Everyone deserves a great love story, but for 17-year-old Simon Spier, it's a little more complicated. He hasn't told his family or friends that he's gay, and he doesn't know the identity of the anonymous classmate that he's fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, terrifying and life-changing.
It's too sanded down to ever truly snag on something like a real, specific, visceral emotion, but it's got the pop-chorus bombast that will get you to some kind of objective sense of fireworks, one way or another.
It sticks to the rules of its genre, right down to the cloying music and obligatory schmaltzy climax, and uses them to demonstrate a truth that should be obvious: all love stories are essentially the same.
Thankfully, it's nicely made... well acted, as funny as it is gently moving, and genuinely intriguing, as we watch Simon respond to online posts by the mysterious 'Blue', who admits that he is gay but won't reveal his identity.
The film is as sweet as bubble-gum-flavored medicine; it arrives as if without cinematic lineage-unburdened by cinema's history of equating gayness with death. It just stops short of producing a picture of gay attraction.