HE’S DONE KEEPING HIS STORY STRAIGHT.
Teenager Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) hasn’t told anyone yet that he’s gay, but an e-mail conversation that he begins with another closeted boy changes his life. The director’s first feature in eight years is a romantic comedy for teenagers in the vein of John Hughes movies, complete with an appealing soundtrack, characters we care about (including Robinson who looks a little like a young Matthew Broderick) and a story that, in spite of its contrivances (a tiresome blackmail scheme) feels realistic, warms our hearts and makes us laugh. Very good supporting cast, including a hilarious turn by Tony Hale as the vice principal who wants to be best friends with his students.
2018-U.S. 110 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Marty Bowen, Wyck Godfrey, Isaac Klausner, Pouya Shabhazian. Directed by Greg Berlanti. Screenplay: Elizabeth Berger, Isaac Aptaker. Novel: Becky Albertalli (”Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda”). Cast: Nick Robinson (Simon Spier), Jennifer Garner (Emily Spier), Josh Duhamel (Jack Spier), Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr.
Last word: “I didn’t viscerally feel that feeling, almost as an audience [member] more than as a director, until after about a week of shooting. I went to look back at the footage, and I stopped watching it very quickly as a director and started to watch it as an openly gay person. And crying in happy scenes and wondering, ‘Why am I emotional?’ And showing it to my friends who are also gay, and seeing them have the same kind of [reaction]. I think it was just the power of representation. It needed to be up on its feet before I could feel that.” (Berlanti, Pop Sugar)