Movie Review: Love, Simon

Maeve Parmelee, Staff Reporter, Sophomore

Most teenagers have felt like an outsider at one point in their young lives: when they aren’t invited to a party, or aren’t welcomed at a cafeteria table, or find themselves the last person chosen for a team. In Love, Simon, directed by Greg Berlanti, the title character is a teen boy — an “outsider” facing inner conflicts, holding onto a secret that he is unsure about sharing with his friends and family: he’s gay. The film does a wonderful job portraying the awkwardness, loneliness and heartbreak of growing up, while incorporating the fun aspects that are a part of the high school experience for many American teenagers. Not only does the movie show the innate challenge of coming out as a gay teenager, it also shows the struggles that often arise with families and friends for any high schooler. Based on the young adult novel Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda,  the filmmakers of Love, Simon created a film worth repeated viewings.

Simon begins a heartfelt, secret online correspondence with an anonymous teenager at his high school who posts on a message board about being gay using a screen name: Blue. Will Simon discover who Blue is? And will Simon survive the pitfalls of high school life as he tries to find the true identity of his new friend? The search for Blue keeps the audience engaged throughout the entire film as Simon encounters some obstacles regarding other teenagers at his school and with his friends that he must keep in check along the way.

There is much to like in this film — most especially the strong performance of Nick Robinson in the lead role. However, though well-meaning, the film could have been better paced. The story takes a while to get started, with a long, slow exposition that takes longer than necessary to set the scene and introduce characters. There were scenes during the beginning of the movie that ultimately could have been cut because they were used to provide unnecessary background information about a character or event. Even after the film’s climax, it takes a while for the movie to wrap up, which made the film feel much longer than an hour and fifty minutes.

That said, the characters in Love, Simon are compelling, and realistically convey the confusing, ever-changing lives of teenagers. They were able to successfully express their emotions as well as keep the audience interested through the entire film. Love, Simon will show teenagers who struggle with similar internal conflicts as Simon that they are not alone. This film can help society understand the difficulties that come with being gay and show that everyone should be accepted regardless of sexual orientation.