This film’s first trailer was appalling, and I had no desire of seeing it till a couple of weeks ago. It’s had good things said about it, and the last trailer made it seem more appealing. Basically it’s another teenage comedy of age movie, except here the main character Simon is gay, but hasn’t told anyone yet. On his school’s blog that reveals ‘secrets’ about its students, an anonymous poster comes out to the world. In an attempt to not feel so isolated Simon begins emailing this student, and suddenly his immediate life starts to change.
I think it’s important to note that this film is a proper middle to upper class painting. The American class system is strange, but the film revolves around well off kids, whose main problems are trying to get into Ivy League schools. Their parents are good looking, happy, liberal and successful who obviously love their kids more than anything else. This is fine, just a little soul-sucking, because middling USA is so uninteresting. Teenagers going to Starbucks, performing in a school play, and going to tedious parties is boring, so the films setting is a little dull.
What keeps the film from getting stuck in that setting is its main character. Nick Robinson as Simon is great, and likeable. He’s laid back, smart and believable. Some of the decisions he makes to get the plot going in the middle are frustrating, and thin, but Robinson’s acting is good enough that you enjoy being in his company. Other than that the adults are the best thing about the film, with Tony Hale and Natasha Rothwell as the teachers having the funniest moments. Simon’s parents are also played well (Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel) and they steal the emotional scenes late on in the film. The other kids are fine, but aren’t given anything interesting to do.
At times the movie is fun, and moves along nicely, then all of a sudden there’s some bad dialogue that had me cringing. This happened a lot, and has ruined any thoughts of me wanting to see it again. The character Martin (Logan Miller) was actually intolerable, and the film sort of relies on his involvement, which is a shame. Though despite this the film worked on an emotional level, where the message of the film lands. It’s about a young man struggling to open up to massive part of his personality, and I think how even in a progressive society it’s still hard to come out and feel accepted by the people around you. This is all dealt with well, and the dramatic scenes that come from it have some punch. It is also directed with some style, having some terrific cinematography throughout. So it is an okay film that is schmaltzy, sometimes excruciatingly cheesy and often bland but with enough sentiment to save it.
Is it worth the price of a cinema ticket?
Sure, I wouldn’t be rushing out to see it though.