Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Movie Review: LOVE, SIMON

Every so often a movie comes out that hits you in a way you never would’ve expected.  Maybe it makes you laugh in a certain way, or think about things differently.  Maybe it makes you cry, or look inside yourself.  These are the films that stick with you, the films that you remember and watch time and time again, the films that you share with friends and family because it’s something you believe they truly need to see.  These are the rare films that remind you just how great filmmaking can be because they’re able to reach in and touch your soul.  This year, for me, that film was Love, Simon.

When I first saw the trailers for this film, I thought it looked pretty good.  Then I started hearing reactions from people saying how great the film was, and how much they loved it.  I even heard one person say this may just wind up being the best film to come out in 2018.  What I didn’t know was just how much I would agree with them.

Love, Simon is a beautiful coming-of-age dramedy that hits all the perfect notes.  The story and dialogue are outstanding.  I couldn’t believe how snappy and perfect this script was, and that is all thanks to Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker, who are both making their feature film writing debuts here.  They managed to make every character impactful in one way or another.  I was blown away from the very beginning by just how good the dialogue is in this film.  This isn’t entirely a surprise, as this writing/producing duo hails from the world of television, bringing us programs like the emotional hit series This Is Us.  But it wouldn’t have all come together without someone to steer the ship and bring all these pieces together in such an amazing way, and that person is Greg Berlanti. 

You may recognize this name from the CW superhero empire he has created, with shows like Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. With such mega success in the world of television, it’s wild to think that this is only the third feature film he has directed in 18 years, with his last one (Life As We Know It) coming out back in 2010.  This is a superstar team of veteran television people doing something that some veteran filmmakers can’t even do, and that’s simply make an amazing film that resonates.

None of this would matter without a great cast of actors who were able to take the written page and transform it into something special, the top of this list being Simon himself, Nick Robinson who did a wonderful job, and if the Oscars actually recognized these types of films, this would be one that I would give a nomination.  His ability to emote so deeply and naturally is something that kept me captivated the entire time I was watching this movie.  And his chemistry with every single person he interacted with was astonishing.  I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

One of the things I loved in this was the dynamic within Simon’s family.  His family reminded me a lot of Olive’s family from Easy A.  The parents are a bit easy going and very trusting of their children.  For instance, the scene where Simon comes home drunk and they aren’t sure how they should react to this as parents was just like when Olive’s parents didn’t know how to ground her.  And Simon’s little sister and Olive’s little brother were very similar as well, being the smart and talented younger sibling who gets along with their older sibling.  I love that these comparisons come through, as Easy A is a film I adore and can watch anytime.  I feel like Love, Simon will become one of those films.  I was itching to see it again as soon as I left the theater.  This will definitely be one of the few films I’ll see more than once in the theater.

Love, Simon is so remarkable in every way.  And perhaps not everyone will see it this way, but for me, I have found my favorite film of 2018 so far, and I know this will be a tough one to beat.  So, please go see this movie.  Give it your support, as all indie film is in desperate need of more support.

The Merc’s Score: 10/10

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