At the conclusion of the new teen romantic comedy Love, Simon, every single person sitting in the cinema with me let out a primal, blood-curdling scream.
Not because it’s some kind of creepy horror flick masquerading as a love story, or because a strange and unexplained fire had somehow broken out during the Sydney premiere screening.
It was because the movie had built to such an intense, beautiful and tear-inducing finale that moments before the credits finally rolled, the audience were so awash with emotion that they couldn’t help but start shouting.
The premise of Love, Simon is that everyone deserves a great love story. And this movie certainly delivers on that, but with one twist.
The movie follows high school senior Simon Spier (Nick Robinson, best known for his role in Jurassic World) who, from the outside, appears to have a somewhat perfect life. Except for the fact that he’s yet to tell his family or friends that he’s gay and he lives in fear of his secret being revealed before he’s ready to share it.
In order to have someone to talk through his feelings with, Simon starts a secret email relationship with another closeted classmate at his school. But when one of his emails falls into the wrong hands, his secret quickly threatens to go public.
From the tight-knit group of high school students struggling with their impending move into adulthood, while also navigating complicated long-term friendships and budding, sweet romances, Love, Simon is exactly the kind of gooey, gushing teen rom-com we all remember growing up with.
This time around it’s just heaped with a whole lot more realistic and inclusive characters.
In fact, it's the kind of movie we should have had around decades ago. But at least we can breathe a sigh of relief that it's here now.
However, even though the film has now come out smelling like roses thanks to early rave reviews, the stars of Love, Simon said that at the time of filming they had no idea that the gamble would actually pay off.
Speaking to Mamamia while in Australia to launch the film, stars Nick Robinson and Katherine Langford (the Aussie actress who plays Simon's best friend Leah and is best known for her starring role in 13 Reasons Why) said there was a lot of pressure around bringing to life the first big studio film centering on a gay teenager.