Anyone wanting escapist fiction (and why not?) in the portrayal of a non-existent world of enlightenment should be delighted by this - especially its final half-hour where you're invited to swim along in a cloying treacle of conceit in congratulating itself on just how 'nice' people in general are when one comes out as gay (except for a couple of mockers who are brusquely told to shove it). You see, the world is not so hostile after all!
Shot in Atlanta, Ga., the film started unpromisingly (and predictably) in high school where all conversation consists of quickfire repartee, and where everyone must have brain functions like quicksilver, so ready is everyone with the speedy, witty rejoinder.
17-year-old Simon (Nick Robinson) is tormented by the realisation he's carried around for some years, that he's gay and is terrified of anyone finding out because of their possible hostile reactions - both schoolmates and his family of father, mother and younger sister.
While stringing along girlfriends who are likewise ignorant of his 'secret' he strikes up an online rapport with the mysterious 'Blue' who, like him, has concealed his sexuality and doesn't know how to proceed. They share considerable correspondence and emotions on their respective predicaments. But his online correspondence is discovered by one of his annoyingly brash classmates who uses this discovery to blackmail Simon into guiding him to the girl of his choice.
You'll have gathered from my start that when he is forced 'out' by the action of others and so does come out to his family, the reactions, though initially mainly one of dumbfoundedness - especially his father who belatedly comes round - are almost universally positive. (Would that it were like this for everybody - there'd be no reason for anyone to remain closeted at all!)
Maybe my criticism of the unreality of it all is ungenerous as it 's essentially a 'feelgood' film and has no pretensions to be otherwise. But I felt it was so detached from any world I was aware of that it made me squirm.
Director Greg Berlanti does what he can with the material and I have no doubt from his earnestness that his heart was in it from the start as comes across on screen.
I was going to rate it lower than I have done but it would have been unfair to have let it pass with the very same score as I gave for my previous review, 'Ghost Stories'.
This film has pleased very many people, the majority of them, actually. However, not me...........4.
21 minutes ago