When it comes to representation, authenticity is a key ingredient in creating a stronger piece of film. This definitely shows with director Greg Berlanti, who is openly gay, being at the helm of this project. This never felt like a TV show or felt too small screen, this was a pure romantic comedy with an important message. Just like “Black Panther”, “Wonder Woman” and “Get Out” it is important to have these studio backed films out there for every generation to see themselves on the big screen, depicted in the right way. The film is excellently cast with Nick Robinson as the lead playing Simon Spier.
He worked as a lead but the character I felt was a bit careless and a bit mean spirited towards his friends. I can understand given the circumstances and the need to have a plot to motivate the characters but it felt a bit over the top. I appreciated what they were going for with the dream sequences, they worked for the most part. Some were played for comedic relief others were for a serious tone. One small negative note about the film is that two of the stars of “Thirteen Reasons Why” were in the cast which threw me for a bit making me feel that it was a continuation of that story.
Sometimes I think I’m destined to care so much about one person it nearly kills me.
I did appreciate how they depicted the coming out part of the story but I had a couple of nitpicks. Granted this is suppose to be a fantasy with a happy ending and his parents reaction to the situation I felt wasn’t as complex as I thought it would be. The situation shouldn’t be so clean it’s not always cookie cutter but I appreciated what they were going for in the film. Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel do a great job as Simon’s parents. Jennifer Garner had a great speech at the end of the film which I felt will stick with many LGBT teens.
A small issue that I thought was going to be in the film doesn’t become an issue. I felt that the plot of Simon’s character communicating through anonymous email to the only other gay character in the school shouldn’t signify that they should be together. The film itself makes fun of that which I appreciated. The relationship between Simon and the mysterious Blue feels fleshed out and not completely rushed.
The story felt so real and it weaved the tropes about being a closeted teen in high school well enough to create an engaging, charming story about a kid who wants to take control of his life on his own terms. This film never felt like it was just an LGBT story, it was a human one. After leaving the screening of the film it left me in a good mood by seeing such a fresh take on a romantic teen comedy where being gay wasn’t a punchline and it was taken seriously to tell a real mainstream story.