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Greg Berlanti’s charmingly heartfelt —is a remarkably successful attempt to give shape to the experience of the closet by drawing an incredibly intimate portrait of a teenage boy about to leave it behind.
Simon (Nick Robinson) is a high school senior with a great group of friends and a loving family.
And the applause, when he finally gets the guy, is deafening.
Cast: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel, Jennifer Garner, Katherine Langford, Talitha Bateman, Alexandra Shipp, Miles Heizer, Keiynan Lonsdale, Logan Miller, Tony Tale, Clark Moore Director: Greg Berlanti Screenwriter: Elizabeth Berger, Isaac Aptaker Distributor: 20th Century Fox Running Time: 109 min Rating: PG-13 Year: 2018 Buy: Video, Soundtrack, Book.
Many of us were ever so grateful to shed the skin of our former selves when we finally stepped into the light, but that’s sometimes too simple of a way to say that we didn’t love the version of ourselves who thought we deserved to live in the dark.
Simon spends almost the entirety of Berlanti’s film clinging to the skin that he’s intuited will disappear once everyone knows his secret, but he ultimately learns that skin works in layers, each one building upon the next and adding depth to what was already there before.
As an ex-judge turned vigilante hunter of sexual predators (no joke), Ben Kinglsey is on the same erudite, I-know-I’m-classing-up-this-joint autopilot that characterizes many of his performances in VOD schlock, as is Stanley Tucci as Marshall’s superior.
Alexandra Daddario tries to bring her criminal profiler to life, but the character is compendium of plot devices, a fountain of exposition who morphs into a damsel in distress and finally a love interest., and his performance is a disaster.
As Simon, Brendan Fletcher is required to operate in two alternating modes: as a mewling, slobbering, almost incomprehensible adult baby, and as a spittle-firing psychopath, a killer of women with the resources of Heath Ledger’s Joker in , but Fletcher doesn’t have those actors’ self-preserving instincts.
Norton and Mc Avoy knew they were playing shtick, and their knowledge parallels the showboating of the characters, allowing the audience to feel in on the joke.
He also happens to be gay, and when an anonymous online post by one of his classmates reveals that the closet is at least big enough for two, he begins an increasingly intimate correspondence that leads to him falling in love with the other boy—known only as Blue—via email, without knowing if the two of them have ever actually met in real life.
Until now, Simon’s fear of change and the effort to keep everything just the same as it’s always been has led him to deny himself available pleasures that seemingly everyone else takes for granted.
You could say that characters like Simon and their urge to assimilate are straight-washing queer narratives, but his refusal to cop to the hallmarks of the coming-out story actually allows for a more nuanced exploration of what it means to declare an identity in today’s world.