Teen movies. Coming-of-age dramas. High school rom-coms.
That special genre of angsty, everything-feels-bigger-than-it-really-is hodgepodge of hormonal emotions has long been a winner in Hollywood.
There was no greater time for the teen movie than the 1980s – the reign of John Hughes.
You had classics like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and more.
The 2010s have been less generous in this category.
There have been some stand-outs – The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Easy A among them – but on the whole, the 2010s have hardly made an impact on the genre (we’re all too busy watching superhero movies it seems).
What a joy it is, then, to be gifted a film that can rightly find its place beside the Hughes flicks we all adore.
Love, Simon is that film.
It’s got everything you love about high school movies – a close group of friends, love triangles, amusingly off-beat teachers.
But it’s also got something a little extra – a gay lead.
That’s right, Hollywood has finally given us a teen film where the main character – not his buddy, not his sibling – is LGBTQIA.
Nick Robinson (from 2017 film Everything, Everything) plays Simon, who has great friends, a loving family and a good life. However, he’s been keeping his sexuality a secret from everyone.
That is, until an anonymous schoolmate posts on an online noticeboard that he too is gay.
Simon and the poster – ‘Blue’ – share emails discussing their fears of coming out, when the knew they were gay and why it was unfair that only LGBTQIA people had to ‘come out’.
It’s a remarkable story that includes all the best parts of teen movies but allows kids who are gay, queer or otherwise to identify with a protagonist just like them.
This is the coming-of-age movie we need in 2018 and it doesn’t disappoint.
Love, Simon also stars Aussies Katharine Langford (13 Reasons Why) and Keiynan Lonsdale (Insurgent), and fellow up-and-comer Alexandra Shipp (X-men: Apocalypse). Jennifer Garner (Alias) and Josh Duhamel (Las Vegas) play Simon’s parents.
Just wait for the cinema to burst into applause when Blue’s identity is revealed.