Notable for being the first studio-made teen romantic comedy to feature a gay protagonist, Love, Simonalso deserves praise for being funny, heartfelt – and one of the best teen movies since 2010’s Easy A.
Teenager Simon (the likeable Robinson) has a pretty good life – his parents (Duhamel and Garner) are nice and still together, he has a sister he actually likes, and a great group of friends including female bestie Leah (13 Reasons Why’s Langford). He does have a secret he keeps from all of them, however – he’s gay. And while he is not ready to come out of the closet just yet, he does start an email friendship with the mysterious ‘Blue’, a gay teen who has spoken about his own loneliness on their school’s social media gossip site.
However, their anonymous conversations – and Simon’s secret – are threatened when socially awkward kid Martin (Logan Miller) discovers some of their emails and blackmails Simon, causing Simon to risk his own relationships with his friends in an attempt to stop Martin telling everyone about his sexuality.
Like all the best teen movies, Love, Simon– based on the book Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda – boasts terrific performances, a cool soundtrack and thoughtful, often witty dialogue. Connoisseurs of Mean Girls, Say Anything, Easy Aand the movies of John Hughes will recognise many similarities, such as the teacher who wants to be friends with the kids (here it’s Tony Hale) and the one who really wishes she was somewhere else (the scene-stealing Natasha Rothwell, who gets some of the most deliciously snarky lines), but those familiar characters just add to the crowd-pleasing feel of the movie.
While Simon’s world isn’t that real – what normal kids can afford to get drive-through iced coffee every day on the way to school? And have you ever been to a teen house party where everyone looks so well behaved and sober? – the heart of the movie is. Simon’s fears, feelings, relationships and traumas are all real and feel true, and are portrayed in an entertaining, infectious and charming way that should bring a smile to the face (and possibly tear to the eye) of any teen or grown-up who watches it.
This is a teen movie aimed at viewers over the age of 12, so does feature some references to sex and features some bad language.
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