Love, Simon

*Dedicated to my best friends, without whom I wouldn’t be here writing. Thank You*

Love, Simon is based on the novel Simon Vs The Homosapien Agenda, which I am yet to read. This review will therefore be based purely on the film and will have zero comparisons to the book. Our plot follows Simon, a closeted gay teen, who forms an e-mail romance with the mysterious Blue, while trying to keep his sexuality a secret from everyone around him. The antagonist of this tale is a fellow theatre nerd called Martin who discovers the e-mails and blackmails Simon into helping him get a date with Simon’s friend, Abby. It should go without saying that you never, ever out somebody who is closeted. You do not know the consequences, and possibly even the danger, they may face. As far as the world has come, it can still be filled with terrible, bigoted people. Simon acknowledges that he is in no real danger if he gets outed and that everyone around him would be accepting. Even Ethan, the only openly gay teen at school, just faces a couple of stereotypical bullies.

The setting for Love, Simon is your classic interpretation of an American suburban town. It’s a predominantly white area where everyone gets along and the teachers all have a sense of humour. You’ve seen this set-up a thousand different times, but it’s not the setting that matters; it’s Simon. He feels afraid to come out, and if someone feels that way, regardless of the reason, then you should respect that. When Martin does finally out Simon, his friends are so pre-occupied with the petty relationship drama that he has inadvertently caused, they don’t care that he was blackmailed. This is an awful response from characters who, until this point have been rather likeable. For as unlikeable as they end up being, Simon’s family is the complete opposite. It’s the family of the American dream- the hardworking mother, father, and the little sister who bakes – and is delightful. They’re all acted brilliantly to the point where I found myself liking them more than I thought I would, especially Jennifer Garner as Simon’s mum. Se gives a speech that is profound and heartfelt, and deserves to be heard by every member of the LGBT community from their own parents.

At heart Love, Simon feels like the work of the late John Hughes in that, while it’s full of clich├ęs, it has a lot of passion. In that same vein, this feels like it belongs with those movies released in the 80s and 90s instead of the year 2018. I understand that we are in need of more LGBT representation on screen, and that this movie gives us that, but we shouldn’t have to be playing catch-up with the history of cinema. We deserve better. But for now Love, Simon is a suitable segue for the films to come.

Until Next Time…

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer

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