“Love, Simon” was directed by Greg Berlanti and stars Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner. The film is about a teen named Simon (Robinson) who claims to be living a very regular life, but he is hiding the fact that he is gay from his friends and family, which all comes to the forefront after an anonymous student in his school also comes out.
While I can’t say that this was a movie that I’ve been dying to see for months on end, I was excited to see this film. The trailer looked very fun, and although there looked to be some clear clichés, I also can’t remember a film that takes a high school coming-of-age story about someone who is gay, so on that basis alone, I was hoping to love what this movie was bringing.
He may be best known for his subpar supporting role in “Jurassic World,” but Robinson is tremendous as Simon in this film. Robinson gives the right amount of heart, passion and comedy to the role and makes Simon exactly the right character that he needed to be to make the movie work. Robinson brilliantly brings this character to life and is able to shine both with and without the help from his counterparts.
For everything that Robinson brilliantly performs, the chemistry he has with Langford, Alexandra Shipp and the rest of his friends is also terrific. Langford especially shines as Simon’s best friend, Leah, as the two share a few highlight moments that really allowed for the relationship between the two to build.
Duhamel and Garner are the two major names on the cast list, and even though their screen time is limited, both of them are excellent as Simon’s parents. Both infuse comedy at the right moments and are able to combine typical parent tropes with a unique touch, and they both also bring some really incredible dramatic moments towards the end of the film.
“Love, Simon” is, above all, a very fun film to watch, and that has a lot to do with the solid comedic timing from both the actors and the script. Berlanti’s direction also works very well within this movie, as there are plenty of moments that got a strong laugh out of me, and I often had a smile on my face while watching what was happening on screen.
It can be said that “Love, Simon” is a little cheesy at times, sure, but there’s something to be said about just how important a movie like this is. This is the simple coming-of-age story that was needed, as this film really hits hard on what it may be like to be gay in a place where it’s not necessarily accepted, and this subject matter is handled incredibly well from start to finish.
I appreciated just how fun and lighthearted this film could be at some points, and just how heartbreaking and powerful it could be in others, and this mix almost always worked in the movie’s favor, as it made for a consistently entertaining ride.
Even though it often worked in the movie’s favor, there are a lot of moments throughout “Love, Simon” that feel pretty cheesy. The high school in general just feels like the most stereotypical high school imaginable, and some of the scenarios thrown at Simon and his friends caused some eye rolls, but the tone and characters set up allow for the cheesiness to not get in the way of anything all that important.
This is a coming-of-age movie, and it certainly feels predictable in that sense. Sure, I have seen the plot twists and resolutions a dozen times before, but the fact that this movie does center around someone that is gay and struggling with these same issues allows for the predictability to feel a little more acceptable, even with its consistently obvious reveals in the final act.
Most of the performances were very strong, but Logan Miller as Martin often felt too over-the-top for my liking. He had successful moments of awkward comedy for sure, but I found him sticking out for the wrong reasons in most of the scenes he was in. Many of the teachers also fell into this category of overacting, as they often feel too much like over-exaggerated caricatures of potentially real vice principals and theater teachers.
“Love, Simon” is an incredibly fun and well-acted film that found a way to tug at my heartstrings by the final moments. Yes, it’s been done before and it can be a bit much at times, but a film like this on this subject matter needed to exist, and that makes up for some of the minor flaws that the movie had. I had a great time watching “Love, Simon,” and it should certainly be a film to look out for when it hits theaters on March 16.
What did you think of “Love, Simon”? Comment below with your thoughts.