Film

Love, Simon

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Greg Berlanti’s Love, Simon lands on German shores established as one of the year’s most heartening Hollywood success stories. Based on Becky Albertalli’s 2015 YA novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, this breezy rom-com breaks new ground as the first studio teen movie to feature a gay protagonist. At the US box office, it swiftly outgrossed queer-themed critical darlings like Moonlight and Call Me by Your Name thanks to a wide release and stellar word-of-mouth. The key to its mainstream appeal undeniably lies in the balance it strikes between frankness and coyness. The film evokes a vivid sense of both the thrill of first love and the emotional turmoil of coming out, whilst steering well clear of eroticism – this may be the most chaste depiction of same-sex desire in screen history. But while this Disney-esque approach has rankled some queer commentators, director Greg Berlanti’s intention is clearly a noble one: to provide LGBTQ+ kids with the kind of life-affirming coming- of-age narrative that their straight counterparts have been happily consuming for decades. Only a smattering of subpar gags prevents this from claiming a place alongside Clueless and Mean Girls in the upper echelons of the teen movie pantheon.

Love, Simon | Directed by Greg Berlanti (US 2018) with Nick Robinson, Jennifer Garner. Starts June 28.

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