I’m a pretty big reader, and usually I’m always the advocate for reading the book before seeing the film, but my 2018 reading challenge tells me I have to read a book made into a movie I’ve already seen. Since there’s not many of them that I’m really interested in, I decided to go and see “Love, Simon” before I read “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli.
Holy Guacamole, it was so good. It was so good! It’s about goddamn fucking time that we have a major, mainstream teen rom-com with a gay lead. Now that we finally have one, thank god they did it right.
Love, Simon follows Simon Spier, a closeted gay teen in high school. When an anonymous confession of another gay student at his school appears online, Simon reaches out to him and they soon develop a friendship that could lead to more, if only they would reveal their identity to each other. When Martin, another student at the school, discovers their emails, he begins to blackmail Simon into helping him win the affections of his friend Abby.
Nick Robinson, who plays the title character of Simon, is just great. He really is. I went into it thinking of him as “the kid from Jurassic World” but I came out of it thinking of him as “Simon.” Job well done, my friend! The rest of the cast was also stellar – in particular Katherine Langford as Simon’s best friend Leah (who is apparently my spirit animal), Natasha Rothwell as the drama teacher Ms. Albright (who made me spit my frozen coke out, I laughed so hard), and Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner as Simon’s parents (Josh Duhamel might now by playing the Dad roles and his beard may have turned grey, but let me tell you, I would still love to win a date with Tad Hamilton).
Director Greg Berlanti may not have directed a whole lot of feature films, but his experience in the industry (most notably in television) is impressive. On top of that, he’s a proud gay filmmaker who was absolutely the right person to tell this story on screen. It’s ridiculously relatable and realistic, the screenplay (written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger) is funny and heart-warming, and the soundtrack is near perfect.
Yes, Love, Simon is a love story, but the relationship between Simon and the mysterious “Blue” isn’t the only one, nor is it the most important in my opinion. Love, Simon is also about friendship and family, and the relationships Simon has with each person in his life. It’s a story of trying to “fit in” in high school, of making bad decisions and dealing with the consequences, and of acceptance. It’s just freakin’ beautiful.