Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On LOVE, SIMON
Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it's a little more complicated: he's yet to tell his family or friends he's gay and he doesn't actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he's fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing. Directed by Greg Berlanti (Everwood, The Flash, Riverdale), written by Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger (This is Us), and based on Becky Albertalli's acclaimed novel, LOVE, SIMON is a funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about the thrilling ride of finding yourself and falling in love.
Greg Berlanti's film follows the story of Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), a teenage boy who has to come out to his friends and family while also trying to uncover the identity of his anonymous crush, has already garnered near universal critical and social acclaim.
The film hits theaters March 16! Let's see what the critics had to say:
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: "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."
Sandy Cohen, ABC News: "The heart of "Love, Simon" lies in the authenticity of its characters, which were born in psychologist-turned-author Becky Albertalli's debut novel, adapted by "This Is Us" screenwriters Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker, and brought lovingly to the screen by director Greg Berlanti. A veteran writer and producer of such teen fare as TV's "Riverdale," ''Dawson's Creek," ''Supergirl" and "The Flash," Berlanti knows this world intimately, both personally and professionally. He says he was "a closeted gay high-schooler" himself and celebrates "Love, Simon" as the first mainstream Hollywood coming-of-age film with a gay lead."
Alan Scherstuhl, Miami New Times: "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."
Pete Hammond, Deadline: "Like another recent and wonderful coming-of-age flick Lady Bird, this film also has fun with drama classes, particularly with the beleaguered teacher played to the hilt by Natasha Rothwell. Things get really complicated when another student, gawky Martin (Logan Miller), discovers Simon's secret and threatens to out him unless he fixes him up with Abby, a development that makes things awkward in the tight circle of friends (especially with BFF Nick, who also has the hots for her). Among others in the fine supporting cast are Tony Hale as the vice principal and Keiynan Lonsdale as yet another student who figures into the plot. Garner is always a warm presence in these films, while Duhamel lands a bit on the goofy but likable side as the macho dad. Robinson nails the role with natural hangdog looks and an appealing personality that can't help but make the audience root for his eventual happiness."
Peter Debruge, Variety: "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.""
John Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter: "The movie doesn't probe why a teen with as solid a support system as Simon's would have such a hard time coming out today; it accepts the character's concealment of his homosexuality as a simple fact of his existence, as if to suggest that the closet will be full no matter how much society evolves. Meanwhile, Berlanti draws you in with brisk pacing and breezy humor, populating Simon's world with amusing supporting characters such as a perky vice-principal (Veep's Tony Hale), an exasperated drama teacher (Insecure scene-stealer Natasha Rothwell) and out-and-proud classmate Ethan (Clark Moore). If the movie's schematic portrayal of the school's social ecosystem - jocks, theater geeks, cheerleaders, etc. - feels dated, there are sly modern touches, like the way Ethan snaps back at the bullies who target him, tearing into them with withering wit and regal pride."