Directed by Greg Berlanti
Although smartly adapted from Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, “Love, Simon” felt too standardized and over-polished to impress. Director Greg Berlanti could have had the best of the intentions, but his coming-of-age drama film, despite warmhearted and inspiringly educational, played below my expectations, exclusively delivering the expected as the story develops with a crowd-pleasing, soap opera-ish comportment.
Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), 17, is a closeted high school gay living in Atlanta, who feels a sudden urgency of identifying himself publicly as a gay, obviously a very demanding task. He gradually falls for an anonymous classmate who, under the pseudonym ‘Blue’, wrote an online confession regarding his homosexuality. While trying to physically meet with Blue, whom he suspects is the sympathetic Bram (Keyinan Lonsdale), Simon keeps hanging out with his old pals Leah (Katherine Langford) and Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), and a brand new friend, Abby (Alexandra Shipp).
Even believing he would be all right at school in the case his secret is disclosed, Simon has his doubts when it comes to his family since his cool yet intrusive father, Jack (Josh Duhamel), occasionally makes some depreciative jokes about gays. Even not coming directly from the heart, this behavior hits Simon, who has his mother, Emily (Jennifer Garner), as a supportive and attentive ally.
The emotional involvement among the friends becomes knotted when Martin (Logan Miller), considered a tedious imbecile, gains access to Simon’s email account. He threatens to leak the sensitive info if Simon refuses to help him conquer Abby. Imbroglio after imbroglio, the film, an undeniable charmer, advances with the happy vibes of a pretty decent soundtrack and the lightness of contrived episodes that never attain profound emotional levels besides the average entertainment.
Regardless the moderate collapse as a cinematic effort, it can easily work as an inspiration for many people going through the same process of affirming their true identity.