Film Review: Love, Simon

Grease is turning 40. Go get 'em, girls

This week, theknow’s Jon Bond went to see the teen movie that’s raising the bar for the genre, ‘Love, Simon’.

Directed by Greg Berlanti (Riverdale, The Flash, Supergirl) and based on Becky Albertalli’s 2015 book Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (which we reviewed here), Love, Simon is a fundamentally a charming teen rom-com, following the lives and loves a group of friends in their final years of high school.

What’s it about

Simon Spier is a teenager like any other, except for the fact that he’s got a secret: he’s gay. Simon has a close-knit group of friends and a family that support and love him, so he’s not exactly afraid to come out he’s just not sure how. Rapidly falling in love with a classmate he bonds with online, things get a little bit more complicated for Simon, as he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous boy he has fallen for.

What we loved

Love, Simon overflows with charm, with Simon, played brilliantly by Nick Robinson, an affable and relatable teenager. Most teen movies these days focus on the awkward outsider, but Simon is no such misfit: he’s popular with his peers, funny, charismatic and by all accounts fairly ‘normal’, which really makes you root for him as the film progresses.

The film was funny and uplifting, leaving me grinning from ear to ear throughout. A quick glance around the theatre told me I was not alone in this, although a mascara warning for happy-tears is definitely due!

The cast is an excellent ensemble, with young actors and actresses that are no doubt going to go far. I couldn’t help but feel that I was witnessing the birth of a new Hollywood generation with this film, which is sure to boost the careers of newcomers and familiar faces alike.

What we didn’t love

While the plot is original, this isn’t unfamiliar rom-com territory, with pacing, style and soundtrack hitting very familiar notes. To dismiss it for this would be somewhat missing the point however, as the tagline of ‘Everyone deserves a great love story’ makes abundantly clear. The team behind this film wanted Simon’s story to be familiar to us all, and I certainly can’t fault them for achieving their ambitions.

Where to see the movie:

Love, Simon is on general release and can be seen in most local cinemas. Find a new favourite here: 8 local cinemas

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