It would seem on the surface that Hollywood is striking again with another teen rom-com, however this one, Love, Simon, has a twist – it is more than your typical dose of fabricated film, which director, Greg Berlanti captures brilliantly. It is a refreshingly new spin on teenage romance which is both current and quirky, which offers so much more to be labelled purely as a romance film.
The opening scene sets the tone of the film, showing Simon (Nick Robinson) going about his everyday life. He is son to a quarterback and the valedictorian, big brother, student and a teenaged boy who likes to hang out with his friends and ‘drink way too much iced coffee’. However Simon’s secret underlying struggle is his lack of courage to come out and break the mould of the ordinary life which he has only ever known.
The whole film is essentially the uncasing of a modern-day love letter between Simon, who goes under the name of ‘Jacques’, and ‘Blue’ who is only revealed to us at the end. Communicating through email, it shows Simon slowly falling in love with the boy behind his screen, reinforcing the cliché concept that personality trumps looks…
Simon is not only trying to find out ‘Blue’s’ identity but also his own, in what can be one of the cruellest settings for someone to come out: high school.
Like most teenagers, there are multiple ups and downs concerning the heart and the film does not just tell the story of Simon’s love life but also that of his friends; the new girl Abby (Alexandra Shipp) is pursued by Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and Martin (Logan Miller) whilst Simon’s best friend Leah (Katherine Langford) battles her feelings for him.
Martin plays our ‘baddie’ as he blackmails Simon by promising to keep his secret but only to fulfil his own agenda; to pursue Abby. However, this backfires as Abby inevitably rejects Martin, resulting in him to reveal Simon’s secret via a student gossip site.
When Simon’s secret is revealed this is the pinnacle moment of the film, there is no more hiding behind his screen and his life is changed forever. So Simon makes it his mission to find out who ‘Blue’ is.
If you can look past the overlying, pushing nauseating elements that come with an American teen rom-com, you will fall in love with the ordinariness of the film, there is just one simple message of identity is something that can resonate with everyone, not just gay people.
There are no unnecessary overdramatic scenes that would ruin such a heartfelt film – this blockbuster will see you leaving the cinema feeling uplifted, what more could you possibly want?