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‘Love, Simon’ review: A funny, emotional, and groundbreaking coming of age story

I challenge anyone to watch it and not leave the theater with a smile on their face.

Love, Simon exceeded all of my expectations. It could have been generic, cheesy, and formulaic, but it wasn’t any of those things. It was genuinely sweet, fun, touching, hilarious…AND there’s the mystery of “who’s Blue?” throughout the entire film (we’ll get to that in a moment). It was a really well done coming of age film, and it’s groundbreaking in that it’s the first film to solely focus on a high school teenager coming out as gay in mainstream cinema.

The premise behind Love, Simon goes a little something like this: Simon is a perfectly normal high school student, with a good group of friends, loving parents (played wonderfully by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel), a great younger sister, and an all around solid life. He’s been hiding one big secret from everyone, though: he’s gay. He doesn’t necessarily think his friends will care much or treat him differently, and he knows his parents will still love him just the same. He just doesn’t know how to tell anyone.

There’s a website where the students at Simon’s high school post gossip about classmates. One day, Simon sees an online confession from a closeted gay kid at his school that goes by the alias “Blue”. He emails Blue and takes on his own nickname of “Jacques” to keep his identity a secret as well. They start emailing back and forth and form an undeniable bond. Simon encounters a problem when fellow student Martin (Logan Miller) stumbles upon these emails in the library and blackmails Simon to help him land a date with the girl of his dreams, Simon’s close friend Abby (Alexandra Shipp).

The rest of the film is a combination of trying to solve the mystery of who Blue is and Simon trying to help Martin so that his secret isn’t revealed. It juggles everything very well, and it’s all mostly unpredictable. There are a few things that are bound to happen in a film like this, but I genuinely didn’t know who Blue was and was guessing until it’s finally revealed. Also, there’s a lot of heart. Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel both have some emotional scenes talking to Simon in the film. They both do a great job, and Duhamel, along with Miller and Tony Hale (who plays Principal Worth), are absolutely hilarious in this film. There are a lot of laughs, emotion, and charm to go around.

I like that Simon doesn’t act tortured in the film (not to say some people don’t feel that way in this type of situation). I like that he realizes he’s not different from anyone else (because he’s not) and that he realizes everything will be fine whenever he does get around to telling people he’s gay. I like how this film shows how even someone with a perfectly understanding group of family and friends can still struggle a lot with telling them about their sexual orientation. I feel like it’s important to showcase that to the masses, so that maybe others can somewhat understand what it’s like as a gay man or woman, or as anyone in the LGBT community (I found the coming out as straight segment quite hilarious). It’s a lovely film that everyone should see, and I challenge anyone to watch it and not leave the theater with a smile on their face.

Love, Simon
Is it good?
Love, Simon has it all: it's funny, sad, has a lot of heart, and has a mystery to be solved. It's a well done coming-of-age film, and while it may not be a future classic, it's impossible to leave the theater without a smile on your face.
Well developed characters
Some genuinely hilarious characters and lots of laughs
The mystery of trying to figure out who Blue is is a lot of fun
Lots of heart
Not many movies have tackled this subject of coming out its main focus
There are some predictable coming-of-age/romantic comedy moments

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