Thursday, April 05, 2018

Love, Simon (2018)

It always bothers me when a movie is based on a bad decision.  Someone has to decide between a wise chouce, resulting in no movie, or an unwise choice, resulting in a movie.  This isn’t exactly the case with Love, Simon.  You can understand why Simon chooses what he does.

Simon is a teenager in high school.  By all accounts, he’s a normal teenager.  He does all the things most of us did at that age.  The crucial difference is that he’s gay.  The story starts when Simon starts an email conversation with an anonymous poster on a message board.  The other person, who goes by Blue, is presumably another student at Simon’s school.  However, there are no clues as to who Blue might be.  He might not even be a current student.

The turning point is when Martin discovers Simon’s conversation with Blue.  Martin is that annoying/creepy kid who tries to hard to be liked.  He wants to date Abby and Abby is Simon’s friend, so Martin uses the information to blackmail Simon.  This is where the decision has the potential to make for a much shorter film.

Simon could very easily admit to being gay.  His friends and family would be supportive.  Simon isn’t necessarily opposed to the idea, but he doesn’t like the fact that straight people don’t need to come out.  If Simon does this, it will remove any power that Martin holds over him.  The drawback is that there is real harassment at his school.  Ethan is a student at Simon’s school.  He came out and faces harassment, so it’s understandable that Simon would give in to Martin’s demands.

If you’ve seen similar movies, you know that things will only get more complicated for Simon.  You may also know that there will come a point where Simon’s secret will come out.  The question is how it will work out for everyone.  Fortunately, the movie doesn’t make this part of the story overly awkward.  Martin is aggressive in getting what he wants, especially once Simon gives in.  This leads to maybe two cringe-worthy moments.

Love, Simon is similar to many other movies aimed at young adults.  It’s almost like watching Hallmark movies in that they only differ in the details.  It is a well-written story.  You have a clear antagonist and protagonist.  The tension wasn’t over the top, like I would have expected with blackmail.  My only real issue is with Gmail.  Yes, they do really leave you logged in when you close the browser.  You have to manually log out, even if you’re in a public place.  (I imagine that a lot of people find this out the hard way, as Simon did.)  It was a fun movie to watch, but I don’t know if I’ll be going back to another young-adult movie any time soon.

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