“A melancholy tale of love in no traditional way,” is one way to put the movie “Love, Simon.” This movie is based on Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and the film is directed by Greg Berlanti.
The film takes place in a setting which is a particularly idyllic Atlanta suburb, replete with lifestyle wish-ful- fillment production design and seems like the kind of movie in which the filmmakers signal their exquisite taste by proxy. Nonetheless, the use of high school and teen life clichés represent a huge first, because it is the story of a young closeted gay kid’s difficult and often humorous march towards coming out.
In this movie, 17-year-old Simon Spi- er embarks on these feelings of love that are even more complicated than those of a typical teenager. The iden- tity of the person he has fallen for on- line is nowhere in clear sight for him, although it is first revealed that it is a classmate who anonymously meets Si- mon online. Additionally, he has yet to tell his anybody a very important fac- tor of all of this: Simon is gay.
The explanation behind the secrecy is that the high schooler is keeping his orientation under wraps because of his inability to feel accepted. His hesitance gets him enmeshed with an altogether unpalatable weasel of a blackmailer. The blackmailer’s point is straightforward: He needs to win a favorable position with one of Simon’s female companions. While Simon is excessively shrewd for this hogwash, he reluctantly goes along.
Things get very intimidating and awkward when fellow Drama Club member Martin (Logan Miller) finds out about Simon’s secret correspon- dence and blackmails Simon into help- ing him get a date with Abby, a girl who obviously wants nothing to do with him. Simon becomes trapped into
a reluctant hidden puppeteer of the ever-shifting extremely-fraught land- scape of various high school romances involving Leah, Nick and Abby; people who are supposed to be his best friends. His manipulations lead to a monstrosi- ty of confusion, hurt feelings and emo- tional chaos, with Simon rationalizing it all to himself as doing what he has to do to protect Blue’s identity. If Mar- tin reveals the correspondence to the school, as he threatens to do, then Blue will be scared away for good.
Simon’s journey to not only figure himself out but to also reveal the iden- tity of his lover is approached with
the perfect combination of love and humor. It’s a journey that turns out to be life changing in the midst of all the terror and self-doubt Simon con- stantly portrays throughout the film. Although he undergoes various chang- es, Simon is true to himself throughout the film even if his constant fear of judgment and rejection are quite evi- dent and lead him to various scenarios he wishes he wouldn’t be a part of.
I rate this movie 4 stars, for the good story and humor. However, some terms used and various topics brought up appeared to be a little too much for a PG-13 film, in my opinion.