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  1. Published on: 25/04/2018 07:12 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A high-school student's secret is threatening to be leaked. He must then face the reaction by everyone and coming to terms with it.

    Coming-of-age films could have the most important duty within the film industry. If successful, it could become iconic and a bit of a trend-setter within a particular era in history.

    The first big influences as far as I can remember came in the 50's with Rebel Without A Cause and Peyton Place. The 60's had films like Kes and The Graduate and the 70's had American Graffiti and Quadrophenia.

    The 80's is probably the first of the modern influencers, and it was almost a golden era for this genre. Films like The Breakfast Club, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Stand By Me, Pretty In Pink, Say Anthing and Sixteen Candles still work today in so many ways.

    We have not seen as many successful coming-of-age dramas until this decade. With the most recent being The Edge Of Seventeen in 2016, this latest release is directed and written by people that are more know for their TV work.

    It didn't look or sound like something that appealing. So it was down to the very positive reviews it was getting from many demographics that got me intrigued and wanting to check this out.

    I was glad to be proved wrong, as I think this could be a very important film for this generation of students. We've had quite a few LGBTQ films over the last few years. But never one with such high amounts of marketing and playing to the masses. We have had a few indie related films that have been released lately such as 'Call Me By Your Name', '120 BPM', 'Pride', 'Weekend', 'Carol', 'God's Own Country', 'A Fantastic Woman' and many others. But this is one that is getting a major studio release.

    It's biggest strength is how relatable it is. It felt like a realistic view on day-to-day high school life consisting of many characters you expect to see. When it covers certain topics, it does it in a really mature way, and the impact never felt schmaltzy or whimsical. It did flirt going that route at times. But the execution really hit the mark every time to further enhance how relatable the characters are.

    Nick Robinson was a star as the titular character. He gave a very real performance, and was never over the top as you might have seen from most gay characters in past mainstream films within this genre. There were very creditable supporting performances by Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as the friends to Robinson's character. They all had their moments to shine on screen and made the most of it with great effect.

    Logan Miller did a great job at being as annoying, almost douchebag character. He really sold the cringe-worthy moments with aplomb.

    Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel did a great job as the parents. It almost reminded me of Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts' characters from 'Wonder'.

    One particular scene stealing moment from the minor characters, came from Natasha Rothwell's character. It will certainly have you laughing, clapping and punching the air in delight.

    I am glad to see that it is already having such an impact with the teenage generation. Not only is it because of the topic, but that it is actually a really well made film.

    I loved the process of how this story is developed and executed. It has a funny and sympathetic script that gave us many relatable situations and never felt like it was forcing us to feel a certain way.

    It may have some tropes that you expect with this genre. But I never once cared about that being a problem as the strength of the story just shoved that to one side.

    Like I said before, I was so happy to be proven wrong with this one. This is a really sweet and joyful teen rom-com, which I have not experienced for quite some time.

    It raises some questions with wonderful comedic effect, and that we can have a perfectly fine discussion about it afterwards. There are some tough emotional moments as well to give it some levity that I felt were put in at the right time of the story.

    This is such an easy movie to relate to, and that was thanks to the performances and the writing. There is something for everybody to appreciate in this film, no matter whether you're sexuality is.

    This could be a generation-defining film. If that is the case, then there could be great hope for future of society in general.

    Rating: 8/10
     

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