What’s not to love about Love, Simon? (A Comprehensive Movie Review)

Alana Cree, Staff Writer

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Simon Spier is a fairly normal teenager growing up in a clean suburban world. His parents – high school sweethearts – are the epitome of a cliché love story that didn’t end in divorce, with two kids and a dog named Bieber. Simon also has a typical friend group: his two childhood best friends, Nick Eisner and Leah Burke, as well as Abby Suso, the new girl. Simon’s life is safe, uneventful, as close to perfect as a high schooler’s can be. But he has one “big-ass” secret: he’s gay and no one in the world knows. Simon’s closeted status changes when he connects with another gay boy, Blue, on his school’s blog page. The two bond anonymously and, thus, the teen rom-com commences.

The phrase “it’s not like the movies” is often true. High school movies tend to get it all wrong. The cafeteria isn’t ravaged by devious food fights, and seniors do not shove nerdy freshman into lockers. Mean Girls and Clueless are cheesy masterpieces, but they hit the nail far from the head. And High School Musical, although entertaining as ever, couldn’t be further from the truth. Films are usually extreme dramatizations of the high school experience – the characters and plots are just not realistic. Love, Simon however, is different, and not only because it is one of the first huge Hollywood blockbusters that features a gay male lead. The characters in this movie are relatable. Abby, the gorgeous new girl that is adored by all the guys, is secretly insecure. Leah is dorky and weird, but really, she’s just a hopeless romantic. Nick is a sporty jock, but he is down-to-earth and silly. And Simon… he’s “just like you” and me. He’s probably one of the most relatable characters in young adult fiction, regardless of sexuality. These four individuals are very different, but they find common ground and remain friends. This is what the high school experience is all about: our friends aren’t exactly like us, but they balance us out and make us better people. That is what this film nailed. Grabbing an iced coffee and jamming out to our favorite songs in the car, cheering on our friends at sports games, and going to play rehearsal after school are things that we (the REAL high schoolers) do.  

This film, like every other, has several flaws. Many will criticize the idealistic happy ending that the film presents and how it steers clear of some of the messier aspects of coming out. But, in my opinion, it is refreshing to see a story like Simon’s. A lot of teenagers struggle with coming out and do not have parents and friends that accept them with open arms. This film shows the positive, accepting environment that all teens should have when they take the courageous step to come out. In addition, this film sheds a positive light on the subject, and it all works out in the end (no spoiler there). This light-hearted, funny, tear-jerker is well worth the $11.50 movie ticket.