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BetterMost, Wyoming & Brokeback Mountain Forum  |  The World Beyond BetterMost  |  The Culture Tent (Moderator: Sheriff Roland)  |  Topic: Love, Simon: easy, wholesome cliche or stealthy, groundbreaking bliss-out? Yes. 0 Residents and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Love, Simon: easy, wholesome cliche or stealthy, groundbreaking bliss-out? Yes.  (Read 4268 times)
Aloysius J. Gleek
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« on: March 27, 2018, 06:03:20 am »




Coming out to Simon's parents — and then to the world — proves more fraught. His liberal family is thrown by the news, and they pass several days in strained silence. But eventually both parents get their scene of proud acceptance. They’re big Hollywood scenes, of course, with speeches and tears. Love, Simon  isn’t frank or revelatory in the vein of the best queer cinema. It avoids much talk of arousal, and it delays and delays its first same-sex kiss and then scores it to onlookers’ applause just in case audiences aren’t sure how to feel about it. This is mainstream crowd-pleasing studio filmmaking, so, of course, it’s in some ways behind the times. It’s also, like most studio filmmaking, an example: Here is a way you can be, it says to kids and to parents, to everyone who still believes there’s a median American normal.




https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/03/13/charming-love-simon-expands-hollywoods-vision-of-what-america-is/


FILM
Charming Love, Simon  expands
Hollywood’s vision of what America is

By ALAN SCHERSTUHL  
March 13, 2018



The cast of  Love, Simon, a fleet and sweet comedy/romance/mystery, includes Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Nick), Katherine Langford (Leah),
Alexandra Shipp (Abby), and Nick Robinson (Simon).

Photograph by Ben Rothstein / Twentieth Century Fox / Everett



“I’m just like you,” the hunky Simon of Love, Simon  insists in this likable film’s first moments. He declares this over cheery footage, bright as commercials for laundry detergent, of the putative everyteen beaming with his family in a large but unfussy suburban home or cruising with his high school crew to the coffee shop.

Just like you.

You might balk and note that you don’t drive a nice used Subaru, that your little sister doesn’t whip up elaborate breakfasts with blueberry confits, that your mother, bless her, simply does not look like Jennifer Garner. You might point out that Hollywood’s idea of what America looks like has always left too many Americans out. The good news about Love, Simon  is that there’s a savvy sneakiness to the filmmakers’ vision of our national ordinariness. For decades, Hollywood and politicians have promised that the country’s heart and backbone and moral center is a robust suburban middle class. This vital and funny teen coming-out comedy from 20th Century Fox never undercuts that promise. Instead, it adds to it. Here is a movie made for and about the people who believe they are the essence of American normalcy, a movie that dutifully flatters and celebrates them even as it works to expand who that normalcy actually includes.

It seems to be saying, ever so gently, “You want to believe that America looks like the John Hughes movies of the ’80s, or the Father of the Bride  movies of the ’90s? Great, go for it — but, oh, by the way, the hero now can be a gay dude, with best friends of all races, and not one is a Long Duk Dong–like joke.”

Even the villain of the piece, a film-geek white boy who abuses the closeted hero online, is accorded humanity. Love, Simon is an empathetic bliss-out, a fleet and sweet comedy/romance/mystery where the stakes couldn’t be higher — it deals with the public exposure of teenagers’ secrets! — but also where every high school crisis or embarrassment passes with time because people, it turns out, are fundamentally decent. That makes it a welcome rebuke to the tribal assumptions of the previous generation’s teen comedies, where the jocks hated the geeks who hated the theater people, and the lines between factions couldn’t be blurred. Outside of a pair of bullies who get soundly dressed down, everyone in Love, Simon  is happily into their own thing and open to everyone else’s. If what teens watch on their screens shapes future teen behavior, Love, Simon’s utopian society is a gift to the teens of the future who may grow up on it — and to anyone who has to deal with teens.

The leads, a squad of young actors sharing too much gorgeousness to come from the same high school, are dressed slightly down to suggest some socioeconomic reality. What matters, though, is how they click and laugh together; how they rattle through Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger’s dialogue as if the words are just coming to them; how when Simon picks up his pals for school in the morning they each bound into the car already chattering, as if yesterday’s conversation has never let up. It hasn’t, of course: They’re all connected via their phones and laptops, so everyone finds out every key plot point at the same time no matter where they are. But even if they don’t have news to share when together, they bubble over with excitable fellowship. This is the most irresistible portrait of teen friendship this side of Lady Bird.

Those bonds get tested, of course, once the plot kicks in. Simon (stolid, ruminative Nick Robinson) trusts his crew with everything but his big secret: that he’s gay. He’s not known this for too long himself, and he’s uncertain how to talk about it, especially with Leah (Katherine Langford), his closest and oldest friend, a young woman whose romantic yearning for him he convinces himself not to notice. (Director Greg Berlanti and the screenwriters ace the aching pain of those go-nowhere crushes that teens just soak in.)

A student calling himself Blue writes a post about being closeted and lonely on a gossip site dedicated to their school. Simon, thunderstruck, begins a correspondence with Blue. In brisk, gripping scenes, they reveal everything to each other — except their names. We watch Simon agonize waiting for an email back; we see Simon and Blue encourage each other to open up, to consider revealing themselves to each other and the world — maybe at this upcoming Halloween costume party?

Based on a novel by Becky Albertalli, Love, Simon  introduces some enduring elements of Shakespearean comedy. At the party, Simon is curious about every dude in a costume, wondering if he might be Blue — if masks can slip and identities can get revealed. Meanwhile, weaselly thespian Martin (Logan Miller) has discovered Simon’s secrets and has threatened to reveal Simon and Blue’s emails to the school unless Simon helps the weasel win the heart of Abby (Alexandra Shipp), a dear friend of Simon’s.

The cast and filmmakers stir these elements of secrets, lies, masks, and matchmaking for all they’re worth, prizing telling details and piercing observation over broad comedy. Relationships that in the film’s first moments seemed simple, copy-pasted from other movies, prove prickly and complex. Witness Leah tending to a drunk Simon after a party, coming as close as she can to revealing her love to him without actually saying the words. Watch Simon’s parents (Garner and Josh Duhamel) take great pride in not being upset the first time their boy comes home shit-faced. And when Simon finally reveals his sexuality to one of his friends, the scene plays as tender and welcoming, a warm moment of closeness.

Coming out to his parents — and then to the world — proves more fraught. His liberal family is thrown by the news, and they pass several days in strained silence. But eventually both parents get their scene of proud acceptance. They’re big Hollywood scenes, of course, with speeches and tears. Love, Simon  isn’t frank or revelatory in the vein of the best queer cinema. It avoids much talk of arousal, and it delays and delays its first same-sex kiss and then scores it to onlookers’ applause just in case audiences aren’t sure how to feel about it. This is mainstream crowd-pleasing studio filmmaking, so, of course, it’s in some ways behind the times. It’s also, like most studio filmmaking, an example: Here is a way you can be, it says to kids and to parents, to everyone who still believes there’s a median American normal.


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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2018, 05:59:32 pm »




Yes, the plot mechanics tend to lean toward the disappointingly slick and sitcom-ish. But what redeems the film and makes it such an exuberant gift is the sincere joy director Greg Berlanti and the actors take in celebrating its protagonist's growing self awareness. Love, Simon  is a John Hughes movie for audiences who just got woke. And for all its attempts not to offend, it's a genuine groundbreaker.




https://www.rollingstone.com/movies/reviews/peter-travers-love-simon-movie-review-w517823#


Gay Teen Romance
Love, Simon
Is 'John Hughes for Woke Audiences'
Touching love story from TV's Greg Berlanti is moving, sensitive and a complete winner
★★★½
By Peter Travers  
March 13, 2018



Nick Robinson as Simon in Love, Simon.
Photograph by Ben Rothstein


A seemingly ordinary coming-of-age tale that looms large because of its inclusive romantic embrace, Love, Simon wins you over by capturing your heart without pushing too hard for the prize. Given the recent high points of gay cinema on the indie circuit – the Oscar-garlanded Moonlight  and Call Me By Your Name  being the most high-profile examples – it's a surprise to learn that director Greg Berlanti's extraordinary drama is the first mainstream studio release to put a closeted teen front and center. (Television has been way ahead for years on this front.) This adaptation of Becky Albertalli's YA novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  goes gentler into the topic than you might expect – or perhaps want. But the safe, PG-13 approach could win a wider audience for a movie that gay teens, raised on straight romcoms, have been longing to see for generations.

It helps that Berlanti, who's been making innovative changes on the TV teen scene with shows ranging from Dawson's Creek  to Riverdale, is the just the guy to bring a cutting edge to the non-threatening script from the This Is Us  team of Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker. It also helps that he's a whiz with actors. Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) is wonderfully funny and touching as Simon Spier, a senior at an Atlanta high school where coming to terms with your sexuality is, well, as hard as it is anywhere else. His parents (Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel) seem liberal enough to handle the news. But Simon is too uncertain to open up to them about sex. Did Dad just refer to some guy as "fruity?" Yes, he did.

"I'm just like you, except I have one huge-ass secret," our hero informs us in a voiceover as he watches a hunky gardener get busy with a leaf blower. He hangs at school with Leah (Katherine Langford), soccer jock Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and new girl Abby (Alexandra Shipp), but these loyalists – or his friend with the acidic wit, Ethan (Clark Moore, terrific) – are not enough to spur him to say it loud and say it proud. Berlanti keeps the laughs bubbling with these characters and with the school's vice-principal (Tony Hale) and drama teacher (all hail Natasha Rothwell!). But the fear nagging at Simon never really dissipates.

That's one reason why he starts an anonymous online hook-up with a classmate, who calls himself "Blue" and seems equally reluctant to tell the world who he is and what he feels. Their email relationship is the core of the film as Simon tries to ID Blue from a list of suspects. including studly Bram (Keiynan Lonsdale), musician Cal (Miles Heizer) and friendly waiter Lyle (Joey Pollari). In a highlight scene, Simon imagines an out future for himself in college set to a Whitney Houston dance number. Things get complicated when Martin (Logan Miller), a creepy classmate, discovers Simon's secret and threatens to blackmail him with it unless he sets him up on a date with Abby.

Yes, the plot mechanics tend to lean toward the disappointingly slick and sitcom-ish. But what redeems the film and makes it such an exuberant gift is the sincere joy Berlanti and the actors take in celebrating its protagonist's growing self awareness. Love, Simon is a John Hughes movie for audiences who just got woke. And for all its attempts not to offend, it's a genuine groundbreaker.


« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 10:24:14 am by Aloysius J. Gleek » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2018, 10:21:47 am »




As a coming out story, Love, Simon  might seem too shiny at times, but that’s part of the point. Simon (Nick Robinson) is a white teen who lives in a big house, wears adorable jean jackets, and has a supportive and diverse group of friends. His parents are almost perfect; his mom is a mental health professional (Jennifer Garner) who’s ready to talk about monumental things, without judgment, at any moment.

But even for Simon — who seemingly has everything — the decision to come out is monumental. Life-altering. Sometimes devastating. Even with accepting parents and friends, Simon is confronted by a list of heteronormative statements before he’s finished with breakfast. The audience is forced to ask how it would all go down if Simon didn’t have everything. That point isn’t forgotten; the question is implied throughout the story.





https://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/movies/2018/03/15/love-simon-says-lot-and-all-good/Lik1dJ2JTJL4OeV5TWQBtI/story.html


Love, Simon
says a lot, and it’s all good
★★★½
By Meredith Goldstein  
March 15, 2018



From left:  Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Nick), Nick Robinson (Simon), Alexandra Shipp (Abby), and Katherine Langford (Leah) in  Love, Simon,
an adaptation of the beloved young adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Ben Rothstein / Twentieth Century Fox



Fans of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda — the beloved 2015 young adult novel by Becky Albertalli — can relax and celebrate. Love, Simon, the film adaptation of the book, is great. It’s not exactly  like the novel, but it captures the best parts of it.

Those who haven’t read the book should know that Love, Simon  is a sweet, modern romantic comedy that manages to channel the teen movie classics of the late John Hughes, but only the good stuff. It’s also a deeply empathetic story about a teenager who’s forced to come out to a community of loved ones.

Part of the success of the film can be credited to Nick Robinson, who is perfect as Simon, a well-liked high school senior who’s gay and doesn’t know how — or when — to share. After reading a revealing post on a school gossip blog, Simon begins a secret correspondence with another gay student at school. He falls in love with him, even though the identity of the object of his affection is a mystery.

As the notes progress, Simon finds himself wondering “Is it you?” about every adorable boy he interacts with at school. His hopes are played out in imaginative, swoony fantasy sequences.

The film finds tension when Simon’s e-mails are discovered by Martin (Logan Miller), an obnoxious kid at school, who’s infatuated with Simon’s close friend Abby (Alexandra Shipp). With the notes in his possession as screen shots on his phone, Martin blackmails Simon into helping him impress Abby. The plots of love and deceit get pretty Shakespearean, for better and worse.

Robinson, who was your basic, one-note heartthrob in last year’s YA adaptation Everything, Everything, shows range as the hero of Love, Simon. Every wild emotion plays out on his face, and the audience is forced to cringe and celebrate right along with him. In an early screening of the film, teenagers and adults were spotted covering their eyes, laughing, and lip-biting. There was also giggling and crying.

The actor is aided by screenwriters (Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, of This Is Us) who don’t patronize their audience; a director, Greg Berlanti, who understands the look and feel of good teen stories (he’s an executive producer on the CW’s Supergirl  and Riverdale); and a supporting cast that includes Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Simon’s cool-yet-vulnerable friend Nick; Katherine Langford, of 13 Reasons Why, as Simon’s platonic life partner Leah; and Shipp, who’s a standout as the new girl navigating a group of friends who have known each other forever. Clark Moore also steals scenes as a student who’s already told everyone he’s gay.

As a coming out story, Love, Simon  might seem too shiny at times, but that’s part of the point. Simon is a white teen who lives in a big house, wears adorable jean jackets, and has a supportive and diverse group of friends. His parents are almost perfect; his mom is a mental health professional (Jennifer Garner) who’s ready to talk about monumental things, without judgment, at any moment.

But even for Simon — who seemingly has everything — the decision to come out is monumental. Life-altering. Sometimes devastating. Even with accepting parents and friends, Simon is confronted by a list of heteronormative statements before he’s finished with breakfast. The audience is forced to ask how it would all go down if Simon didn’t have everything. That point isn’t forgotten; the question is implied throughout the story.

The wealth in Love, Simon  can also get distracting at times (the carnival at Simon’s school is like the one at the end of Grease . . . times 1,000). But at its heart, Simon  is a romantic comedy, and those stories often go big. Apartments in rom-coms are usually too well-designed to be real; proclamations of love sometimes end in over-the-top proposals and inconceivable flash mobs. It’s part of the cinematic experience of being magically smitten, which, by the end of the film, is all we want for Simon — and maybe for ourselves, too.



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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2018, 02:09:32 pm »





Love, Simon  is so accessible that gay teens don’t even appear to be its target audience; rather, the movie seems more ideally suited to young women — essentially the U.S. equivalent of the avid female readership that sustains Japan’s massive yaoi  comic-book market. If this pioneering film is a success (a big “if,” since the young men who need it most might be too self-conscious to see it in theaters), expect more female-friendly gay-male love stories marketed at teens — the ultimate upside of which will be a chance to show those struggling with oppression, suicidal thoughts, and the other trappings of the closet that they are not alone, and need not feel ashamed.




http://variety.com/2018/film/reviews/love-simon-review-1202711159/


FILM REVIEW
Love, Simon
A studio-made romantic comedy for teens with a closeted gay protagonist marks
an important first, even if the movie is pretty much average in all other respects.


By Peter Debruge
@AskDebruge
 
FEBRUARY 26, 2018



The cast of Simon's family: Nick Robinson (Simon), Talitha Bateman (Nora), Jennifer Garner (Emily), and Josh Duhamel (Jack) in Love, Simon.
Photograph by Ben Rothstein / Twentieth Century Fox /



By the time your average American teen experiences his or her first kiss, they’ve probably seen hundreds, if not thousands, of heterosexual smooches on screen. But what about Simon Spier, the handsome, well-liked high-school senior at the center of writer-director Greg Berlanti’s Love, Simon? He has “a perfectly normal life” in all ways but one: Simon is gay. As such, he doesn’t have a lifetime of positive pop-culture representations coaching him on how to assume his true identity.

The first studio-made, teen-targeted romantic comedy to focus on a closeted gay protagonist coming out in high school, Love, Simon  proves groundbreaking on so many levels, not least of which is just how otherwise familiar it all seems, from laugh-out-loud conversations in the school hallways to co-ed house parties where no one drives drunk, and no one gets past first base. Lucky for Simon (played by an affable, easy-to-identify-with Nick Robinson), even his home situation is healthy, considering that his parents (played by Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner) are still together and remain supportive at all times — though nothing they say can hold a candle to the father-son heart-to-heart in Call Me by Your Name.

Conveniently enough, the only real conflict is Simon’s secret, and the fact that he’s developing a virtual crush on another kid at school. It all starts when Simon (who fantasizes about the hunk with the leaf blower who tends his neighbor’s yard, making it pretty clear from the outset that this isn’t just some phase that can be prayed away) discovers a revealing post by a fellow student on the school’s gossip blog: Though the author doesn’t sign his name, he admits to being gay and opens up about the way it makes him feel.

Emboldened by his mystery classmate’s candor, Simon decides to contact the author of the post — under the safety of a pseudonym. In what passes for the 21st-century equivalent of lovers meeting at a masquerade ball, the two teens start to fall for one another online, sharing feelings they’ve never dared to speak aloud without knowing one another’s names. Simon signs his letters “Jacques,” while his new pen pal calls himself “Blue.” (There is one openly gay student, Ethan, at Simon’s Atlanta high school, played by Clark Moore, but he isn’t Simon’s type — Simon clearly has more hangups than simply being gay, but what teenager doesn’t?)

Naturally, Simon is dying to know who the other closeted student might be, and to throw audiences off the scent, Blue’s letters are read by different voices throughout the film, depending on who Simon suspects he might be at any given time. Simon and Blue’s sweet e-pistolary relationship is only just beginning when Simon makes a stupid error and leaves his Gmail account open on a library computer, narrowly avoiding the nosy gaze of vice principal Worth (Tony Hale, a highlight), while inadvertently outing himself to class weirdo Martin (Logan Miller).

The sort of goofball character one is more likely to find in a Nickelodeon series than in real life, Martin isn’t a bad person per se, but he does an unconscionable thing, exploiting the situation and blackmailing Simon into helping him arrange a date with out-of-his-league friend Abby (Alexandra Shipp). While we can certainly understand why Simon might play along, the decisions he makes are purely selfish, and cause great turmoil among his social circle — not just Abby, but best bud Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), who’s had a crush on Abby since she transferred to their school six months earlier, and longtime friend Leah (Katherine Langford), who can barely hide her feelings for Simon — all of which makes it increasingly difficult to sympathize with what he’s willing to sacrifice in order to keep his secret.

It takes enormous courage to come out in high school. It’s a period marked by peer pressure and bullying for most teens, and one can’t blame most adolescents — gay or straight — for wanting to keep their heads down. On television, Glee  tackled many of these issues from the relatively flamboyant sphere of the school stage (which factors here, via a hilariously awful production of Cabaret  overseen by comedy MVP Natasha Rothwell as the school’s exasperated drama teacher). But let it be said: Love, Simon  is precisely the kind of movie its main character so desperately needs — which means, Simon is about to become the model for an entire demographic that has had to do without, until now.

That doesn’t mean Simon is perfect — far from it, in fact, and Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker’s script, adapted from Becky Albertalli’s YA novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, doesn’t let him off easy for his flaws. And it doesn’t even mean that this is a particularly great film, although it’s no worse than most of the other teen movies out there (and a good deal funnier than most). At a cultural moment when it matters so much for audiences to see themselves represented on screen, Love, Simon  broadens the spectrum to include those who are questioning their sexuality. For the longest time, gay audiences had to content themselves with being relegated to best friend roles. But what if the gay person is you, the leading man in your own story?

A film like this will be analyzed, critiqued, and debated from countless angles (homophobes will accuse of it “turning people gay,” while queer advocates may fault it for casting a straight-identifying actor in such a high-profile gay role), but there’s no question that it’s a start. Berlanti launched his directing career with the gay indie The Broken Hearts Club, before finding his footing in television, and this feels like the product of the 15 or so years he’s spent producing shows like Dawson's Creek  and Riverdale (complete with broad acting, too-close framing, and an over-obvious score). It doesn’t feel any more true-to-life than the Disney Channel’s High School Musical  series did, but it demonstrates a refreshing John Hughes-like frankness about the subject of sex (mainly, that it’s a natural thing that people do when they love one another) in a genre that’s too often neutered, or worse, exploited for American Pie-style raunch.

Love, Simon  is so accessible that gay teens don’t even appear to be its target audience; rather, the movie seems more ideally suited to young women — essentially the U.S. equivalent of the avid female readership that sustains Japan’s massive yaoi  comic-book market. If this pioneering film is a success (a big “if,” since the young men who need it most might be too self-conscious to see it in theaters), expect more female-friendly gay-male love stories marketed at teens — the ultimate upside of which will be a chance to show those struggling with oppression, suicidal thoughts, and the other trappings of the closet that they are not alone, and need not feel ashamed.



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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2018, 09:40:06 pm »




Fair warning--if you don't like spoilers, do not read anything referencing the March 20 2018 New Yorker  review posted here below:








Eventually, Simon (Nick Robinson) gets his boy and there is a big, smacking kiss at the end. But Greg Berlanti’s balancing act for the mainstream leaves little room for the physical expression of gay love. Even compared with, say, Moonlight, or Call Me By Your Name, this film is chaste; it avoids the oddball raunchiness of mid-aughts efforts like She’s The Man  and Mean Girls. The real romance is between Simon and his own true public identity; his coming out is far more important than his desire.




https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-chaste-optimism-of-love-simon

Culture Desk
The Chaste Optimism of
Love, Simon

By Doreen St. Félix   March 20, 2018


In Love, Simon, the director Greg Berlanti’s balancing act for the mainstream leaves little room for the physical expression of gay love.
Photograph by Ben Rothstein / Twentieth Century Fox / Everett




Children’s movies are made, in part, for grownups—their allegories are meant to pacify both parent and child—but the teen movie, like its audience, is more intemperate. Alternately generous and cruel, it teaches its viewers that life isn’t fair, but that, in spite of pain, they should continue to believe in it. In other words, its job is to break hearts. In the summer of 2014, I sat behind two girls at a matinee of The Fault in Our Stars, adapted from John Green’s young-adult novel; the loudness of their weeping, as Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, playing the fatefully linked Hazel and Augustus, were both slowly debilitated by cancer, moved me far more than the histrionics onscreen. There was a similar energy at a recent viewing of Love, Simon, Greg Berlanti’s new adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s 2015 novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. On the way in, a teen-ager with lime-green hair careened into me. “I just have to get a good seat,” she said, sweet and shrill.

The film opens on Simon (Nick Robinson), waking among his bedroom juvenilia in a spruce Georgia suburb. He peers out of his window, yearning for the boy cutting the neighbor’s lawn. “Simon!” a voice pined from the back of the theatre. The audience knew the contours of the character; in Albertalli’s novel, Simon is a closeted high-school junior, a jumpy intellectual, sarcastic and melancholy. He makes a playlist of Elliott Smith and the Smiths called “The Great Depression”; he also peppers his speech with “freaking” and “awesome.” He’s a bit of a goober, on the page—an adorable one, deep in heartsickness. In the book, he’s five feet seven; Robinson, playing an alpha brooder who clenches his jaw and squints like a baby-faced DiCaprio, towers over his provokers.

Berlanti has tweaked Albertalli’s novel in more meaningful ways, too, turning the delirious coming-of-age tale into something more domestic. The novel’s drama derives from Simon’s secret Gmail correspondence with an anonymous student at his school, also closeted, and every other chapter is an assemblage of their letters. The reader takes pleasure in identifying the traits of the escalating communication: the time stamps between messages shorten; the confessions in the body of each e-mail lengthen. The boys start to fantasize about sex, what it would feel like. Berlanti’s film excises much of this; Simon narrates just a few letters in voice-over, and spends most of his time dodging his classmate Martin, a squirrely antagonist who threatens to out Simon unless he sets him up with the plucky and gorgeous Abby. Eventually, Simon gets his boy and there is a big, smacking kiss at the end. But Berlanti’s balancing act for the mainstream leaves little room for the physical expression of gay love. Even compared with, say, Moonlight, or Call Me By Your Name, this film is chaste; it avoids the oddball raunchiness of mid-aughts efforts like She’s The Man  and Mean Girls. The real romance is between Simon and his own true public identity; his coming out is far more important than his desire.

Berlanti, who was himself closeted in high school, has been a guardian of teen dramas since the nineties. As the showrunner of Dawson’s Creek, he orchestrated the smooch between the football star Jack McPhee and his handsome prom date in Season 3. (“There hadn’t been a gay kiss that was romantic on primetime TV,” he reminisced to Vanity Fair, earlier this year.) Berlanti has since sired a bundle of superhero romps that air on the CW, but Riverdale, an Archie  comic rewrite, is the scene stealer. Attitudes about prime-time sex in general have considerably loosened since Dawson’s Creek, and Riverdale, a murder mystery in which the gay son of the town sheriff cruises at night, is very horny.

Love, Simon  keeps its protagonist more firmly in check, hewing safely to the heterosexual values of teen romantic comedies, all the while earning Fox its promotional crown of backing “the first mainstream gay teen movie.” In a review, Richard Lawson made the bittersweet observation that there had been no such guide when he was younger, but noted that he wished that Robinson’s Simon “read, frankly, a bit gayer.” (Keiynan Lonsdale, who plays his beau, Blue, came out as bisexual to his followers on Instagram after the film’s completion.) In Albertalli’s book, two of Simon’s friends, Abby and Nick, take him to a gay bar, where he experiences a sense of sublime recognition. The film omits the scene, and instead includes a jokey replacement: a dream sequence in which Simon, a student at “Liberal University,” lacquers his dorm wall with posters of Whitney Houston and dances in rainbow on the quad. He then snaps out of it, shakes his head. This isn’t him; he’s not a stereotype. “I’m just like you,” Simon says, breaking the fourth wall. In such interior monologues, Simon is constantly assuaging the young audience’s anxiety about gayness manifesting in clichéd difference; he is, instead, the poster child of what is sometimes called “homonormativity.”

The film, which leans on the de-facto distinction of its leading man—his gayness—forgets to give him quirks. Simon and his friends are an affluent, telegenic crew, who drink drive-through iced coffees before pulling into the parking lot at Creekwood High. The script is limber and funny, swapping in the contemporary references from the 2015 book with newer quips; one kid, clad in a relaxed button-down and a kitschy lei, goes to a Halloween party dressed like “post-retirement Obama.” Simon gets in a dig at his perfect parents, played by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel, about how their generation loved Bill Cosby. Garner is the “cool mom,” defined not, as is usually the case, by a character flaw (alcoholism, anxiety) but by her political bona fides; she makes protest signs about taking down the patriarchy. It’s clear that Simon’s parents would never have a problem with his sexuality, and neither would his friends—that the struggle, for him, is mostly internal. Berlanti delights in his idea of Gen Z, affirming the studies that forecast that these Americans will reject the “whitelash” and be more queer, more tolerant, than those before them. The two homophobic jocks at Creekwood are repulsive brutes whom no one likes; one of Simon’s classmates, Ethan, who reads as flamboyant, regularly outwits them.

But surely teen-age viewers, who otherwise lose themselves in queer fan-fictions on Tumblr, who march on the street for their rights, could have handled a bolder artwork, one that captured something of gay love rather than making a statement about the straight acceptance of it? The film is as sweet as bubble-gum-flavored medicine; it arrives as if without cinematic lineage—unburdened by cinema’s history of equating gayness with death. It just stops short of producing a picture of gay attraction. I am a mark, but the climactic reunion in the novel—in which Simon sends Blue one last e-mail, inviting him to meet for a ride on the Ferris wheel at a local carnival—made me weep. (“Our pinkie fingers are maybe an inch apart, and it’s as if an invisible current runs through them.”) In the film, the boys’ conversation is intercut with shots of the crowd, roaring from the ground. The moment is tepid—their kiss a win for representation rather than the climax of a consuming crush. A few minutes later, Simon picks up his new boyfriend on his way to school, and Berlanti has them kiss a second time. The coda made the theatre roar. And it was their cheering, not the kiss, that made me emotional.



Doreen St. Félix is a staff writer at The New Yorker    newyorker.com.








Hmmm. It does seem
rather sweet--



Ferris wheel scene from Love, Simon
Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale

Love, Simon kiss scene 😍😍
This movie was sooooo goood . You guys need to watch Love, Simon immediately !!!



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A bit more from
the Ferris wheel scene--
(and that kiss)--now I
really want to see the
final scene/coda kiss!



Ferris wheel scene from Love, Simon
('Blue' Revealed)
Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale



Rhenz17
Published on Mar 21, 2018








Ok, here we are again--
looks like this is the
final scene/coda kiss--
but only for about half
a second--damn!




Simon and Bram in Love, Simon
'Blue' (Bram) Revealed
Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale



AccioTargaryen
Published on Mar 22, 2018







Finally--
the final scene/coda kiss--
but seen from a seat in
the theater!





Simon and Bram in Love, Simon
The Coda/Kiss at the end @movie theater goes wild
Nick Robinson and Keiynan Lonsdale



Jorge Gomez
Published on Mar 20, 2018

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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2018, 12:16:06 am »

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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2018, 09:35:07 am »

I’m hoping to go to this next weekend.
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2018, 01:57:52 pm »

I’m hoping to go to this next weekend.




Lovely! I hope you can give a thumbs up or down. I'm dying to go, but (no joke) exactly five weeks ago today I tripped and fell on a sidewalk and broke my hip. Ouch! I'm only back in my apartment five days and I'm only nominally "mobile". Plus, it snowed today in NYC (again, no joke) so I had to reconcile myself to the annoying facts on the ground as they are and ordered Becky Albertalli’s novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, on Amazon (arriving tomorrow by 8 PM). Whew!




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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2018, 03:47:06 pm »

Oh John, poor you. Hope you’ll make a good recovery. It’s been cold and wet here, with snow in the north of England. Just a little warmer today though.

I’ve just started the book on my Kindle.
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« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2018, 09:47:21 am »

Exactly five weeks ago today I tripped and fell on a sidewalk and broke my hip. Ouch! I'm only back in my apartment five days and I'm only nominally "mobile".

OMG, John, that's awful! I'm so sorry to hear it.  Cry

You need a nice young man to run errands for you, do laundry, prepare meals, generally help around the house. ...
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« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2018, 05:44:36 pm »

Oh John, poor you. Hope you’ll make a good recovery. It’s been cold and wet here, with snow in the north of England. Just a little warmer today though.

I’ve just started the book on my Kindle.




OMG, John, that's awful! I'm so sorry to hear it.  Cry

You need a nice young man to run errands for you, do laundry, prepare meals, generally help around the house. ...




Thanks very much, both Sara and Jeff!   Smiley Smiley

I must say, after the fifth week, you sort of get past the 'why me?!' part, and try to get to the next stage. I've been home only six days, and re food, I'm living on 'Seamless,' which is a super easy to order on line, but is probably not 'sustainable' money-wise in the long run. More motivation to get mobile! I'm attempting to keep neat, but in another week I'll definitely need some help as 'hovering' and making the bed are awkward and cleaning the bathtub is literally impossible, so I've Made Enquiries.

We shall see. I'm hoping that by summer, I'll be hopping and skipping.   Roll Eyes

(FYI, no Kindle for me, but my dead-wood version of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  arrives this evening--can't wait!)
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2018, 06:03:14 pm »

(FYI, no Kindle for me, but my dead-wood version of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda  arrives this evening--can't wait!)[/size]

Call me antediluvian, but I see nothing wrong with dead-wood versions of books. I still feel there is a sort of sensual pleasure in holding in your hands a physical book. I can't imagine how an electronic book can compete with that.
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2018, 06:17:22 pm »

Call me antediluvian, but I see nothing wrong with dead-wood versions of books. I still feel there is a sort of sensual pleasure in holding in your hands a physical book. I can't imagine how an electronic book can compete with that.


I read constantly on line, but only for 'fact' or 'opinion'--newspapers and magazines and such like.

I cannot read fiction on line (or on a 'device') at all. For fiction, I need the book.
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« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2018, 05:30:52 pm »

So sorry to hear about your broken hip, John!

5 weeks away from home must have been awful for you.

Glad you're home now.

I know all about the practical difficulties when you're incapacitated and single, trying to cope in your own home.

I broke my ankle 3 years ago, and had to hop on one foot for 7 weeks. I'm lucky, though, to live in a country where I could get help from the public with things I was unable to do myself.

Hope you can find some help now while you need it.  Kiss
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« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2018, 10:27:29 am »

I read Love Simon (Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda), before going to see the film this coming weekend. Whichever way round you do it, the mystery will be spoilt, and do try not to see anything showing the ending of the film! I had, which gave me a big clue. But it doesn’t really matter. The book is definitely a teenage/young adult novel, nicely written and very enjoyable once I’d worked out who all the characters were. And I'm looking forward to the film.
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« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2018, 05:16:08 pm »

So sorry to hear about your broken hip, John!
5 weeks away from home must have been awful for you.

Glad you're home now.

I know all about the practical difficulties when you're incapacitated and single, trying to cope in your own home.

I broke my ankle 3 years ago, and had to hop on one foot for 7 weeks. I'm lucky, though, to live in a country where I could get help from the public with things I was unable to do myself.

Hope you can find some help now while you need it.  Kiss



Thank you so much, Sonja! It was an unexpected shock, quite a blow. I was certainly NOT planning on wasting a perfectly good hip, not for another twenty years at least!  Roll Eyes

Despite the calamitous aspects, I was very lucky also. A complete stranger helped me the instant I fell and it was clear I had been badly hurt; he called for an ambulance and very kindly waited with me until I was carted away. The ambulance brought me (by happenstance or otherwise?) to the ER attached to HSS, the Hospital for Special Surgery, "the #1 Orthopedic Hospital in the Nation" (or so it says itself). Amazing friends rallied around (in New York I always say--who needs family when you have friends?   laugh ) and all I have to do now is eat, exercise (gingerly) and heal. Actually, it's hard work, takes a lot of effort. On Thursday I grabbed my rollerator/buggy and got a badly needed haircut, Friday, with some strategizing, I did some laundry, and today, I'm taking the day off--I needed it! Next week I have to start thinking about the next stage, finding a nearby center for Outpatient Therapy. Who knew how complicated this would be? Anyway, wish me luck!   Smiley Kiss  



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« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2018, 09:33:50 pm »

I read Love Simon (Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda), before going to see the film this coming weekend. Whichever way round you do it, the mystery will be spoilt, and do try not to see anything showing the ending of the film! I had, which gave me a big clue. But it doesn’t really matter. The book is definitely a teenage/young adult novel, nicely written and very enjoyable once I’d worked out who all the characters were. And I'm looking forward to the film.



LOVESIMONVSTHEHOMOSAPIENSAGENDAFANART
http://reneeviolet.tumblr.com/
Renee Violet's Art Blog



by Renee Violet


Simon and....BLUE


I just finished an adorable book called
Simon vs the homo sapiens agenda.
Couldn’t help myself so I drew a little something!



LOVESIMONVSTHEHOMOSAPIENSAGENDAFANART by Renee Violet's Art Blog

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Aug 25, 2016

#simon vs simon vs the homosapiens agenda  #love simon
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« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2018, 10:38:58 pm »

LOVESIMONVSTHEHOMOSAPIENSAGENDAFANART
http://hardboiled-wonder-land.tumblr.com/
struggling to face things with a sense of poise and rationality


by @hardboiled-wonder-land
(icon by @fallingawaywithyou)

'Jacques' and....BLUE



LOVESIMONVSTHEHOMOSAPIENSAGENDAFANART by @hardboiled-wonder-land

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November 7, 2015 Notes: 778

#simon vs simon vs the homosapiens agenda  #love simon
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2018, 02:47:06 pm »

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per aspera ad astra
connie, 19



by @connie



Simon/'Jacques' and....BLUE




And then someone slides in beside me.
"Can I sit here?" he asks, and my eyes snap open.
It's Cute Bram Greenfeld, of the soft eyes and soccer calves.
I loosen the seat belt to let him in. And I smile at him.
It's impossible not to.

The operator reaches over us and pulls the guardrail down,
locking us in.

There's this pause. We're still looking at each other.
And there's this feeling in my stomach like a coil pulled taut.

"It's you," I say.
"I know I'm late," he says.

Then there's a grinding noise and a jolt and a swell of music.
Someone shrieks and then laughs, and the ride spins to life.







LOVESIMONVSTHEHOMOSAPIENSAGENDAFANART by @connie

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14.06.2017, 10 months ago  3,004 Notes

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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2018, 05:23:21 pm »

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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2018, 09:10:43 am »





Love, Simon  is a different proposition in pretty much every respect. A gay teenage romcom from mass-market TV titan Greg Berlanti, it’s affecting and heartsore in all the right places, but comforting above all: you leave it with the same light wine-spritzer buzz you get from Bridget Jones’s Diary  or 13 Going on 30, though its adolescent target audience shouldn’t even be that inebriated. Like Call Me By Your Name, it tells the story of a winsome 17-year-old boy awakening to his alternative sexuality, but where Luca Guadagnino’s louchely sensual film was made for festivals and arthouses, Berlanti’s clean-cut, decidedly un-queer one was made for malls and multiplexes: it’s largely sexless, edgeless and no peaches were harmed in the course of its production.

(....)

Others might well greet it with a shrug, but that may itself be a kind of victory, or at least a turning point. If, years from now, cornball feelgood crowdpleasers about LGBT characters are commonplace in our multiplexes, and Love, Simon  is remembered – if at all – only for having preceded the lot of them, then Berlanti’s gratifyingly, unchallengingly adorable film will have done its job.





https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/mar/13/how-gay-comedy-love-simon-breaks-boundaries-by-playing-it-safe



Love, Simon
How gay comedy
Love, Simon
breaks boundaries by playing it safe
There’s something surprisingly subversive about the glossy crowd-pleasing commercialism
of a teen movie with a coming out narrative


By Guy Lodge
@GuyLodge
 
Tue 13 Mar 2018 09.41 EDT



Nick Robinson in Love, Simon.
Photograph by Ben Rothstein


At three separate points in my screening of Love, Simon, a sizeable portion of the audience united in a collective “awwwww” – a satisfied, soft-hearted sigh, as if we had gathered for a big-screen showing of a YouTube cat video montage rather than a movie. I may have involuntarily joined in a couple of times: an unabashedly contrived story of a sweet, “straight-acting” high-schooler (lovable dreamboat Nick Robinson) drawn out of the closet when he strikes up an anonymous email friendship with another secretly gay schoolmate, Love, Simon  is entirely adorable.

“Adorable” is not a word we often use when discussing LGBT cinema, even at its most swooningly romantic. Films like Carol, Moonlight  and Call Me By Your Name  may make our eyes well up and our hearts beat a bit faster as their onscreen lovers come together, but there’s an undertow of tragedy – latent or narrowly averted – to their stories of love across (or against) social boundaries that staves off the “awwwwws”, that cuts deeper than cuteness, that leaves you thinking as much of loss and loneliness as romantic gratification when you leave the cinema.

Love, Simon  is a different proposition in pretty much every respect. A gay teenage romcom from mass-market TV titan Greg Berlanti, it’s affecting and heartsore in all the right places, but comforting above all: you leave it with the same light wine-spritzer buzz you get from Bridget Jones’s Diary  or 13 Going on 30, though its adolescent target audience shouldn’t even be that inebriated. Like Call Me By Your Name, it tells the story of a winsome 17-year-old boy awakening to his alternative sexuality, but where Luca Guadagnino’s louchely sensual film was made for festivals and arthouses, Berlanti’s clean-cut, decidedly un-queer one was made for malls and multiplexes: it’s largely sexless, edgeless and no peaches were harmed in the course of its production.

So why does Love, Simon  feel, in its own uncool, milk-and-Oreos way, momentous – more so, if anything, than Guadagnino’s Oscar-winner? Partly, of course, it’s a matter of simple precedent, or lack thereof: the Fox release is the first major-studio film ever to centre on young gay romance, not an insubstantial milestone at a time when Hollywood, made dizzy by talk of black panthers and inclusion riders, is being forced to reassess its standards of representation.

But there are a number of ways Love, Simon  could have been made and styled, and Berlanti opts for the safest, bringing to it the slick, brightly lit, hugs-and-tears sensibility of his TV empire – with less darkness even than his current hit Riverdale. It’s full of soapy conflict and teaching moments; as Simon’s parents, Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel both get to deliver dewy-eyed monologues on the preciousness of love and acceptance and family that resemble Michael Stuhlbarg’s climactic Call Me By Your Name  speech as filtered through Chicken Soup For the Soul, and leave you dewy-eyed in turn. Even its soundtrack is produced by Jack Antonoff, current hitmaker for the likes of Taylor Swift: its hoody-wearing hero might fancy himself an offbeat rebel for listening to The Kinks, but the film is pure pop down its Converse-clad toes.

And yet there’s something strangely defiant – subversive, even – in that safeness: an assertion of mainstream identity that says LGBT storytelling has earned the right to be as naff and as conventional and as unconflicted as its fluffiest straight counterpart. Love, Simon  is not entirely blinkered to the daily challenges and hostilities faced by the LGBT community even in a more enlightened age – bullying tenses up its narrative at cruelly direct and micro-aggressive levels – but – but it’s a film more preoccupied with happiness, togetherness and the rush of a first kiss, just as countless teen date movies have been for eons now. Most interestingly of all, it feels produced and packaged for an audience that won’t necessarily credit it as a milestone, for which its love story should feel as normal and unremarkable as its popcorn-movie presentation.

Berlanti has attempted to normalise the gay romantic comedy before, albeit with a more mature target market: 2000’s middle-of-the-road The Broken Hearts Club, centred on a circle of amiable gay friends in West Hollywood, was unusual at the time both for the casual familiarity it presumed of its audience, and for the relatively wholesome portrait it painted of a culture still largely depicted in Hollywood as sexually deviant and Aids-shadowed. But it remained a niche item, confined to the arthouse circuit despite being scarcely edgier than an episode of Ally McBeal  and grossing just £1.5 million worldwide.

Love, Simon, meanwhile, will be getting a wider release than Berlanti’s first film could ever have dreamed of, and it remains to be seen if children of the 21st century will even rally around it: it might be that the film seems more essential or remarkable to a generation of gay men that, like Berlanti, didn’t have any Love, Simons to mirror their own adolescent crises growing up. Writing for Time, Daniel D’Addario wondered if the film has missed its cultural moment: “Kids like Simon, in 2018, already have a good shot of fitting in. They don’t need this movie.”

That might be over-idealising a world in which youthful homosexuality still meets with ugly opposition in many cultures, and underselling the personal difficulty of coming out even in the most favourable circumstances, which Love, Simon  depicts with some clarity and compassion. As Simon tells his digital penpal in voiceover, he ultimately knows his friends and family will embrace him either way, but that still doesn’t make it a cinch. I’d like to think some nervously closeted high-schoolers will go to see Love, Simon  and feel seen in turn, and maybe a little emboldened by its pat happy ending – one that follows a run of recent films, including Carol  and God’s Own Country, in reversing the tragic arc that was once standard in LGBT cinema, but with fewer compromises and qualifiers in its hero’s sparkly future.

Others might well greet it with a shrug, but that may itself be a kind of victory, or at least a turning point. If, years from now, cornball feelgood crowdpleasers about LGBT characters are commonplace in our multiplexes, and Love, Simon  is remembered – if at all – only for having preceded the lot of them, then Berlanti’s gratifyingly, unchallengingly adorable film will have done its job.


Love, Simon is out in US cinemas on 16 March and in the UK on 6 April


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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2018, 09:33:18 am »

As Wonder-bread wholesome as Love, Simon sounds to me, I'm not sure I could take this film. I'm not saying I might not like it. I am seriously saying I might not be able to take it.
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2018, 10:35:00 am »

As Wonder-bread wholesome as Love, Simon sounds to me, I'm not sure I could take this film. I'm not saying I might not like it. I am seriously saying I might not be able to take it.



I don't know, Jeff--the Guardian  is on a roll, it wants  you to be charmed!   laugh





Martin (Logan Miller) isn’t supposed to be a bad guy, just desperate, but his temporary blackmailing nastiness is something that the film has to finesse, reasonably successfully. It all rolls up to a happy ending that feels entirely deserved. What a thoroughly intelligent and good-natured film.




https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/apr/05/love-simon-review-nick-robinson-gay-romance



Love, Simon
Love, Simon
review – heartwarming gay romance
In this fun, engaging and intelligent drama, a teenager’s anonymous
email conversation leads to complications – and love

★★★★
By Peter Bradshaw
@PeterBradshaw1
 
Thu 5 Apr 2018 01.00 EDT
Last modified on
Mon 9 Apr 2018 07.55 EDT



A smart spin on the straight romcom …Nick Robinson in Love, Simon.
Photograph by Ben Rothstein


With its sheer warmth, openness, likability and idealism, Love, Simon  won me over. It takes all the corniness and tweeness of the coming-of-age genre and transplants new heart into it. A high-school kid is about to come out as gay. This is Simon, played by 23-year-old Nick Robinson, and his story puts a smart new spin on straight romcom classics such as The Shop Around the Corner  and You’ve Got Mail, with their anonymised romances.

This movie’s storyline does come carefully encased in an unassumingly small-c conservative plot superstructure, and in the real world not everyone in Simon’s situation has such a well-off home, sophisticated and pricey vinyl collection or impeccably liberal, non-bigoted family and circle of friends, whose reactions are never in doubt. Here the hostility is carefully quarantined to a couple of obviously homophobic boys, whose narrative function is to be trounced and then tacitly forgiven. The only other out gay kid in the school is almost impossibly witty and well-adjusted, nearly middle-aged in his droll composure. In real life, things are a bit more muddled than that. But what a smart, fun, engaging film.

Simon’s personal life comes to a crisis when he starts having an anonymous email conversation with a boy known only as “Blue”; he calls himself “Jacques”. They fall in love. But who is Blue? The mystery becomes trickier when drama-club nerd Martin (Logan Miller) discovers Simon’s secret and agrees not to publicise it in exchange for Simon’s help in his doomed mission to impress the hottest girl in school, Abby, played by Alexandra ShippStorm from X-Men, Apocalypse.

Martin isn’t supposed to be a bad guy, just desperate, but his temporary blackmailing nastiness is something that the film has to finesse, reasonably successfully. It all rolls up to a happy ending that feels entirely deserved. What a thoroughly intelligent and good-natured film.

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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2018, 11:05:13 am »

I don't know, Jeff--the Guardian  is on a roll, it wants  you to be charmed!   laugh

This is probably not the place to go into my idiosyncratic suppositions. I probably shouldn't have brought it up here, anyway.  Sad
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« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2018, 11:36:58 am »

I don't know, Jeff--the Guardian  is on a roll, it wants  you to be charmed!   laugh



This is probably not the place to go into my idiosyncratic suppositions. I probably shouldn't have brought it up here, anyway.  Sad



Sorry Jeff! In the meanwhile, as I said, the Guardian  really IS on a roll (as it was with Call Me By Your Name--good for them!) and definitely wants someone  to go and see. As for me, I will try and go as soon as my new (replacement) hip mends!






Love, Simon is an anomaly in that it is receiving the support of a studio, and I’m sceptical about whether its success will trigger a wave of support from others on stories centred on gay characters. There remains a fear that a film centred on a gay character will be classed as a ‘gay film’, only of interest to gay people. People hoped a change would come with Brokeback Mountain  but here we are 13 years later, asking if the change will come again.”




https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2018/apr/10/love-simon-russell-t-davies-and-more-on-why-the-gay-teen-movie-is-a-glorious-victory



Love, Simon
Love, Simon
Russell T Davies and more on why the
gay teen movie is a 'glorious victory'
With a lead whose sexuality isn’t a gimmick, this high-school drama
may prove that film has caught up with its audience


By Anna Smith  
Tue 10 Apr 2018 04.00 EDT



‘A well-rounded character whose sexuality is only part of his identity’ …Nick Robinson as Simon in Love, Simon.
Photograph by Ben Rothstein


From his clean-cut good looks to his inner angst, the titular character in Love, Simon seems like your average American high school movie hero. Except for one thing: he’s secretly gay. The story of Simon’s journey out of the closet drives this sweet, funny and in many ways conventional teen comedy-drama that’s doing brisk business in the States.

What’s more, Love, Simon  is produced by 20th Century Fox, which makes it the first major studio teen movie with a gay hero. While arthouse and LGBT cinema have long explored the coming out story, queer characters have been minor players in films such as Mean Girls  and Clueless. Indie comedies But I’m a Cheerleader  (1999) and GBF  (2014) put LGBT characters at the centre, but in the studio movie playground, the words gay and lesbian are insults spat out by prom queens and jocks. Occasionally, the butt of their joke is actually gay, such as Les in Bring It On  (2000). But often this is directed at our straight hero or heroine, who must have a makeover and prove their heterosexuality in order to gain acceptance from both peers and audience.

“When mainstream teen movies began to incorporate LGBT characters more regularly in the 1990s, they almost always came in the form of wisecracking cis men,” says Charlie Lyne, director of Beyond Clueless, a documentary on the 90s satirical teen comedy. “And even then, they were routinely sidelined and desexualised, as in the case of Damian from Mean Girls, who we’re told is ‘too gay to function’, but who never once expresses any attraction to other men. They’re often great characters in other ways but they’re deeply limited.”

Based on the novel by Becky Albertalli, Love, Simon  bucks many of these trends. Simon (Nick Robinson) is a well-rounded character whose sexuality is only part of his identity – and whose makeover is heading in a completely different direction. Also, he’s not alone in high school. Along with the jocks, nerds and cheerleaders, there’s one openly gay student, as well as at least two in the closet: Simon’s hesitant online flirtation with an anonymous pupil keeps the audience guessing.

“The treatment of LGBT issues in teen cinema has definitely progressed in line with wider cultural attitudes,” Lyne adds. “If anything, teen movies have typically been a few years behind actual teenagers, who are usually among the earliest in society to sense a changing social tide. As recently as the early 00s, while queer teenagers built vast online communities at the very heart of mainstream platforms such as YouTube, teen movies continued to relegate LGBT characters to the sidelines.”

Compared to cinema, television has been much quicker to catch up, notes Russell T Davies, who brought a gay teen to Channel 4 in Queer As Folk  (1999). “The brilliant gay teen in My So-Called Life  was 23 years ago,” he notes. Davies says that Love, Simon’s director has championed gay characters in many TV shows, from Dawson’s Creek  to The Flash:Greg Berlanti is a TV man through and through. He’s got acres of successful gay stories behind him. To see him bringing that into the multiplexes is a glorious victory.”

So why has it taken film so long to catch up? The answer, says Davies, is simple. “It’s our old friend, that lumbering beast, the white, straight man. But it comes down to money in the end. Television can be more nimble because it’s cheaper: you’re looking at roughly $1m for an hour of drama. But if a movie costs, say, $30m, then there’s 30 times the caution, 30 more levels of bankers being scared, 30 times the arguments. Thirty more idiots, in the end. And if you increase the sums, if you go up to blockbusters costing $100m, then you have a hundred times the fear. That’s why a vast empire like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is devoid of gay characters. And that’s why Pixar has only managed the horrific camp of the Ken Doll in Toy Story 3.”

The money men need only look to recent awards seasons to see that gay stories have wide appeal. Moonlight, God’s Own Country and Call Me By Your Name  featured young gay characters who have become beloved by audiences beyond the LGBT demographic, winning Oscar-nominated Call Me By Your Name  star Timothée Chalamet a wealth of obsessive female fans.

Combined with Love, Simon’s success, does this add up to a brighter future for high school movies with gay leads? Director Joe Stephenson (Chicken, McKellen: Playing the Part ) isn’t sure. “Love, Simon is an anomaly in that it is receiving the support of a studio, and I’m sceptical about whether its success will trigger a wave of support from others on stories centred on gay characters. There remains a fear that a film centred on a gay character will be classed as a ‘gay film’, only of interest to gay people. People hoped a change would come with Brokeback Mountain but here we are 13 years later, asking if the change will come again.”

Davies is similarly cautious. “I think we should be very careful if we imagine these changes are permanent. It’s been almost 20 years since Queer As Folk  but still, every time I write a gay character, someone somewhere complains, and someone somewhere says, ‘This is new!’ It’s not one battle, it’s a constant fight.”

And the fight isn’t just about representation, but narrative. Says Stephenson, “My hope is that gay characters can finally start existing in mainstream films without their sexuality being the key character trait. Straight people in mainstream films don’t have to deal with their sexuality constantly, neither does their sexuality have to be a ‘reveal’. How nice it would be for a character to be gay and it be of no consequence to the plot or their mental health at all.”



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« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2018, 12:40:27 pm »

This is probably not the place to go into my idiosyncratic suppositions. I probably shouldn't have brought it up here, anyway.  Sad

Well, now I’m really intrigued, Jeff!


I enjoyed it, Simon was a sweetie, I’m glad it’s being shown in mainstream cinemas. But nothing more than that.
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« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2018, 01:29:42 pm »

Well, now I’m really intrigued, Jeff!

I really need to address this on my blog ASAP.
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« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2018, 03:01:09 pm »

I enjoyed it, Simon was a sweetie, I’m glad it’s being shown in mainstream cinemas. But nothing more than that.



Oh dear!   Roll Eyes laugh

Not damning it with faint praise, I suppose, but it might be like the British phrase:

"I QUITE liked it."


 Grin
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« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2018, 03:25:52 pm »



Thank you so much, Sonja! It was an unexpected shock, quite a blow. I was certainly NOT planning on wasting a perfectly good hip, not for another twenty years at least!  Roll Eyes

Despite the calamitous aspects, I was very lucky also. A complete stranger helped me the instant I fell and it was clear I had been badly hurt; he called for an ambulance and very kindly waited with me until I was carted away. The ambulance brought me (by happenstance or otherwise?) to the ER attached to HSS, the Hospital for Special Surgery, "the #1 Orthopedic Hospital in the Nation" (or so it says itself). Amazing friends rallied around (in New York I always say--who needs family when you have friends?   laugh ) and all I have to do now is eat, exercise (gingerly) and heal. Actually, it's hard work, takes a lot of effort. On Thursday I grabbed my rollerator/buggy and got a badly needed haircut, Friday, with some strategizing, I did some laundry, and today, I'm taking the day off--I needed it! Next week I have to start thinking about the next stage, finding a nearby center for Outpatient Therapy. Who knew how complicated this would be? Anyway, wish me luck!   Smiley Kiss  



Wishing you the best of luck!  Kiss

Glad you got help from the stranger, and that your friends are there for you.

It's good that you're able to move around and get out of the house on your own.

Yes, healing and exercising is hard work, it takes all your energy.

So, be kind to yourself and concentrate on recovering.  Kiss

Hope you find a good and nearby center.
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« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2018, 03:48:26 pm »



Oh dear!   Roll Eyes laugh

Not damning it with faint praise, I suppose, but it might be like the British phrase:

"I QUITE liked it."


 Grin

LOL, no it was more than quite. Cheesy
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