Love, Simon Film Review

Friday, 23 February 2018

Why is straight the default?

On Monday I got to see one of my most anticipated films of the year; Love, Simon. I wouldn't normally review a film on this blog but since it's an adaptation of one of my favourite books, I couldn't not. After reading Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda last year I have been absolutely obsessed with Becky Albertalli's work. Simon, Blue, Leah, Abby, Nick -they all feel like my friends at this point. When I found out there was going to be a film my heart could hardly take the joy.

So please read on if you want to get hyped with with me!
For anyone who doesn't know the plot already I'll start with a spoiler free summary. Simon doesn't want anyone to know that he's gay, but then he meets 'Blue' online and through a series email exchanges they fall in love. The film follows Simon as he navigates high school drama, a halloween party and a Christmas to remember, all while trying to figure out who Blue is. That's Love, Simon in a nutshell.

I was really excited to see how they would do the email exchanges between Simon and Blue, and I think what they did was perfect. When they first start emailing, we see Blue as a generic pair of hands, typing away. As the film goes on and Simon tries to work out who he's talking to, the blue character we see takes on the appearance of the three different characters as Simon comes to suspect them.

Seeing Simon fall for each character individually and equally was very heartwarming, he didn't care whose face matched Blue's voice. This is a little different to the book as in the book, Simon has an idea of who he wants Blue to be and he's more drawn to that specific person, compared to the film where Simon is just drawn to Blue. A change I am very happy with.

It was incredible to see how many older cinema-goers were at the screening. From the looks of things only around 10% of the audience were under thirty years old and half the audience being over fifty/sixty, which was not the statistic I was expecting. I only wish there'd been a talk of some sort afterwards so I could find out what the older generation thought of Simon's story. 

A couple of my favourite parts of the book were absent from the film, which is to be expected with an adaptation. For those of you who have read Simon Vs.; the locker gift scene was something I was looking forward to and when it didn't happen I was a little sad, but upon reflection I can see why it wouldn't fit into the story with how the timeline was changed for the screen. The Oreo first date was also missing but the way I look at it, it's an excuse for another read of the book.

Casting isn't something I wanted to talk about too much because I focussing on the narrative, but I will say what I have said all along, Nick Robinson is definitely Simon Spier. There wasn't a casting choice that didn't work for me, everyone fit into their roles and helped tell a really great story. I could list off the names of all the young actors, Katherine Langford (Leah), Keiynan Lonsdale (Bram), Logan Miller (Martin) -but honestly I wouldn't stop until I'd listed the whole IMDB page for the characters I liked.

As well as the cast of young actors, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner as Simon's parents were a part of some of the most emotional scenes in the film. When Josh cried, I cried. It's always great to see a supportive family unit in YA novels, I really liked seeing this positivity translated onto the big screen too. I won't say everything is smooth sailing, but familial love is a strong theme in this film as well as friendship and romantic love.

As I'm sure you can tell, a five star rating wouldn't have accurately described how I felt about this film, so I hope a thousand words has given you a better idea. I loved every second of it and I will be seeing this film again when it comes out in April, probably twice, because I'd like to say I contributed to the success I know it's going to have at the box office. 

Love, Simon is about being true to yourself and I hope it will inspire a generation to do just that. 

Love, Rebecca

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