WARNING: The following article features SPOILERS to the ending of Love, Simon. So please don’t read ahead unless you have seen the delightful coming of age romantic comedy.
“Love, Simon” is one of the most original coming of age romantic comedies in years.
But that only really becomes apparent in its final act. Because when Simon (Nick Robinson) is outed by the unscrupulous Martin (Logan Miller) the film dovetails from being a comedy into an out and out drama about a gay man suddenly having to come out of the closet when he wasn’t ready to do so.
This is where “Love, Simon” really reaches its crescendo, thanks to Greg Berlanti’s tender and intimate direction, the sterling performances of its cast and the detailed, emotional and layered writing by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger.
I recently had the chance to speak to Greg Berlanti and Nick Robinson about “Love, Simon,” during which time I asked about the film’s compelling conclusion.
For Robinson the ending only works because of the script. “It is beautifully written, the characters are very three-dimensional, and it is very thoughtful and sensitive to everyone’s experience.”
“What Simon discovers is that even though he was forcibly outed, he is able to take that experience and take that power back,” Robinson continued. “The people close to him didn’t care that he was gay, it was that he lied and manipulated them.”
“That is an important message. Also, the scene between Simon and his parents seem to particularly resonate with people, and it is a great template for anyone who is questioning what they would want to say to anyone that has just come out of the closet.”
Berlanti admitted that he knew the transition from comedy to drama “would be the hardest part of the film to do.”
But Berlanti never doubted they’d be able to make this tonal shift, because he had full confidence in the starling array of actors he had at his disposal.
“The number one thing we were armed with was brilliant actors that you believed every step of the way. The writing is so inspired in the final act, too.”
“We knew it was the trickiest part, but we knew that if we did it right we would sucker punch the audience. They think it is one thing, which means that they are more open and vulnerable to being touched.”
But while “Love, Simon” will be labelled an LGBTQ film for obvious reasons, Berlanti believes that in order for it to chime and make an impact all of the other themes have to resonate.
“For the movie to work, all of the themes have to work. So being gay is part of it, but so is feeling as though you don’t fully understand your child, and being in love with your best friend. I needed to make sure that everyone connected with them.”