Director: Greg Berlanti
Starring: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner
4.5 (Out of 5) Globes
Plot: 17-year-old Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) has a great life. He has superb friends, a close knit family and is smart, funny and handsome. There’s just one secret that he is keeping from everyone, though: he’s gay.
Simon isn’t quite ready to come out of the closet yet, though. However, when he starts to email with an anonymous classmate that is also gay he grows more confident. That is until he is suddenly blackmailed.
Review: It is immediately apparent that “Love, Simon” is long overdue.
Not just because of the impact and influence that the story of a teenager trying to come out of the closet can have on an audience, but also because of the inherent conflict and drama that comes with such a character dilemma and plot.
What “Love, Simon” does so well, though, is make this story feel both completely familiar as well as original.
Familiar, because it is still just about a group of friends in high school trying to figure out their paths in life, making silly mistakes and struggling to find their own voices. Original, because never before has a major Hollywood studio been so open, progressive, subtle and subversive with its treatment of a gay character.
The performances of Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp and Jorge Lendeborg Jr as the leading quartet of friends immediately makes the film feel warm and as catchy as a pop song, while Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner are literally perfect as Simon’s parents.
But it is director Greg Berlanti that brings the heart, depth and integrity to “Love, Simon,” which combine to make it feel so fresh and compelling. Especially in its surprising, dramatic and utterly audacious final act, which squeezes every ounce of drama, heart and pathos out its character and story.
It’s one of the many reasons why “Love, Simon” resonates so strongly. So strongly in fact that it will instantly go down as a coming of age classic.