Movie Review: Love, Simon

Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.

Rated: 

PG-13

Directed By:

Greg Berlanti

Starring: 

Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg, Keiynan Lonsdale. See full list here.

IMDB Synopsis:

Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.

Based On the Book:

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

GoodReads Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Review:

It took me entirely too long to get to the theater to watch this movie but oh wow, am I so glad that I finally did last weekend. Which probably makes my review even later than necessary by I digress. The point is, I finally was able to see it and I enjoyed every single moment of it.

First off, let’s talk about the importance of this movie. This is the first time we’ve had a gay teen as a main character in a mainstream movie and that is a milestone that we have to make note of. I was excited when I heard this book was going to be a movie because I definitely think we need more of these stories out there and this is a particularly good one. I feel like the success of this movie – because honestly, it really was so damn good – will hopefully convince movie makers to take more LGBTQ teen stories and share them with the world. I was so happy to see this kind of story on the big screen and to see it do so well!

Second, I was so happy with how well they stuck to the book. Of course, there were changes, because honestly there is never going to be an adaptation that sticks 100% to its source material but I felt like they honestly stuck incredibly true to the book and that was very important to me. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is an excellent book and I think it translated onto the screen so well. Each character felt so real and felt like they had leapt from the pages onto the big screen with little effort. The actors embodied the characters we fell in love with in Becky’s story and that is something that I love to see in a movie. I also just loved reliving the story again, but on screen and getting to be happy when Simon and Blue (no spoilers for those who haven’t seen it) finally have their moment. This movie made feel so many emotions and I left the movie theater feeling incredibly happy.

There was one small change from the book that made me feel like…they’d maybe missed an opportunity but I tried not to let it get to me. There’s a classmate of Simon’s that he suspects is Blue and he ends up not being him, but he tells Simon that his own bravery made him brave enough to come out as bisexual. As someone who is bisexual, that moment was incredibly important to me, partly because bisexual characters are so so rare and partly because bi-erasure is such a real thing. I understood why they didn’t feel like it was important enough but it was a small thing that I felt like would have had a pretty big impact.

Other than that, the changes that were made were so minimal and didn’t bother me in the slightest. Getting rid of Simon’s older sister, changing Leah’s story slightly…it didn’t ruin the tone of the novel, and it kept what’s so great about the novel and that was the most important thing to me.

The actors were all so phenomenal. I thought Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel’s portrayals of Simon’s parents were just out of this world. Their performances caused me the most emotions and I think that’s really saying something as family is a HUGE deal to me and that meant a lot to watch. Katherine, Alexandra and Jorge, who play Leah, Abby and Nick, all did such a great job of showing the incredible friendships that they have with Simon, even when he makes mistakes, even when he messes up. My boyfriend super values friendship and he admitted he got emotional at the scenes that showed friendship in such a great light. I also really appreciated Nick’s performance as Simon. Nick himself is not gay but I truly believe that he did the best he could to be genuine to the part and to the character and that definitely came across on screen.

I truly enjoyed it and left the theater with a massive smile on my face. I really hope to see it again and it most likely will be an insta-buy when it comes out on Blu-Ray. I get so happy to see a YA movie done so well, and to be successful as well, and Love, Simon definitely does just that.

Rating: 

5 out of 5 Stars

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2 thoughts on “Movie Review: Love, Simon”

    1. I super want to go see it again! It was so enjoyable, I just haven’t had the time to see it again. I would fully recommend reading the book. Its a little different and expect a sadder and darker Leah but I love the book and they did a great job with the movie.

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