I think it’s safe to say LGBTQ rom-com films, specifically those annual teen flicks aimed at the masses, are a rarity in Hollywood.
Well, wave those days goodbye, because Love, Simon—a coming-of-age, coming-out film, based on the novel by Becky Albertalli, Simon vs. the Homosapien Agenda—will definitely serve as the catalyst to change all of that.
Meet Simon Spier (Nick Robinson): he’s just like you. He leads a completely ordinary life as a teenage boy: he’s part of a picture-perfect family, attends a normal high school and is surrounded by a great group of friends. But he’s desperately hiding one huge secret…
Simon is gay.
For the past four years, Simon has been disturbed by his father’s casual homophobic “jokes”, and has struggled to hide his sexual orientation out of fear it would not only shatter everything he knew and loved, but also place him under irreversible mass scrutiny.
Thankfully, he is soon released from his suffering when he finds solace in ‘Blue’—an online pen-pal who shares Simon’s giant secret. Unfortunately, Simon’s happy days are short-lived as it’s not long before copies of his private emails are held hostage by Martin (Logan Miller)—the desperate school reject.
With the exposure of his hidden sexuality at stake, Simon finds himself eating out of the palm of Martin’s hand and hurting those around him in order to save his own skin.
Follow Simon’s relatable journey of adolescence as he desperately scours the town for his mystery love interest, is forced to ‘come out’ to everybody he knows, and finally receives the great love story that he deserves.Unlike most of the LGBTQ-based films out there, Love, Simon—in my opinion—just executes it perfectly. The film was written in a way that truly allows the audience to relate to a LGBTQ lead, irrespective of the viewer’s sexual orientation. Instead of leaving the theatre merely sympathising with the protagonist, I was able to empathise with him, without feeling alienated or like I lacked an understanding on the matter. It’s possibly the first LGBTQ film I’ve seen that’s been able to portray a non-straight character without having to isolate them, or represent them as some sort of separate, foreign entity.
In summary: it was brilliant.
We shouldn’t forget the amazing selection of actors who were chosen for the film. I thought it was a perfect blend of A-listers combined with young and budding talents, hoping to make their mark in the entertainment industry; it was superb. It was certainly a pleasant surprise when Jennifer Garner appeared on screen as Simon’s mother without it feeling forced, or as if she was cast with the intention of her fame fuelling the film’s sales.
But don’t just watch this film for the big names. Witness it in all its glory because it’s entertaining, relatable and because it showcases a great story of honesty and self-acceptance—perfect for all audiences; young and old.
Love, Simon is in Perth cinemas now.
Images sourced from slashfilm.com and the National Public Radio, Inc.