In today’s world, being yourself is a difficult thing to achieve. With the explosion of the Internet, and the anonymity of it, people choose to judge, share, and tear down their fellow human beings. So, this super sensitive population searches for any means to express themselves, perhaps inspiration to stand up to the standard of normal in hopes of being respected. This brings me to the movie of this review Love Simon, a story about a homosexual male trying to find his place in his world. Based on another teenage novel, Hollywood presents another cultural phenomenon to sell this weekend. Robbie K is back with another review to let you know how it was! Let’s get Started:
Acting: This weekend was a phenomenal one for acting in movies and Nick Robinson, plays the titular character to the letter. The lead role required a lot of poise and focus to adequately transition between the various hats Simon had to wear, and Robinson executes these components flawlessly. Fired up when needed, but calm at other times, Robinson made the hormone inclined Simon a character I could stand instead of one that forced me to bite my lip to stay quiet. His supporting cast mates also craft their characters to entertaining and engaging levels, mixing well with Simon’s drama and keeping the emotional charged scenes in line. The chemistry of all the cast is impressive and helps make you feel part of a convoluted high school family.
Entertaining: The performances help with this, but the entire film itself has a lot of fun elements to make things interesting and intriguing to watch. First of all, the pace of the movie is steady, moving quick enough to not grow dull, but not so rapid as to forego diving into the character development. Second the drama is relatable, which allows one to latch on to an issue and see how the issue will resolve. The third element is despite the melodramatic moments, the movie has plenty of comedic relief to keep you chuckling, from well-time lines that have that perfect humorous punch, to the slapstick clumsy antics of the nerds. By breaking up the drama, one doesn’t feel as bogged down by the overhyped, teenage crises unfolding on the screen. And of course, the passion and feelings in this movie are by far the most engaging elements of this movie. Love Simon manages to keep everything in check, being dramatic when needed, but grounded to recharge. And as an honorable mention, the mystery of who Blue is also brings some added fun to the mix, no matter how predictable it may be.
The Plot Morals: Love Simon has plenty of ethical dilemmas to tease your conscience with. Social identity, coming out of the closet, being yourself, friend and family love, the trials of trust, social media dependence, bullying, and so much more lie in this film. The writers/directors accomplished the goal of bringing these terrifying scenarios out into full light, properly designing the scenes and sequences to have as many aspects possible to describe the dilemmas. It’s a great food for thought movie that parents can use to illustrate the wrongs and rights of life to the their teenagers, with resolutions that are decently realistic, and often satisfying to watch. An even bigger achievement, is how connectable some of these moments can feel primarily in seeing a parent reaching out to help or to a peer putting an end to bullying by bluntly expressing that internal thought we always wanted to say. All these value-studying scenarios deserve an applause and are the established heart of the movie, outside of the romance tale contained within.
The Family: Simon’s family has an impressive cast to bring them to life, but for me… they felt a little disjointed and uninvolved in the movie compared to everyone else. Certainly, they come in when it counts most, but aside from these moments, the small cast seems to be in the background more than anything. As telling your family is a big deal, I had expected more involvement and turmoil with the group, but no, they are rather passive and in the case of the dad, a nimrod who only brings mediocre jokes at the best.
Predictable: As well delivered and clever as this movie was, Love Simon is also a rather predictable tale to say the least. The plot elements are tired, and the inevitable catastrophe of so many secrets coming to light is entirely unavoidable to say the least. One will be able to easily predict the failures arising well before they actually happen. Some of this is due to the trailers giving away things, but others are just lazy foreshadowing and copying from shows like DeGrassi or The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Even the main mystery of Blue’s identity is easy to discern if you pay close enough attention to character use and themes of the movie. But if you get sucked up into the drama enough, you won’t have to worry so much about this.
The Lax Obstructions: Seeing how the modern era is to hound people on the Internet and bullies doing everything to torment their prey, I was surprised to see how lax these elements were in this film. Simon’s worst enemy is anxiety and fear, these demons tugging at him hard enough to nearly split his mind in two. Yet in the physical world, the cyber bullying and teasing were at an all-time minimum, outside of two jerks who were lamer than threatening. While I applaud the avoidance of generating ideas of tormenting, I feel they missed the target on really driving home the life lessons they were shooting for, as well as adding a little more thrills to the mix. In addition, the attempt to deter people from sharing everything on social media was completely glazed over, sometime even promoting to speak up on the internet rather than avoid the cyber world altogether.
This reviewer was very pleased with how well this teenage romance story came to life. A remarkable cast gave a stirring performance to help bring this engaging and entertaining story to new heights, helping to bring relatable topics to the light. And while there are still things to improve upon including better involvement of the family and antagonizing elements to spice things up, the movie kept a nice balance on things. While teenagers are certainly going to enjoy this the most, Love Simon is a moving feature older generations can appreciate as well. Therefore, I recommend visiting the theater on this one, to be quite honest.
My scores are:
Movie Overall: 7.5