'Love, Simon' - Movie Review

"Love, Simon" has been drawing a lot of comparisons to the John Hughes films of the 1980s. I thought about that a lot while I was watching the movie and it's surprisingly accurate. It's a high school rite-of-passage comedy-drama with elements of romance, and if Hughes were writing now he would almost certainly have done a coming-out comedy. The fact that our lead, Simon (Nick Robinson), is gay is about the only major variation from the Hughes formula.

Simon is in his last year of high school. He knows he's gay, but even though he's pretty sure his family and friends wouldn't be concerned if he came out ... he's not ready. After he starts an anonymous email correspondence with another gay student at his school, things get a little messy. One of the other students gets copies of some of the emails and blackmails him into doing stupid things.

The group of friends who surround Simon are well scripted and well acted. His family is a little more sketched in, but decent and supportive. Some of the supporting characters are caricatures (notably the school's ludicrous V.P. played by Tony Hale - John Hughes wouldn't have it any other way ...). I'm also not a fan of watching blackmail. But for the most part it's a funny and charming story.