In Love Again (Movie Thoughts: Love, Simon)

luvsimI remember reading the Becky Albertalli book ‘Simon Vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda’ years ago when it was first popular. I even think it was the very first gay YA book I read, and introduced me to the explosion of great YA novels. When I started seeing the trailers for ‘Love Simon,” I did not connect until later that this movie is an adaptation of that book. I should have, because I loved the book. I don’t remember too much about the minor details of the book, but the film stands on its own, and I think will connect with the younger generation. This is a movie that Mike Pence will not want you to see, and I hope it drives everyone to go see it.

It’s the movie I have most connected with since seeing ‘Call Me By Your Name’ late last year. This film has been perfectly described as a John Hughes kind of movie for this generation, and it’s apt. Greg Berlanti has directed a great film, written by Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker (who write for ‘This Is Us.’) It’s topical, it’s hilarious, it’s tender and touching, and even though it is a movie with a gay angle, it has universal appeal. i think a lot of people will be able to relate to the lead character, Simon, who otherwise leads a normal, well-adjusted perfect life – aside from having a big secret, and that he is gay. When a young man from his school anonymously confesses on the school blog that he is gay, this gives Simon an opportunity to communicate with him, and tell him that, he too, has the same secret.

Nick Robinson is swoon-worthy in the title role – and he is a great young actor, possessing just the right amount of vulnerability for the character. I suspect this will catapult him to stardom – boys and girls will fall in love with him. And they have cast the perfect people to be his parents – Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel, although it really makes me feel old that these age contemporaries of mine are playing parents of teenagers.

In the sneak preview screening I went to, the mostly young crowd screamed and applauded at all the right places, and it warmed my heart that everyone started applauding when the two male characters kissed for the first time. Of course, this is in Los Angeles, but I suspect people will react similarly everywhere. I cannot recommend this more highly.

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