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New romantic comedy ‘Love, Simon’ falters in story detail

March 29, 2018

 

Love, Simon – Three out of Five Stars

 

MORGAN BERNARD

Managing Editor | mrb056@latech.edu

 

On March 16, Greg Berlanti’s “Love, Simon” was the first studio film released nationwide to feature a gay protagonist and was seen by viewers as a major step in the film industry for the LGBTQ community. Based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Abertalli, this movie, in general, is relatively similar to any other romantic comedy. It consists of an amusing love story with multiple twist and turns that bring the two people together in the end.

 

“Love, Simon,” is the story of Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) who has been communicating anonymously online with another closeted gay student at his high school. Once Simon develops an interest in this other person, known online as Blue, Simon tries to discover who he really is. Without giving too much away, the investigation of finding Blue’s true identity takes a series of rather interesting turns and ends in a surprising discovery for Simon. It also causes problems with Simon’s relationships with his friends, and himself, which leads him to coming out as openly gay.

 

While “Love, Simon” as a whole was well produced and consisted of great acting, it was a little disappointing in its lack of raw emotion. The movie did not live up to the book as it was not as detailed, which is a common occurrence when writing is put on-screen. This film in particular did not feature all of the main moments in Simon’s story, and particularly avoided the more serious moments, which leaves a few empty spots in the plot. It did not hit the inner turmoil of the main character as strongly as the novel, which makes the humor stand out more in the film than Simon’s unsureness of himself in coming out to his family, friends and others at school.

 

However, the obvious humor and close friendships shown in the film make up for its lack in other areas. While the romantic mystery continues, the light humor keeps viewers interested and amused. The characters were also super relatable, and made viewers feel like they knew them personally.

 

Two of Simon’s best friends, Leah (Katherine Langford) and Abby (Alexandra Shipp) were a major contribution to this as they were given the more serious scenes with Simon. It was nice to see this strong friendship prevail throughout the entire film, even during major conflicts between them.

 

The best attributes of this film were the acting skills and sound track. All of the characters’ personalities were spot on in the film compared to the novel. For a cast that consisted of mostly young actors, it was truly impressive. There were also some more familiar faces in the film such as Simon’s parents who were played by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel.

 

The sound track consisted of lots of fun, upbeat love songs that ranged from classics like “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston to newer tunes such as “Love Me” by The 1975. In general, it was an amazing track and is one that anyone can get into.

 

All in all, “Love, Simon” was a great film when not compared side by side to the novel. It was a humorous, romantic mystery and coming of age story that broke society boundaries with an openly gay character and person of color love interest. I give it three out of five stars because though it lacked in its serious elements, it was intended to be more of romantic comedy, and it hits that label perfectly.

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