Love, Simon

” He’s dead, Si. Hacking him up with a mental machete as we speak”

Review by Lewis Goodall

I’m wondering at this point if Hollywood will ever run out of high school teen dramas to make. You’d think that at this point they’d all been done by now. They all follow the same template and 99% of them have the main character narrating over the top of them explaining about how high school sucks but they manage to get through it with the help of their best friends they’ve known since they were born. Love interest gets involved, usually a new kid who’s a bit edgier, “ugh, they’ll never fall for me”. They then talk because they were forced to be lab partners for the upcoming project, then they fall for each other before something drives them apart for a moment, around 15 minutes before the end of the film. All hope seems lost for the main character but then conflict is resolved and they fall in love, key upbeat music and scene, the end. Went off on one there but that’s the normal structure I find with these films. Love, Simon pretty much follows that structure but the main character is gay. Spoiler alert.

Love, Simon is a high school romance (if I haven’t given it away at this point) directed by Greg Berlanti and based off a novel by Becky Albertalli. Simon (played by Nick Robinson) narrates this coming of age story of a young man with a big secret of being a closeted gay man, navigating school life. A mystery person writes a post on a popular blog the school follows who confesses he is gay. Simon hops on this gay train and anonymously messages this mystery person who goes by the alias ‘Blue’. Simon goes by ‘Jacques’ and the two build a relationship via emails to each other. Simon, with clues within the emails, tries to uncover the masked man behind the emails by matching the hints to people in his school. Conflict gets added to the story to add tension when one of Simon’s ‘friends’ Martin (Logan Miller) finds his secret emails. Simon must decide whether to go along with the blackmail that Martin is putting on him to not out him as a homo or if it’s better for his secret to be known.

You can certainly tell this film was based on a novel, its screams typical teen drama novel and is portrayed in such a way as well with the acting, script, scenery, plot lines, plot holes and other such aspects of a film that all come together to create a teen drama. I would have to admit though that although this is very cliche, it is definitely on the high end of the high school film spectrum.

Although Nick did a good job of portraying Simon, I couldn’t say that there is anything that screamed out amazing for him, this pretty much goes for all the other actors in the film, including his friends Leah, Abby and Nick (Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp and Jorge Lendeborg Jr). All these characters are good for adding to the story in terms of filling the criteria for having the best friends since being kids. They all actors their parts well and so did Martin. I have to talk about Martin in particular because he is an annoying character and I hate hate hate that he is the character I related most to in this film. His room is filled with film posters, he’s spouting random movie facts at everyone and he even has a god damn Groucho Marx picture above his bed (Groucho is my hero). He was a character that shows promise in parts of the film but ultimately is kind of a dick.

So Martin is the one who discovers the emails that the two lover boys are sending each other and blackmails Simon into helping him try and seduce Abby. While all that story line is going on, the main one is Simon trying to find his mystery ‘Blue’. Its pretty interesting seeing the pieces come together as he tries to work out who is ‘Blue’ although one I took personally. So one of the clues that Blue gives is that his first crush was kit Harrington as Jon Snow in Game of thrones. So Simon keeps a look out of anyone wearing anything game of thrones and everyone who is wearing a night watch t-shirt or anything to do with the show, they are fucking nerds, the most stereotypical nerds you can imagine and it offended me (not really, I’m not snowflake I just found it funny how they portrayed the fans of the show).

Although I’ve kind of ripped into the film so far but I did really enjoy the way it was presented. Something I liked in terms of the presentation of the story is that it had funny cut-aways which were really enjoyable. One that sticks out is where he is mentioning as to why is it that gay people have to be the ones to come out, why is straight the default. It then had a cut-away of his friends coming out as straight to their parents and it was just a funny skit to break up the normal story which I did enjoy.

I think my overall opinion with these sorts of films is that there aren’t really any risks. They’re all very plain films that follow the same structure so they do kind of all blend into one, they are the marvel films of romances. Lime they are shot in the easiest way to progress the story and have scripts that are relevant to the time but fade very quickly, using memes in films is also stupid, memes die within weeks on the internet so having them in films just adds cringe comedy (there isn’t a meme in this film I just got sidetracked). With a typical story done well, added with a zest of semi decent humour which did get a couple of laugh out loud moments from me, if you’re in the mood for a teen drama then I would recommend this. Unless you’re a fan of continuity then I wouldn’t, in this film someone is having a party on Friday night but then later they say its Saturday. Make your mind up!!!

6.5 Ferris Wheels out of 10

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