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Love, Simon

I will start out by stating my biases – I have seen a LOT of these kinds of coming out, coming of age movies. Because I have seen so many, these days I look for the films that stand out from the rest or add some unique twist to the usual storyline. Simon (Nick Robinson, for whom I think this is a first starring role) is a high school senior whose being gay is a secret from his family and friends. He goes online and accidentally finds a guy named Blue, also dealing with coming out and with whom he establishes a pen-pal relationship. As I was watching it, I found myself critiquing its various components.  I enjoyed the choice of music, but it doesn’t seem like the music kids listen to now. The diversity sometimes feels a bit too “intentional.” There are constant nods to shows like Glee. And the characters mostly appear to be constantly suffering from “first world problems.” But as I got further into the movie, I started liking it more and recognizing it for its potential to change lives. And I also started feeling rather ancient. During my day, we only had TV movies (which were cutting edge for the time), and for me, it was “Doing Time on Maple Drive” that sparked the awareness that changed my life. Love, Simon is that movie for this generation, one whose story and characters with whom young people who want to come out will likely connect. In spite of its more obvious shortcomings, I enjoyed the film and give it a thumbs-up. It is light in its storyline but also very moving in its messages of inclusion and acceptance.

About Gary Burkholder

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