On March 16, the novel, Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda, premiered as an adapted movie entitled Love, Simon. The film followed the coming out story of a gay teenage boy named Simon Spier. In the movie, Simon is played by Nick Robinson, the star from the 2017 young adult novel adapted film, Everything, Everything. Along with Robinson, the filmed starred Josh Duhamel as Simon’s father, Jennifer Garner as Simon’s mother, Katherine Langford as Leah, Keiynan Lonsdale as Bram, and Miles Heizer as Cal.
Love, Simon is about Simon dealing with his classmate, Martin, knowing his sexuality through the acquisition of personal emails and using it to blackmail him. This drama leads the central plot, but there are mesmerizing moments of pure love and LGBT+ acceptance. From Simon trying to dress more “gay” for people to accept him, to his friends jamming to The 1975 in the car and drinking iced coffees, this movie managed to touch my heart as well as make me laugh at least once every scene.
One scene that I enjoyed, but could have done without is the act of Simon changing his physical appearance after coming out to his family as gay. Although this was funny, it forced the notion that your gender expression somehow matches your orientation. Simon was gay all of his life and yet only changed his clothing once others knew. I think this showed a more broad problem within the LGBT+ community. Some assume that a feminine man must be gay and a tomboy woman must be a lesbian. This notion negates the fact that one’s gender, sexual orientation and gender expression are separated from each other. In addition, by reading the book before seeing the movie, I entered the theatre knowing what the conclusion of the plot would be. However, there were some key plot points that were left out of the film, but it did not steer me away from loving the movie. I felt like Nick Robinson did a great job in portraying the Simon I fell in love with in the novel. Some of the minor characters did not meet the expectations that I made for them in the novel, but by making the minor characters even more minor, the film’s audience was able to focus on Simon’s journey.
The film expressed the challenges of a teenager being true to themselves while going through the trivial times of high school. Although the film centered around Simon and his fear of others knowing his sexuality and not being accepted by his loved ones, it also expressed society’s genuine need for “abnormal” people. Each character represents a community that is often looked over in modern schools. There are African American characters who embraced natural hair for the film. There are sports players that are also scholarly and humble. There are female characters throughout the movie that are treated with respect and admiration. The film managed to tackle the heartache of coming out in a world that views heterosexuality as ideal.
Love, Simon is a film that needs to be shared. With the success of the Oscar award winning film, Call me by Your Name, movies are becoming much more LGBT+ friendly. However, there still needs to be more representation. I loved Love, Simon as much as the theatre audience I sat around, but there is something about the trope of a LGBT+ character being a white gay male who is accepted by his family. Although this is a narrative that needs to be voiced, it is not the sole story of the LGBT+ community.