Love, Simon Review – A Landmark in LGBTQ Cinema Directed by HUMANITAS Trustee Greg Berlanti
Perky, clean-cut and unashamedly accessible, Love, Simon represents something of a landmark in LGBTQ cinema. A high-school romance with a thematic nod to Lubitsch’s The Shop Around the Corner, it ticks all the beats and boxes of the genre. Except that the central character, Simon (Nick Robinson), is a closeted gay teen who strikes up an anonymous email exchange with another boy on the brink of coming out. And just like that, an alternative gay narrative is written, one that doesn’t end in inevitable heartbreak and suffering. It’s highly unlikely you’ll read a review of this film that doesn’t contain the word “adorable”. It’s equally unlikely that you’ll be able to watch it without grinning from ear to ear.
Directed by Greg Berlanti, the powerhouse TV producer of The Flash, Green Lantern and Political Animals, this is mainstream cinema with mass appeal. As such, it lacks the edge and angry energy of, say, 120 Beats Per Minute, also out this week . This is, after all, gay cinema dressed in jeans and hoodies rather than tutus and tiaras. It’s also gay cinema that tiptoes coyly around any actual sex. But Love, Simon is warm, reassuring and relatable to a whole new generation of viewers. Perhaps that makes it, in its mild-mannered way, almost as important a work as 120 Beats Per Minute.