Love, Simon (2018)

Greetings Loved Ones! Liu Is The Name, And Views Are My Game.

Simon is an average, upper-middle-class White High School kid. He’s got friends, a family who loves him, and, you know, a nice house, good clothing, his own car, and all the other things that come with being an upper-middle-class White kid. Anyway, his life seems perfect, except for one thing. Simon’s actually gay, and he doesn’t know how to tell anybody. One night, he learns from an anonymous social media post that there’s another closeted kid at his school, “Blue,” and he decides to reach out to him using the alias “Jacques.” The two exchange messages, with Simon doing his best to find out Blue’s true identity, but things get complicated when Martin, an annoying classmate who likes one of Simon’s friends, discovers their communications, and blackmails Simon into getting him into his friend’s good graces.

Love, SImon is a movie I was really looking forward to seeing. It’s the directorial debut of Greg Berlanti, the creator of such shows as Arrow and The Flash, both of which I’m a fan of, and it’s really cool to see a big budget studio comedy be about a gay teen. It really shows how far we’ve come as a society that films like this not only get made, but are widely distributed, and even critically-acclaimed. And, having seen the movie, I can tell you, it’s pretty darn good. This is a sweet, well-written, well-acted coming-of-age story with some good dialogue, and a good message. If you’re a fan of Berlanti, or mysteries, or teen films, or, really, just sweet stories in general, you should like this movie. It may be about one person’s very specific struggle, but it’s actually very universal in terms of its themes of not feeling comfortable with who you are, or not being able to get what you want. And in a time where whole sub-sections of the American population are being told, “you’re not welcome in our country, or in certain bathrooms, or in certain businesses because of who you are,” to have a film like this, which ends happily, and features a gay teen whose parents are actually supportive, is pretty refreshing. So, for that reason, I say, go give it a look.

That said, this flick isn’t perfect. As you could probably tell from my first paragraph, Simon’s constant claim throughout the film that he’s just like everyone else is somewhat undercut by the fact that he comes from a place of extreme privilege. That’s not a problem, per se, I grew up in a privileged household, but if the whole point of this movie is to make a gay teen’s struggle more universal, maybe don’t constantly remind us that you don’t speak for everyone. But that’s just personal preference. It doesn’t have anything to do with the actual filmmaking, which does actually have flaws in it. One of the biggest being two, surprisingly annoying side characters, a vice principal, and Martin, the guy who blackmails SImon. The Vice Principal is one of those middle-aged men who tries to act cool by using modern slang and acting like he’s friends with the students, and there were points where I was dreading seeing him again. And martin is just obnoxious. I understand that he’s supposed to be, since he’s the film’s primary antagonist, but it does get to a point where he goes from being just annoying to downright cruel. Seriously, he does something towards the end that goes beyond just bothering Simon, and enters the territory of “you could ruin someone’s life if you did that in reality.” But, in the end, neither of those things is enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of the picture. Yes, there are some annoying characters, but they don’t take away this film’s funny dialogue, good performances, and sweet tone. So, keeping that n mind, I still recommend you go see it.

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