The Beauty of Love, Simon
I was incredibly nervous (and incredibly excited) for Love, Simon. It’s the first wide studio release with a gay protagonist and a gay love story. It’s directed and written by Greg Berlanti, the producer of Riverdale and Supergirl on The CW. There was so much room for error, but along with one of my favorite theatrical experiences (it’s always adorable to see people squeal with excitement), I was so pleasantly surprised with Love, Simon. Coming out of the movie, I felt like I was on cloud nine, and after having some time between seeing the film and writing this review, my first reaction is still the same. Love, Simon is a complex, heartwarming, and beautiful film.
Often times with teen films, they are dumbed down and don’t embrace complex subjects. Love, Simon is as complex and realistic as a wide release studio film can get. It deals with things head on, but sugar coats them just a tiny bit. While Simon struggles to come out, the film brings up a strong point of “Why is Straight the Default?” and deals with it hilariously. Love, Simon deals with the issues millions in the LGBTQ+ community struggle with daily and deals with it realistically as possible without dragging the film down. There’s one scene in particular, where Simon comes out to someone, where it’s not played for laughs or drama, and it’s one of the most realistic scenes I’ve ever seen on film. As Love, Simon takes place in a high school setting, everything shown in the film rings true to my own high school experience, just a little more glossed over. But hey, it’s a wide release studio film, it’s gonna be sugar coated.
One of Love Simon’s strongest factors is the film’s outstanding cast. Nick Robinson, who plays the protagonist Simon, makes the character feel like someone we can all relate to. An unexpected surprise of Robinson’s performance was his perfect comedic timing that rings true to the awkward situations we incur in high school. Another standout for me was Alexandra Shipp, who plays one of Simon’s closest friends, Abby. Shipp is incredibly likable and has qualities of everyone’s best friend in high school. I would also like to acknowledge Logan Miller, Keiynan Lonsdale, and Jorge Lendeborg Jr., as each performance shows personable stars in the making. But truly, every performance in Love, Simon rings of the film's main theme of an intricate, comforting love story that has taken way too long to be made.
In my book we go to the movies for three reasons: to experience someone's story, to give us hope, and to be uplifted. Love, Simon completes these three things. So as I highly recommend you to see Love, Simon because it’s important to see in today’s political landscape, I also recommend you to see Love, Simon because overall it’s just a damn good film.