The first trailer for Love, Simon reveals the latest romantic teen comedy to follow in the footsteps of films like Pretty in Pink, Never Been Kissed, and 10 Things I Hate About You – only this one has a main character who just so happens to be gay. Based on Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the plot follows teenager Simon Spiers coming to terms with his sexuality, while also dealing with the common struggles native to the teenage experience.
Love, Simon is being marketed as a sort of spiritual follow-up to the John Green novel The Fault in our Stars (they share the same producers), but the main pull is that this is Hollywood’s first mainstream LGBT teen comedy.
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Starring Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) in the titular role, the trailer released by 20th Century Fox highlights an amusing balance between coming to terms with the awkwardness of puberty and coming out – Simon trying to compliment a guy’s boots under the noise-cancelling sound of a leaf blower is particularly painful. To make things worse for Simon, however, is the fact that he’s being blackmailed by a classmate who is threatening to expose his secret unless he plays by the rules. In fact, not only is his own reputation in jeopardy, that of his secret pen-pal crush will be as well.
While the teen romcom genre isn’t necessarily known for its first-class pedigree, there are exceptions. In fact, with the producing team that is Marty Bowens, Wyck Godfrey, and Isaac Klausner, Love, Simon stands to benefit from creators who have proven their understanding of what it means to be an awkward teenager. Aside from The Fault in our Stars, they’ve brought to the screen the Twilight and Maze Runner series, as well as Green’s other novel Paper Towns. It also doesn’t hurt that Albertalli is a former clinical psychologist who specialized in teenage behavior.
LGBT representation has gotten a much-needed overhaul in (very) recent history. Following Moonlight’s nomination sweep and Best Picture win at last year’s Academy Awards, Call Me by Your Name, In God’s Country, and Beach Rats have received nearly perfect scores from critics. Though Love, Simon may have a significantly younger target audience, the fact that studios are willing to back a subject that has otherwise been the butt of cheap jokes in teen comedies of old is a pleasant change of pace. Teen comedies aren’t traditionally known for being socially responsible or groundbreaking, but not unlike this movie, there’s a first time for everything.
Source: 20th Century Fox
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