Cute, adorable, charming, precious, sweet, thoughtful-any of these adjectives could perfectly sum up LOVE, SIMON, a coming of age film with a gay character at it’s center that actually has a happy ending. Greg Berlanti (whose previous credits include THE BROKEN HEARTS CLUB and LIFE AS WE KNOW IT) directs the film and is based on the book “Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda” by Becky Albertalli.
Simon (Nick Robinson) is just like any other kid at his high school, except that he is gay, a secret that he shares with an online penpal named Blue who is also gay. Trouble comes when another student finds Simon’s emails and threatens to blackmail him and this causes Simon to do some cruel things to his friends. He is eventually outed and this forces him to comes to term with identity with himself and the people around him.
This is the film I wish I could have seen when I was a little gay boy growing up in East Texas 20 years ago. One could argue that the LOVE, SIMON is clichéd and ticks every box in the romcom genre playbook and they would be right, but to have a major Hollywood studio finally produce a light-hearted romcom with lead gay characters is a milestone. The cast is strong and work well together, Nick Robinson (who is cisgender) plays Simon with depth and profoundness and Jennifer Garner, who plays Simon’s mother gives a touching performance especially in one vital scene after Simon has come out. LOVE, SIMON will leave you smiling and maybe crying (happy) tears at the end, go see it.
Words by Russell Boaz