Love, Simon is not a perfect movie. It had its fair share of teen stereotypes, drama-filled relationships, and relationship-filled drama, but makes up for it by portraying authenticity, originality, and diversity that has sadly never been done before. (First teen rom-com to feature a gay lead and be made by a mainstream Hollywood studio, anyone?)
The film follows Simon, a closeted gay high school senior who’s decided to keep the coming out for college. His family and friends are progressive and sure to accept him, but he feels like such a seemingly big announcement could change everything. That’s until he begins talking online with Blue, an anonymous and just as closeted student at Simon’s school.
As Simon and Blue grow closer, resident nerd Martin discovers their emails and screenshots them. He wants Simon to help him get a date with Abby, the new girl, and Simon’s close friend. If Simon doesn’t help, Martin threatens to show Simon and Blue’s correspondence to the whole school. Afraid of losing his new best friend and his possible new boyfriend, Simon must decide if the best thing to do might be the thing he’s dreading most: coming out.
Love, Simon is based on the book Simon vs the Homo Sapien’s Agenda by Becky Albertalli, which came out in 2015. Albertalli has been highly involved in the filming process, visiting the set and enthusiastically promoting the movie across social media. I like it when an author supports their movie, and I’m glad that they honored her writing so well, since that is often not the case with book-to-screen adaptations. (*cough* percyjacksonmovies *cough*)
There were some obvious references to the book on screen (Oreos, Waffle House, Daniel Radcliffe dreams), and other more under-the-radar ones (Hour To Hour Note to Note written on Simon’s chalkboard, eyeliner during the musical performance, Elliott Smith posters). Either way, you can tell the love for Simon vs was strong on set, even if the script wasn’t a perfect adaption. A cool easter egg was being able to spot Albertalli’s other book, The Upside of Unrequited, and her friend Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not on Simon’s bookshelf during the scenes set in his room.
I’m not going to go in much deeper because I’d just end up gushing. I saw Love, Simon with my sister on opening day, and after we came out of the theatre, she commented that I hadn’t really shown any emotion while watching. (She, on the other hand, had been gasping, crying, and giggling away.) This was not for lack of emotion felt, but that I wanted to soak in as much of the movie as I could. It’s just that I’ve been waiting for this movie for so long, and not that I’ve been waiting for Love, Simon in particular. It speaks strongly to teenagers, and not just queer ones, on how change affects yourself and everyone around you. Coming out doesn’t have to mean being gay, as commonly stated in Simon vs. To come out means to put a new part of yourself into the world, which can be terrifying, a blind leap into a world of new perspectives and opinions. But once you’ve done it, you’re rewarded by being able to, as said by Simon’s mom in the film, “Be the most you you’ve been in a very long time.”
Grab your Oreos and sit your butt down on a Ferris wheel with family and friends, cause things are about to get romantic AF.