Critics praise the film adaptation of Becky Albertalli's novel YA for her talented choral cast, her soulful premise, and her nuanced portrayal of queer identity.
Director Greg Berlanti ( The Broken Hearts Club ) is breaking new ground on Friday with the release of Love, Simon the first gay teen romantic movie to open in US theaters , and the reviews have identified a common theme: it's like John Hughes, but with progressive social comments.
Based on the novel of YA 2015 by Becky Albertalli Simon versus the agenda of Homo Sapiens Love, Simon will premiere with great success, with critics praising his great heart, his varied and talented cast, and its revolutionary normality.
Rolling Stone & # 39; s Peter Travers expressed it this way: Love, Simon that for him "is a John Hughes film for the public that has just woke up ", aspires to the perfect amount of sweetness," wins you by capturing your heart without pressing too much for the prize ". "Although he points out that the film seems to walk on egg shells to give it universal appeal, that does not detract from its maximum power:" Despite all his attempts not to offend, he is a genuine pioneer. "
Writing for THR Jon Frosch agrees: "Although there will inevitably be complaints from those who would have preferred a harsher interpretation of the gay teen experience, Love, Simon & # 39; s vanilla-ness it is also what makes it culturally meaningful and even slightly subversive. "He also points out their similarities to John Hughes, explaining that" the film looks and sounds like so many other comedies, nostalgic John Hughes, that you've seen on both big and small, only with one difference: the hero is gay. "
But there is also another revolutionary aspect of the film: its description of Simon's quest for strange company, something that Anne Cohen highlights in her review of The Atlantic ." That's the best part of the movie: the dramatization of a community search and the isolation that many gay teens can experience even if they live in relatively favorable environments, "writes Cohen, who notes that" Blue, "[Simon’s] unknown pen pal , offers the kind of understanding that his heterosexual and family friends can not. "All that is" enough to do Love, Simon a pioneer movie. "
Still, Cohen had reservations about the character of Simon, whom she says "often feels like a personality void." While the set is an eclectic and charming mix, especially Abby by Alexandra Shipp, "Simon's characters are almost better developed than the protagonist himself"
Mark Jenkins of SF Gate was less dazzled by the film, which he sees as excessively derivative, up to the fact that it is "full of pop songs," which is "typical of high school movies." For Jenkins, "Simon's love for the rock of the British Invasion is not convincing, but so are all his passions … Like the movie about him, Simon is nice, well-meaning and curiously devoid of teenage hormonal tumult"
Anne Cohen of Refinery 29 enjoyed the film, arguing that "it manages to highlight the small ways in which even the most accepting and open-minded can make going out difficult, even in 2018. It's in the small, almost distracted scorn, "like Simon's father calling The Bachelor leads" clearly homosexual ". Still, Cohen felt that the film did not do enough to address the privilege of its upper-middle-class white protagonist: "Simon's idea of youthful experience that can be related (& # 39; We do everything friends do : we drink too much iced coffee while we stuff ourselves with carbohydrates & # 39;) it smells of immense privilege. "
However, the revisions, however, have been overwhelmingly positive. The Guardian & # 39; s Benjamin Lee praises Love, Simon for its "educational importance to a wider audience in its well-orchestrated representation of the specific and intricate difficulties of being a teenager gay, the daily deception, the constructed behaviors, the disturbing fear of the exhibition: there are ingenious and moving ideas about how terrifying an already frightening moment can be ".
He sums up his thoughts in this way: "While [the struggle to come out is] an experience that we" saw on the big screen before ( The central section of Moonlight handled it heartbreakingly well), it was never played in a such a great scenario before and at such a vital moment in time. "