Love, Simon – Film Review by Frank L.
Director: Greg Berlanti
Writers: Elizabeth Berger (screenplay by), Isaac Aptaker (screenplay by)
Stars: Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel
Director Greg Berlanti is a prolific writer for the small screen. He has worked on TV series such as Titans and You which are due to screen this year. He is not that well-known as a director, however, with only two other film credits to his name, both small releases from 2010.
In this film Simon (Nick Robinson) is a regular High School guy who comes from a family with loving parents. But he has a secret, he is gay. He announces that important detail early on in the piece and the story is all about his gradual coming out to the world. The story centres on his trying to discover another gay guy who is also in his class. He has discovered this from social media but does not know who the guy is. So the film is a “who is it” rather than a “who done it”. Various candidates are investigated but despite some promising signals, a winning smile for instance, they turn out to be straight. However, the process leads to a series of misunderstandings or even embarrassing situations which have, of course, certain comic moments. That said it is all very contrived.
The milieu is comfortable, middle-class suburbia. Simon’s parents initially have no idea that he is gay but after an initial few hiccoughs on the part of the father, when they are told the truth, they come good. The school friends, male and female, come and go which includes a total burke of a character who is so gauche it is impossible to take him seriously. It all spins along from one situation to the next until the mystery of “who is it?” is solved. It is no surprise then that there is a happy ending and one may assume they all lived happily ever after.
It would be good to be enthusiastic about a film which tells a story of a young man coming out as gay. However, this concocted series of happenings makes it difficult to be even lukewarm about it.