WHAT IS "LOVE, SIMON" ABOUT?
"Love, Simon" is the latest teen romantic comedy in theaters now. The only difference about this rom-com is that the protagonist is gay. The movie is a coming of age and coming out movie, as Simon, a senior in high school, slowly is opening up about his sexuality to his friends, family, and school. There is an anonymous gay teen at Simon's school with whom he connects with and falls in love with via e-mail. The only catch is that they don't know each other's identity. Simon tries to unravel the identity of "Blue", while hoping his own sexuality doesn't get revealed to his hyper-heterosexual high school. With many internal and external obstacles, "Love, Simon", exemplifies a less than ordinary coming out and first love story. And yes, there is a happy sappy, kleenex-worthy ending.
MINI-LGBTQ MEDIA HISTORY LESSON
Now, more than ever there is more LGBTQ representation in film, TV, and media. The past 10 years or so, LGBTQ characters and their love stories have been intertwined into popularized media like Grey's Anatomy, but never as the main love story being portrayed. "Love, Simon" is a fresh perspective on your favorite boy meets girl high school gooey love story, but now it is boy meets boy.
The societal goal of "Love, Simon" was amazing. It is really the first movie (that isn't an Indie movie like Call Me By Your Name) where a gay love story is "the norm". I loved the fact that this is real life, that I can sit in a movie theater and watch a gay protagonist. The feeling is indescribable when you see a boy kiss a boy on the big screen, like butterflies - but in a good way. I am only sixteen, but the rest of my childhood, growing up, was watching my favorite classic 90s movies like "When Harry Met Sally" and "Pretty Woman", although I could never look up at the TV and aspire to have that love story. "Love, Simon" provides a sense of comfort that future generations of pre-teens and teens can see a gay love story and not think it is disgraceful or wrong. Love is love, and it should be that simple.
However, "Love, Simon" isn't my ideal representation of a coming out story. Without spoiling the storyline, Simon was put in the position to chose either his friendships or his sexuality. The writers made it seem like being gay in 2018 limited you to only keeping your sexuality to yourself and that your support system of friends and family wouldn't be of any help. Even though it comes full circle by the end of the film (and Simon learns that mostly everyone is supportive of his relationship), the way they made Simon sacrifice friendships in order to maintain his secret love story, and how he was outed left a bad taste in my mouth. Coming out is a hard thing to do, even today, trust me I've been there. The first person I came out to was my best friend Victoria, and I knew when I was ready that my friends and family were the ones I could count on. Everything from my first crush to kiss was intimate, and I wouldn't have it any other way - but that is a story for another blog post.
Anyways, the thing about the movie that I didn't like was that they made Simon's coming out everyone's business, where it should have been a bittersweet moment of intimacy, not his childhood burden.
THE FINAL VERDICT
Although I did not like how Simon was outed, the message behind the film and what it means for our society is something that I am extremely happy about. This movie is not only a movie, it is an experience and part of the history of LBTQ media movements. I enjoyed the film a lot, the guy Simon falls in love with is a total hottie, and his first kiss is actual #goals. So unless you are homophobic (which I highly doubt any of my readers are because I am clearly gay AF), I definitely suggest that you purchase a ticket and go with your friends and family because films like these are not going away anytime soon.