17-year-old Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) is a handsome and popular high school senior who lives with the most liberal of parents and a younger sister he actually likes. His dad (Josh Duhamel) who gave him a car for his last birthday, relies on Simon to help him be the man of the house. It is in every way a perfectly normal middle-class family. Except for the fact that Simon is gay, and he cannot find a way to share that fact with anyone.
It turns out to his surprise (but certainly not ours) that he is not ‘the only gay in the village’ when some anonymous boy writing on the school gossip website announces that he is gay. Simon, creating a new fake email account responds, and before long the two young men are corresponding with each other without revealing their identities and fast establishing a very tight bond.
Although Simon is paranoid that anyone except his ‘pen pal’ discovers his secret, he is careless enough to leave their rather intimate correspondence on one of the school library’s computers, which leads him to be being blackmailed. His classmate Martin (Logan Miller) demands that Simon arrange a date with Abby (Alexandra Shipp) one of his best friends who is clearly out-of-his-league, as a price for his silence. Simon desperate to keep his sexuality secret goes along with Martin’s demands even though it means betraying his own friendship with Abby and his other close friends.
It naturally all comes to a very sticky impasse when both Martin’s skullduggery is exposed, as too is Simon’s sexuality and his shabby treatment of his best friends. To make matters even worse once Simon’s online pal gets wind, he breaks off the correspondence and disappears off the web before Simon can find out exactly who he has fallen in love.
However, in this possibly too perfect world, it’s not the fact that Simon is gay that is the issue but the fact he used his friends so shabbily simply to stop the truth coming out. It is inevitable from the opening scene that this movie is so destined to have the happiest of happy ends, so there is no surprise then that the entire school is rooting for Simon and the Mystery Man before the final credits roll.
This feel-good crowd-pleaser of a movie is directed by (openly gay) Greg Berlanti (Broken Hearts Club) from a script based on a teen novel by (openly straight) Becky Albertelli. With a talented cast to portray this rather gentrified drama where everyone keeps their clothes on, never take drugs, or drive when drunk, it’s left to the wonderful Natasha Rothwell as Miss Albright a reluctant drama teacher to keep it real with her rapid-fire sardonic one-liners.
Love Simon, will probably not be popular with discerning LGBT audiences who now expect coming-out stories to have the heartfelt emotion and grittiness of God’s Own Country, but it is destined to be a hit amongst teenagers and their parents who like their take on adolescent homosexuality to be seen only through rose-tinted glasses.