Love, Simon review - the coming of age story of the century
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Love, Simon is the coming of age story of the century based on the bestselling book by Becky Albertalli ‘Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda’ that will make you laugh and cry and warm your soul. Love, Simon is a beautiful story of growing up, figuring out who you are and how that fits into the world around you, and falling desperately in love with someone. We follow Simon Spears, an average teenage boy with an ordinary family and good friends, who keeps his sexuality a secret out of fear of what the truth will do his place in the world. His only outlet is his email communications with someone known as ‘Blue’, another closeted student at school. When he talks to Blue, he doesn’t feel so alone. But things move to ahead when his emails are found and used as blackmail, and Simon must figure out what to do to keep not just his secret, but Blue’s – the boy he’s fallen in love with. This is wonderfully filmed, with a fantastic cinematography and transitions between what is actually happening and what Simon is imagining. Blue’s true identity is a big question throughout the story and with each new suspect, Blue’s scenes are adjusted to fit each new character, and you can see the hope that Simon is feeling that this person is finally Blue, finally the person who understands him, finally the person he is falling in love with. Nick Robinson plays a brilliant Simon, full of the charisma and humour that book-Simon possesses, and putting forward such a strong and desperate performance when story events lead to some tough dilemmas. You can feel the honesty there and it adds to make this such a powerful film. Alongside our leading man, there's the wonderfully gorgeous Alexandra Shipp (best known for her role in the Oscar-winning Straight Outta Compton), Katherine Langford (from Netflix's 13 Reasons Why), Keiynan Lonsdale (our very own Wally West from CW's The Flash) and the star power of Jennifer Garner and Josh Dunmal. Each of these, along with the many others that build this cast, help to make this into such a realistic, humourous and emotional piece of film.
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The biggest part, the most important part, is the story of Simon (and by extension Blue) realising that their sexuality doesn’t have to change anything, and doesn’t make a difference to who they are or what they deserve. That it doesn’t change them. It’s one of those things that hits you straight in the chest and lodges there, and you hurt for Simon, for Blue, for any person who has ever felt like this. For someone who has a sexuality other than straight, this perhaps will hit you even harder, because the honesty and raw emotion that Love, Simon has is breath-taking. The director, Greg Berlanti, is gay himself and it’s so clear that he carried his own story – and the story of an entire community – with him when took on this project. Love, Simon is heart-warming in its love story, and powerful and raw in how it depicts the struggles of coming out. It’s funny and entertaining, and when it ends, it leaves you with a smile and a warm feeling in the pit of your stomach. It’s such a fantastic movie and an important one for the LGBTQ+ community – it’s a must see! Love, Simon is released in UK Cinemas April 6th, distributed by 20th Century Fox.
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