If you are looking for a romantic movie to watch this weekend, our Movie Guy Paul McGuire Grimes from Paul’s Trip to the Movies, has a couple that fit the bill.
LOVE, SIMON (theatrical release)
Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) plays the titular character who explains to the audience in his opening narration that he’s just like any perfectly normal teenager. He comes from a loving and supportive home and has a close circle of friends. There’s just one major secret that he’s keeping from them. He knows at the age of seventeen that he’s gay. The kids at school use a secret online forum to post their inner reflections and juicy hallway gossip. One day Simon reads a message from someone nicknamed “Blue” who opens up that he’s gay. Simon is somewhat elated in knowing that there’s someone else out there at school just like him. He creates a fake email and replies back to Blue as “Jacques.” They begin an email correspondence opening up about their “when did you know” stories. It’s a safe space for both of them to be who their true selves. Simon starts to look around trying to discover Blue’s true identity as he starts to fall in love. Could it be piano player Cal, his good friend Bram, or is it Lyle, the waiter at the local Waffle House? It’s fun to see Simon’s inner thoughts play out as he tries to connect the dots with each guy.
Starring: Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel
-This movie gets it right. It may be a Hollywood flick, but that doesn’t make it out of touch with reality. Simon’s journey to acceptance is not an easy one. Teens can be cruel, and it becomes heartbreaking to watch someone start to come into their own only to witness the negative reaction that comes with it.
-Really captures that initial fear of how coming out could change everything when you just want your life and relationships to stay the same.
-Can easily make comparisons to the ’80s John Hughes movies. Love, Simon comes with a cast of characters each having their own individual style and personality all struggling with trying to find their place in this world. No character or action felt inauthentic. Characters make stupid decisions and are held accountable.
-By the end you’ll be laughing through the tears, which is how it should be.
-It was refreshing to be in a theater with an audience that was rooting for Simon to fall in love. You could hear and feel the excitement in the air. It was a needed reminder that there is hope and love in this world when it seems like fear, anger, and bullying are ramping up again to dangerous highs.
-Love, Simon is that perfect movie to help teens, or anyone else, live their truth.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? Go fall in love with Simon and support these stories.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS
MIDNIGHT SUN (theatrical release)
Katie spends most of her days inside as she suffers from an extremely rare condition called xeroderma pigmentosum (XP). She has an extreme sensitivity to sunlight to the point where exposure could cause cancer or death. She’s home schooled by her dad and is an aspiring singer songwriter. Every day, she watches Charlie skateboard passed her house on the way to school. He’s the good-looking star swimmer at school. Late one night he hears her playing guitar, singing one of her original songs outside the train station. He approaches her, and she awkwardly fumbles for words as her crush is finally noticing her. This marks the beginning of their summer fling following their senior year. Katie desperately wants to feel like a normal teen girl falling in love and risks her health in order to spend as much time with Charlie as possible.
-Starring: Bella Thorne, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Rob Riggle
-Thorne and Schwarzenegger have good chemistry together. The direction plays up the humor with how many odd things Katie says or does around Charlie when they first meet.
-Thorne seems to be playing a bit more against type. I’m used to seeing her as the bratty, rich snob, and this film gets us to see her in a more down to Earth, innocent light.
-Don’t expect Patrick Schwarzenegger to exactly follow in his father’s footsteps. They’re different acting types. He has the boy next door look, not the macho action star. He shows promise as an actor, but needs to open up and feel a bit freer to be a goofball on screen.
-Teen fantasy romance that plays like Nicholas Sparks Light. Clearly catered to the 12-16 year old demographic. It comes with plenty of grandiose romantic gestures, surprise getaways, and corny dialogue with larger than life proclamations
-XP is a real medical condition, but you have to go in minimal expectations and expect some unrealistic moments. It’s by no means groundbreaking in the genre of YA romances. You can figure out how it’s going to end about half way through.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? You may roll your eyes, but your teen kid will like it.
RATING: 2 out of 5 TICKET STUBS