"Love, Simon" is another high-school romantic comedy, but one that pushes the genre further than most.
Simon is a closeted homosexual high-school student with a group of very pleasant friends and a loving family. However, nobody, including his family and friends, has any idea that he's gay. While Simon lives his life in secrecy of his sexuality, an anonymous student who goes to the same high school opens about his sexuality on social media for the entire school to see, a way to get his feelings out without revealing his identity. Calling himself "Blue," he states that he's homosexual.
Simon, looking for someone to talk about his secret with, sends Blue an email, and the two develop an online relationship without knowing who either of them truly is.
Blue could be the boy he made friends with at the Halloween party, or he could be that boy that gave him glances in the hallway. The film manipulates the audience a bit into thinking it's this guy and then that guy. It can be a bit frustrating, but that just shows how well directed this film is.
"Love, Simon" keeps the audience just as frustrated as Simon is as we somehow both go through this struggle together. The film makes us empathize with Simon as we watch him go through his high-school life, experiencing his experiences along with him.
Nick Robinson gives his best performance yet as Simon. His range of emotions shows audiences how great an upcoming actor he is. He starred in "Jurassic World" just a few years ago and has already climbed his way to better acting. His parents are played well by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel. They're loving parents, but are still difficult to come out to, especially his father, who makes constant homophobic jokes while not really meaning them.
Simon's friends are played by Katherine Longford (Leah), Alexandra Shipp (Abby) and Jorge Lendenborg Jr. (Nick). These performances are all great as well. His friends add a lot of narrative to the film. Not only do we follow Simon's life and struggles, but we also follow his friends' lives as well. There's a lot of "who likes who" scenarios within his group of friends, and if you're one who is easily annoyed by that, you may want to skip it, because it's everywhere in "Love, Simon."
Given that this is a high-school romantic comedy, "Love, Simon" was much better than expected. This could have been one of those films that tried to be funny by constantly referring to social media and other things kids are into these days. While the script does give us some of that on occasion, it doesn't take over the movie.
"Love, Simon" doesn't try too hard, and it gives us a simple and touching message about love and coming out.
Most Likeable Character: Simon (of course)
Most Annoying Character: Martin
Most Heartfelt Moment: The revelation of Blue's identity