Love, Simon (2018)
Signed up the 28/03/2017
Love, Simon is a well-framed, narratively tight and most importantly fun film! The most fun movie you might get to see this year, in fact. As cheesy and clichéd as it might come across, the writers and directors made sure to give new life to teen-drama genre tropes.
This movie is all you'd wish an adaption of a Young Adult novel would be. As a recovering YA fangirl myself, I can attest to this being one of the best adaptions of the genre to have translated seamlessly on screen, since the likes of The Fault in Our Stars, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Me, Earl and the Dying Girl.
Of course Love, Simon is less movie moody or downbeat than all the movies I've just mentioned, as it is drawn more to the comedic, lighthearted flares of teenage life, but it fails not to peel off the baby-protectors to explore pathos and get a little weighty when it has to; this happens so timely too.
This film is teen angst depicted at its most mainstream, but you can't help but relate at the raw honesty. Teens/young people are sometimes just simply unsure and angry, and then ecstatic, then destructive, then vengeful, then fragile and in-need, all while trying to find this little promised-land called Happy. The hesitant nature depicted by Simon as a character is gripping and anxiety-inducing as we witness this one flawed character trait take him apart at the seams, until he eventually finds himself caught up in a web of lies that he had never meant for initially.
The film follows a teenage boy who hasn't come to terms with his sexuality as yet. He's gay. His friends don't know. His family has no clue either. Nobody knows this big "secret" he's been hiding for some years now, as it continues to weigh heavy on his shoulders and eat away at the him he truly wishes to be. A him that's free to be himself without judgment. In fact judgment from the people around him is what Simon fears the most, which is why he's decided to come out to a single soul as yet, or ever if he must.
Being as old as 17 and carrying around a big part of yourself as a secret can send anyone over the edge, which is what ends up happening to timid, hopeless Simon. Unfortunately a lot of the LGBTQ+ people have to go through this similar situation before they're "brave" enough to come out to the world. This is exactly Simon's objection against things as they stand in society today. Why do gay people have to come out while the heterosexuals get to continue living their lives, without having to at some point worry about putting themselves up for physical and psychological dissections by their loved ones, or even the random public such as schoolmates? All of whom, by the way, can be ruthless and insensitive to a person's identity without spending a second thought on what that does to a person's emotional and mental state.
Greg Berlanti is obviously very fluent in the language of the teenager. The movie may be part of a (of recent) widely disregarded genre, but it diversifies itself so sophisticatedly and so quietly that you wish more filmmakers taking up the genre would stick to the reality and rawness of being young, instead of trying to reach for unimaginable stars with over-dramatisation and characterisation, resulting in unrealistic love stories and coming of age experiences.
Love, Simon is at its core is a beautiful love story between two guys who show nothing but admiration and support through one another's journeys into becoming the people they ultimately want to be. It is a noteworthy film both narratively and visually. Hell, even the soundtrack is overwhelmingly awesome.
13 Reasons Why actor and actress Miles Heizer (Alex) and Katherine Langford (Hannah Baker) make worthy appearances that will make any fangirl squeal. Nick Robinson leads effortlessly as Simon, with a supporting cast just as amazing and dedicated; consisting of Jennifer Garner as Simon's mom, and Alexander Shipp (Storm on the underrated (yes, I said it!) X-Men: Apocalypse) as one of Simon's best friends. Oh! And that cutie, Keiynan Lonsdale, who plays Wally West (Kid Flash) on The Flash makes a wholesome appearance that personally left my eyes brimming with tiny little heart emojis and a flushed face.
Seriously though, this movie is truly one of its kind. Both heartrending and punchy in the most compelling of ways. Watch this movie as soon as you can!
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