Saturday, March 31, 2018

Love Simon is a coming out and coming-of-age dramedy

Movie Title:
  Love, Simon

Grade:   B

Rating: PG-13, 109 minutes

In a Nutshell:  Nick Robinson stars as Simon Spier in this coming-of-age dramedy that shows how difficult it is for a teenager to “come out” and reveal who he really is to his friends and family.  

Add a mystery man and you get an unconventional love story that critics are calling fresh and romantic.

Based on the popular book, the movie adaptation deals with a serious issue in a light-hearted way.  I have a lot of LGBT friends and have tried hard to assure them that they are loved and accepted by me.  Everyone deserves respect and kindness. 

Those who struggle with the same decisions that Simon does in this movie are praising the film for addressing a complicated social issue in a delicate way and giving it the Big Screen attention it deserves. 

Tips for parents: 
  • Within minutes of the movie starting, you hear crude language and carefree conversations about sex.
  • Profanity, crude language, and one F-bomb
  • A black transvestite and a gay boy get bullied.
  • Simon’s high school puts on a musical performance of Cabaret I remember when I was in high school and our theater director wanted to do that play.  The parents and school district leaders told us to pick another play because they thought it was completely inappropriate and too mature for kids.   What do YOU think?
  • Teens laugh at parents who don’t know what the Grindr app is.  (It’s a hook-up app for gay men.)
  • It’s a “talking movie,” so young kids might get bored.
  • The entire subject matter is mature, so parents need to decide at what age they want their children to be to see this.  It certainly starts a conversation.

Uplifting theme: 
  • Tolerance
  • “No matter what, announcing who you are to the world is pretty terrifying, because what if the world doesn't like you?” – Simon   - The truth is that we ALL face this same scary challenge, whether we're straight or gay.
  • Being brave enough to be who you really are.
  • Everyone is battling with their own secrets.  Be gentle with yourself and with others.
  • Tolerance goes both ways.We're all on our own journey in life, so it's not helpful to judge or criticize others whose path or values are different from ours. (Some people will simply not want to watch or accept this movie and that's OK too.)             


Things I liked:
  • SPOILER:  Besides a few thug-head jocks in the school, everyone was really accepting of Simon.  I thought Simon’s mom was especially supportive and loving.  There will always be haters, but we live in a more accepting world in many ways.  I absolutely adored the recent movie The Greatest Showman, which also celebrated our differences and tried to show that everyone deserves to be loved.
  • One aspect of the movie that I haven’t heard anyone else talk about is how friends and family actually WANT their loved one to come out to them.  One of Simon’s friends feels this way.  I have known that a dear friend of mine is gay for many years, yet he has still not officially come out to me.  He has told others, but not me.  It actually hurts my feelings, because I absolutely adore him and accept him 100% for who he is. 
  • Teens will like the intrigue of trying to figure out who the mystery man/love interest is who chats with Simon online.
  • Nick Robinson does a really great job.  He doesn't try to make us feel sorry for Simon, but only to relate to him. Simon explains, "I'm just like you."
  • There were some home décor things in Simon’s house that I really liked, like the chalkboard walls around his bed, and the cozy kitchen benches.
  • I loved Leah’s Papillion dog that she walked down the street, because I have one too!
  • I thought it was adorable that Nora (played by Talitha Bateman) was into cooking and that her family showed patience and love while she tried to develop her talent and figure out who she wanted to be too.  Simon wasn’t the only one changing.  A good family is made up of imperfect people who show support while each one tries to stretch and grow.  The family in this movie did exactly that.
  • Good soundtrack.

Things I didn’t like:
  • The antagonist is goofy and easily dismissed, despite the fact that he could have caused serious trauma or even a suicide.
  • Simon is very self-absorbed, like most teenagers, focusing solely on how his life will change when his big secret is revealed.  He never thinks about what his family and friends might go through when he tells them.  
  • Lots of jean jackets.  Ha ha
  • The teens drink a LOT of coffee.
  • I wish there were more focus on the romance and less on the sex.
  • Mr. Worth (ironic name, right?) was too much of a cartoon character.

Funny lines:
  • “Stop with the Selfies.  You’re not all that.” – Mr. Worth (Tony Hale)
  • “I have something more important to say than the ‘National Anthem.’  No offense America.” =  Martin (Logan Miller)

Interesting lines:
  • “I’m just like you.” – Simon



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