Love, Simon

“I like your boots!”

AHHHHH!!! THE FEELS!!!! MY EMOTIONS, MY HEART!!!!

Okay, I got it out of my system.  I have just come home from seeing Love, Simon, the new movie based on Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda.  I have been waiting for this movie to come out for ages.  The book is so heartwarming and hilarious, about a closeted teen who has a secret online relationship with a secret admirer.  Ugh, I suck at explaining things, here is the movie premise from Wikipedia:

Simon Spier is a closeted gay teenager attending high school in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Simon has yet to inform his family or friends about his sexual orientation and has begun communicating with an anonymous fellow closeted classmate who goes by the pseudonym “Blue” online, using his own pseudonym of “Jacques”. This email exchange is uncovered by fellow classmate Martin, who blackmails Simon by threatening to out him to the entire school unless he helps Martin get a date with one of Simon’s best friends. Simon is then forced to balance his friends, his family, and the blackmailer, while simultaneously attempting to discover the identity of the anonymous classmate he has fallen in love with online.

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I’m not a member of the LGBTQ+ community but I am a massive advocate and ally.  This is the first time we are seeing a film from a major studio focusing on a gay teenage romance. I believe that this film is not just a “gay romantic comedy”—it’s a romantic comedy that happens to feature a gay storyline. The story is so universal and the fact that it’s been made it to the mainstream is incredible. My sister, who is gay, always tells me about how frustrating it is when she sees the queer portrayals in pop culture: someone either dies, is separated from their partner, or is subject to tragedy.  Here, we see an uplifting story that may still have some struggles, but shows a loving family, amazing friends, and happily ever after.

Sure there were some things that were different from the book, as with all adaptations, but I think all the changes made sense for conciseness, i.e. Alice, Simon’s sister.  The creators added more diversity in the story by changing the race of some characters. Also, the addition of Tony Hale as the Vice Principal was a brilliant comedic decision. He added a lightness that only silly Tony Hale could do.

One thing that I didn’t really like that was changed was that Simon’s best friend, Leah, ends up having a major crush on him.  This plays into the trope of girl falling for her gay best friend and I think it worked better in the book when she instead has a crush on Nick, their other best friend, and dislikes Abby because she starts to date Nick.  The character of Leah was also a little different.  I think Katherine Langford did a really great job and she looks gorgeous, but she didn’t have that underlying hostility and anger that is portrayed in the book.  You could look at this at either a good or bad writing decision.

In the end, this is a beautiful movie that showcases amazing familial and friend relationships, authentic teen characters, and so much heart.  Love, Simon paves the way for more queer films in the mainstream. Go see this movie!!!

 

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