'Love, Simon' review – everyone deserves a love story

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After the success of Call Me by Your Name, it isn't a surprise that Love, Simon has made the world fall in love with it and you only have to watch it once to see why. Leah Roberts reviews.

Love, Simon is a coming-of-age story about a teenager called Simon (Nick Robinson) who falls in love with a male classmate via email, whose alias is 'Blue'. Neither his family nor friends know that he's gay, and the film focuses on Simon's confusion as he tries to figure out who Blue is, and the distress he experiences as an acquaintance threatens to out him, unless he helps him get to know his friend, Abby (Alexandra Shipp).

Simon, or his online alias Jaques, starts emailing Blue when an anonymous post is published on their high school's blog, which talks about the distress of being gay whilst having a seemingly normal life and family, and not knowing how to come out. The post ends with an anonymous email address, and their relationship blossoms from there on out.

Love, Simon also offers a refreshing yet honest view of coming out and may possibly inspire others to do so

The protagonist has a tight-knit group of friends, Leah (Katherine Langford), Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and Abby (Shipp). He's been friends with Leah and Nick since pre-school (or kindergarten as they call it) and Abbie since she moved to the school three months ago. The actors and characters are perfectly balanced, if a bit politically correct – there were two people of colour and two white people -, but this combination didn't feel forced; the portrayals of the characters were amazingly genuine and natural.

The casting in this film made it extremely enjoyable and offered a pure and legitimate reminiscence of the insecurities involved in the high-school experience.

Simon describes his family life as being 'totally normal' and seems to have extremely hip and down-to-earth parents (Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel) - he describes them as the star-quarterback and gorgeous valedictorian- and so he narrates the emotional turmoil he feels in coming out to his friends and family, as he doesn't want to disrupt the perfection or for anything to change. Simon's experience is one that everyone can identify with and gives a heart-warming and encouraging narrative.

Love, Simon also offers a refreshing yet honest view of coming out and may possibly inspire others to do so. It also delves into the distress experienced when deciding when and how to come out, and the anxiety that occurs when it happens against one's own will. The only qualm I could raise about the film is the over-exaggerated character of the school's principal, who is classically extremely exuberant and involved in his students' lives. However, it is encouraging to see a portrayal of a teacher who authentically cares about their students.

The soundtrack and the ambient colour-grading added to the nostalgic feel of the film, whilst the cast and representation of today's society offered a refreshing view on the coming-of-age format. Overall, this was a wholly enjoyable film which I would recommend to any film-goer.

Photo credit: Youtube / 20th Century Fox


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