So this is another book adaptation where I’ve not read the book so I can’t really judge how it handles the source material but also won’t have any book bias. The main thing I knew going in was that it was pretty cool that trailers for a movie about being gay were playing before films like A Wrinkle In Time that are being seen by a mostly young audience.
It’s a nice film with a lot of heartwarming and heartbreaking moments. The sort of thing you want a young romance movie to be. Sure it’s got its cliches but they’re presented well. The romance is sweet and the mystery element is fun to watch as Simon imagines each of his suspects narrating Blue’s emails and when his identity is eventually revealed it’s really nice scene. I’m also glad that when the third act starts and Simon is outed the consequences aren’t really to do with him being gay but his actions earlier in the movie while his sexuality has more impact on his interactions with his family.
I think the film’s use of existing media is done well with the bands, shows and movies characters bring up liking or crushing on people from are popular in real life and Simon’s room has a bunch of neat elements that stand out like Adventure Time Pops and pictures of Bob’s Burgers characters. Too often films like this are either void of pop culture or have very forced advertisements (Peter Parker using Bing in Amazing Spider-Man for example).
Is this the most original setup for a gay romance? Not really but honestly most straight romances in movies have pretty cliche setups so that’s not really an issue. What matter is if the story is told well and I think it is. The trailers include “from the producers of The Fault in Our Stars” as a selling point and while the films have different directors I do think this has a lot of the same charm as the John Green book movies so if you like them you’ll probably like this too.