’t help making jibes about his son locking himself away in his bedroom looking at specialist interest websites. Frankly its exactly what we think our Editor does when he closes his office door telling us not to disturb him as he’s on a ‘conference call’ (‘You’re fired!’ – Ed). For Simon though it’s not because he’s browsing Busty Brenda’s Blog but because he’s ogling a neighbour’s gardener and when he does finally get the courage to talk to him he’s completely tongue tied. It’s whilst browsing the net that Simon comes across an anonymous blogger who’s equally scared about coming out as gay to his school friends. The mystery blog soon becomes the talk of the school as to who it might be but for Simon he finds a confidant to unburden his frustration at having to keep up the appearance of being straight, something which ex- girlfriends, and a current girl who wants to be his girlfriend, are wholly unaware.
As Simon, Nick Robinson is a bit of a Brooklyn Beckham lookalike without the smug sense of entitlement and is all the more likeable for it but his plight is worsened when a fellow student Martin (Logan Miller) a budding amateur dramatic luvvie with no obvious talent (we presume he’s a fellow alumni of Amanda Holden) discovers Simon’s secret. Using the knowledge as power Martin holds Simon to ransom threatening to reveal his secret unless he helps him fix a date with Abby (Alexandra Shipp).
Fans of 80’s teen movies by the late great John Hughes especially The Breakfast Club & Pretty in Pink will enjoy Love Simon as his shadow is cast far across the film. Based on the book by Becky Albertalli the film makes clear the teen angst and pressure to be popular on social media and is as relevant today as its been in those pre-facebook / instagram era. Director Greg Berlanti handles it all sensitively with some neat flourishes (a rainbow infused song & dance number & a grand public gesture of undying love that goes spectacularly awry is one of many highlights) but the teen cast all equally good although Clark Moore as a defiantly out transgender student is borderline stereotypical. The adults too are equally sympathetic from Simon’s dad having the wind knocked from his sails by his son’s revelation to Tony Hale’s wonderfully waspish teacher.
Love Simon is an uplifting coming of age / coming out film that hits the mark brilliantly and deserves to do well and continues the legacy of emotionally engaging teen movies that that never patronises its audience. John Hughes legacy lives on.
Here’s the trailer…….