Alternatives is the tagline to discuss entertainment outside of literature. It may encompass television, movies, games, and music.
Movie Review –
Love, Simon (2018)
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Gay
Duration: 110 Minutes
Directed By: Greg Berlanti
Starring: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford,
Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner
Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is leaked, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.
(I was sworn to secrecy as to my enjoyment of this film due to a review embargo…until now!)
On January 24, 2018, I had the opportunity to attend a screening of Love, Simon hosted by the YA team (Frenzy) at Harper Collins Canada. So thank you for the invitation. This spectacular night with wonderful book people does not affect my thoughts on the film.
There are merits to the changes made in the adaptation to allow the story to flow more freely. In the book, without spoiling too much, Simon and Blue’s development is mainly established through their e-mail exchanges. We see their correspondences on the page and we’re able to grow alongside them. With the film, Blue’s response is often shown as an overlay audio mixed with having different people “read” the e-mails (sans seeing face). While this is effective in putting a question mark as to “who” Blue could be, it’s the internal reactionary expression from Simon that I felt was missing to give more vibrancy and intimacy to their shared connection.
I felt there was more comedy in the film than in the book and I was on board with that because it didn’t dilute the importance and the voice of this story for what it is. Doubling that, Martin was someone the entire audience loathed (as we should, I guess?) and it was interesting to see his perspective from a film perspective which is not as narrow-sighted as would be expressed in the book when we only have Simon’s POV. He still sucks though, in my humblest opinion.
But at the heart of this film is a story that’s so important to have its visibility on the main stage: a gay kid finding love. Because Simon is just like us, as his opening montage clearly indicates. It’s a story for all of us who don’t fit in but still want to find acceptance and love and all that knees-weak-jello-feeling-of-romance. Most importantly though, Love, Simon persists as a conscious film so self-aware of itself and the voice it’s representing that makes the situations feel incredibly real.
Lastly, I really appreciated the choice to allow Simon’s parents to have a greater presence in the story. That’s all I’ll say.
Okay, so here’s the thing. I am not Nick Robinson’s greatest fan. I’m not sure if it’s due to how he carries himself in his previous acting gigs that I’ve seen (Jurassic World, 5th Wave, Everything Everything, Kings of Summer) …but with Love, Simon, Robinson is gives a much well rounded performance. That’s all I got.
Also: parents were great, Ms. Albright (played by Natasha Rothwell) was superb, and the comedic stylings of the principal, Mr. Worth, added a levity to the film and Simon’s predicament.
And for the last random thought: at least we didn’t have to deal with Robinson’s mop of hair from Everything, Everything.
I leave you with this question:
Have you read Simon v.s. the Homosapien’s Agenda or see the film? Will you see the film?
If you’ve seen the film, what was your favourite moment or what did you think they adapted well?
And also this: