I first got to know about Love, Simon when Xavier Dolan posted a substantial write up about it on his Instagram and elaborated on how much he loved it. As Dolan is one of my favourite directors, I decided I would most definitely give this a watch. I didn’t sit down with many hopes, to be honest as the film was directed by Greg Berlanti, the same man who runs the CW DC Universe, something I absolutely dislike.
But after I finished watching Love, Simon, I knew this movie was going to bring a massive change in mainstream media. So far, we have only seen homosexual stories in the form of indie or art films like Brokeback Mountain or Call Me By Your Name, but Love, Simon is possibly the first homosexual film coming out of a studio. This movie is the rom-com that young people didn’t know they needed, and they sure realized that when they saw it, as proven by the immense acclaim this movie received from the audience and critics alike.
Love, Simon deals masterfully with a sensitive topic
Love, Simon is the story of Simon Spier, a seventeen-year-old high schooler who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He lives a perfect life when it comes to having great parents and friends, but he carries one little secret. He is gay. He has not been able to come out to parents or friends due to fears of not getting accepted. He sees an openly gay classmate of his getting bullied and teased which further deepens this belief in him. Simon gets invigorated to reach out and come out to “Blue”, a student from his school who confessed on their high school’s anonymous confession page that he’s gay.
The rest of the film deals with Simon’s struggles in coming out and his search for “Blue”.
First things first, Love, Simon is a film that I truly adored a lot because of an important aspect. Till date, whichever film on homosexuality I saw, such as the beautiful and the artsy films Call Me By Your Name and Carol for example, never dealt with the issue of teens coming out, or they explored homosexual romance. Love, Simon is the first film I’ve seen that shows us what goes on in the minds of a teenager when they realize they are homosexual and have to decide whether or not to announce it to the world.
The confusion, the shame, the guilt, the alienation and the continuing insecurity and fear of not being accepted is so well depicted in this movie. Not just Simon, but the script and the director gives considerable time to show how his friends and parents react and deal with Simon’s homosexuality as well. This is not just about homosexuality, but the same happens to every child who is marked “not normal”. This is the film that every parent should watch to learn the trauma their children go through and to accept them for who they are.
Nick Robinson is absolutely brilliant in portraying Simon Spiel. He should be commended for such a performance simply because of the immense burden of the gravity of the situation that was tackled and that Simon would surely be an inspiration and strength for many homosexuals to come out and be proud of who they are. So his portrayal of such a character needed to be great and he was spot on.
John Duhamel and Jennifer Garner set benchmarks of parenting in this film as they portrayed a couple who put in the effort to not only maintain a healthy relationship but also try and understand their children while giving them enough space. Katherine Langford of the 13 Reasons Why fame, Alexandra Shipp and Jorge Lendeborg Jr play Simon’s best friends. They do well in their limited supporting roles as well and play an important part in Simon’s life.
As I have expressed before, I was truly surprised at how well Greg Berlanti has handled the material, which I am sure is owing to the fact that he is also a homosexual which would have allowed him to understand Simon’s dilemmas and confusions and bring out the very same from Robinson and the rest of the cast. Issac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger write an engaging but fun script adapted from best selling author Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The film is made in a very colourful and vibrant fashion which to attract and engage the young audience. The soundtrack, filled with popular artists like Troye Sivan and The 1975 further confirms this fact.
Love, Simon is absolutely a ground-breaking film
Love, Simon has been getting rave reviews from the majority of audience and critics and has sparked a great campaign where celebrities bought out particular shows of the film to get the audience to watch it for free. Popular celebrities like Matt Bomer, Neil Patrick Harris and Kristen Bell to name a few participated in the “Love, Simon theatre buyout” campaign.
What strikes out most for me about the film that it doesn’t try to be preachy. It is at the heart of it, a very sweet romantic comedy film. It just tells and shows you that your sexual orientation does not make you any different. We are all human beings at the end, and it is not a big deal at all. You really understand why Dolan says that he wishes he had a film like this when he was a teenager. The fact that this movie could pass such a message without being heavy is what made me admire it so much. Love, Simon is not a film that is going to win awards, but it is certainly a film that is going to stay with you for a long time.
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An aspiring programmer by passion, Tuhin is a serial procrastinator and is occupied with three M’s – Movies, Music and Manchester United. He is obsessed with the use of colour in films, something he pours out more often than not on his Facebook page.