This evening I have the pleasure of attending another Cineworld Secret Screening of a film not yet released in the cinema.
Love, Simon (12A) is the story of Simon Spier, an ordinary teenager who is harbouring a huge secret…he is gay. He is keeping it a secret from his entire family and circle of friends for fear of being shamed for his sexuality. Following an online post on their school’s intranet, Simon learns that another student at the school is also gay and in fear of coming out. Simon, under the pseudonym of “Jacques”, emails “Blue” and the pair of them strike up a relatioship akin to the one in “You’ve Got Mail”. Back and forth emails, tell a story of secret love and admiration…until one day when all that is threatened and his secret is on the verge of being broadcast across the school for everyone to see.
What I love about this film is the love and pain flowing through the heart of the film. We have Simon who is conflicted, yet not overly so. We have the bunch of friends who Simon has to lie to in order to throw them off the scent. We have the loving family who you know will be OK with everything in the end…but this is also it’s downfall somewhat. Everything is a little too sickly sweet. As a heterosexual man, I cannot begin to understand what anyone in that situation can be feeling during their own “coming out” struggle. This film paints it all a little too nicey-nicey, with soft taunting of the other openly gay character in the school, to a conclusion that ends up being a little too “oh right, so EVERYONE is OK with this are they?”
Real life it ain’t, but I think it does enough to cover the topic at hand well. The acting is great. Nick Robinson is sweet enough in the main role, Logan Miller carries the stupid-kid role with gusto, and all the adults are portrayed as comedy characters, from the over-the-top Vice Principal, to the “do I really need this shit job” Drama Teacher, to Josh Duhamel’s comically teasing father.
It’s got a lot of heart, plenty of comedy moments to raise enough belly laughs to have something for everyone, but it’s all a little too flowery for a representation of real life.
Still, it’s very much worth a watch and I am pleased that Cineworld put this film on for us tonight.
Rating : 7/10