“Love, Simon”, directed by Greg Berlanti, is an adaption of Becky Albertalli’s novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.” In short, the premise for the film and novel rallies around a closeted gay high school boy who searches for love, and specifically finds another male at his school through the internet who hasn’t come out yet. And of course, he faces multiple obstacles and challenges, even dealing with issues of blackmail and bullying.
Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), the closeted male has trouble with understanding his own emotions. One of the best parts of the film was how Robinson played Simon. He showed the complexity and depth to the character, specifically when he hid who he was from his friends and his parents and then dealt with it once it was publicly announced. He also touches on how his family would be accepting, but the coming out is still hard.
The film also offers up a way for people to relate as well. Thousands of people come out a year while thousands remain closeted, and having representation of both is highly important. It offers up the struggles those who are closeted may face mental, even if their environment seems open because coming out of and pushing against the condition of heteronormativity isn’t easy.
And not even just that, the movie is also relatable for parents as well. They can think about their own children if they were put into situations like the parents in the film who were played by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel. It can also give parents the ability to think what if there child was in Simon’s position.
The movie also does well to adopt issues within high school that students in general face. The blackmail in particular was perpetuated by Martin (Logan Miller) who found Simon’s email logs with the closeted male in his school who goes by the name of “Blue”. Instead of spilling his secret, Simon let Martin know he could do his best to get him together with his friend Abby (Alexandra Shipp). While doing this, it leads to Simon also having to act different with his friend group, pushing relationships he wouldn’t usually do in order to try and have Martin’s request work out.
The physical scenes between the couple are rare and even minimal at the end. There’s a chaste kiss but no mobilized or intense scenes on intimacy. The chemistry is expressed through most of the emails for the movie since the two characters are closeted, but one critique revolves around the final scene where Simon meets Blue, and it comes off as not an extravagant or important as in other movies revolving around the kiss between a boy and girl.
Above all, it’s refreshing to see a film that is inclusive of something other than heterosexual love. Even if one is not part of the LGBTQ+ community, the message it gives for love, and acceptance is one that transcends all things and should apply to everyone. The film is rated PG-13 and is available for streaming and purchase through YouTube, Amazon, and other sites.