LOVE SIMON — Review by Susan Granger

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This new, upbeat romantic comedy has already broken records: it’s the first major studio PG-13 wide-release, playing in multiplexes, as opposed to art houses, to revolve around an openly homosexual adolescent. Based on Becky Albertalli’s 2015 YA novel, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” the narrative introduces popular, 17 year-old high school senior Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), who ruefully notes he’s never ‘the leading guy.’ Instead, he’s relegated to being ‘the best friend.’ Continue reading…

So Simon decides: “I’m done living in a world where I don’t get to be who I am. I deserve a great love story.”

Affable Simon lives in an idyllic Atlanta suburb with empathetic parents (Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel) and younger sister (Talitha Eliana Bateman), plus a trio of supportive pals (Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg Jr.).

But Simon hasn’t ‘come out’ yet. His reluctance leaves him open to blackmail by a Drama Club classmate (Logan Miller) when his mysterious ‘virtual’ love interest is revealed.

“I’m supposed to be the one who decides when and where and who knows,” Simon responds.

It seems that Simon, utilizing the pseudonym ‘Jacques,’ has been corresponding on the school’s chat board with another anonymous student, dubbed ‘Blue,’ who is also gay. As suspense builds, Blue’s identity is kept secret until the sealed-with-a-kiss climax.

Adapted by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger (TV’s “This is Us,” “About a Boy”), it’s directed by teen-savvy Greg Berlanti (TV’s “Dawson’s Creek,” “Brothers & Sisters”), who is quick to note: “There’s as many different LGBTQ experiences as there are different kinds of people…and, hopefully, this film makes it easier for them to tell their story.”

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Love, Simon” is a sweetly sincere, sensitive 7, a timely, yet different coming-of-age story.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.