Wednesday, March 14, 2018

'Love, Simon' Coming Out to a Theater Near You

Nick Robinson in Love, Simon. Photograph: Photo Credit: Ben Rothstein/Twentieth Century Fox
The Guardian reports:

As many LGBT viewers bask in the peachy afterglow of Call Me By Your Name, 2018’s first big “gay film” comes bouncing up in the shape of something very different: a teenage romcom called Love, Simon. Based on the hit young adult novel Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and directed by Greg Berlanti (husband of professional US football player 
Robbie Rogers), Love, Simon, is the story of a 17-year-old high school student who strikes up a secret internet relationship with another closeted teen. The film follows Simon’s quest to find out who his potential Romeo is and how it affects those closest to him.

Love, Simon is remarkable in that it is the first film from a major studio, in this case 20th Century Fox, about a same-sex romance. Early reviews have been positive, noting this, but have included occasional sniffiness that the film isn’t radical or daring enough, and perhaps isn’t even needed.

See the full Guardian article here

Vanity Fair review of the film:

It’s going to be hard to talk about Love, Simon, the new gay teen romantic comedy from Fox (yep!), without it turning into a therapy session. Bright and attractive in both cast and production design, Greg Berlanti’s film—adapted from the best-selling young-adult novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—has a pleasant bearing. Though it tells an emotional story about identity and coming out, it’s an easygoing movie, glossy and kind and cozily corny. And yet, for me, it was also a fraught experience, both pained and giddy, cheering and dismaying. It’s a lot, this little movie.

Well, maybe it’s not little. Love, Simon is the first major studio film about a gay kid coming out. Which is a rather big deal, even if the movie is just a spring comedy. (And actually, maybe that it’s a spring comedy makes it a bigger deal.) Love, Simon arrives poised to accommodate a lot of baggage, with each gay person who sees it hanging a little of their own on the movie (or, I suppose, just choosing not to engage with it at all). The thinking—and part of the marketing strategy—is that Love, Simon will offer an opportunity to have a certain burden lifted, that it will do the honorable representational work of letting us see our past and present and future selves on the big screen in warm and celebratory ways. We will see Love, Simon and feel counted, finally.

And, in some ways, yeah, I did. The story of a 16-year-old, Simon (Nick Robinson), who isn’t quite ready to come out until he begins an anonymous e-mail romance with another closeted boy at his school, Love, Simon is exciting in how directly and wholly it focuses on its gayness. Simon is maybe—with all of Robinson’s boyish, straight-acting physicality and timbre—one of those “just happens to be gay” types, but he is nonetheless gay, something the film reminds us of, textually or subtextually, in just about every scene. 

See full Vanity Fair review here.

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