The rest of the world got to experience Love, Simon ages before yours truly could finally watch it. It was only recently released in my country. Love, Simon is not your average Hollywood love story. Sadly, Hollywood is not a big fan of LGBTQ+ stories, especially not in the mainstream media. While we live in a day and age where being gay should not be an issue, it’s still considered to be out of the norm. Basically every romantic comedy is about a straight relationship. If a film is about a gay relationship, it’s usually quite sad. The fact that now there’s a romcom about this topic is revolutionary. But why is it so important?
What is Love, Simon about?
IMDB says the following:
Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.
Love, Simon is based on Becky Albertelli’s successful debut novel Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda.
Why is it so important?
Love, Simon is a beautiful film for many reasons. It is heartwarming and genuinely funny. It captures the essence of high school and the struggle to fit in. More importantly, it provides a realistic image of the struggle kids go through when they fall in love with someone from the same gender. The story follows a basic formula, but that is exactly why it works.
The struggle of coming out, despite there being openly gay kids in school, is intense enough. Even though it shouldn’t be. Most of all, it’s not just the coming out that is a big deal. Love, Simon also shows the turmoil and self-doubt Simon has to go through as he struggles to come to terms with himself. That said, it is also an excellent piece of film-making. Every single time I believed I knew exactly who the mysterious Blue (the boy Simon exchanges emails with) was, I was proven wrong.
The thing that sets Love, Simon apart from other films featuring gay characters is that this time, it has a happy ending. Usually gay characters in films are merely there as support or to be scrutinized and ridiculed. Love, Simon doesn’t only have a gay kid as its main character, but it also features an out black kid who is comfortable with his sexuality. The actor who plays this character, Clark Moore, told Advocate:
“The fact that there are little gay black boys [who] are going to see someone who looks somewhat like them, or can speak to an experience that’s similar to theirs? That’s huge,” said Moore. “For so long, our stories and the LGBT community have been white-centric. They’ve spoken to an aspect of my identity, but not the full intersectionality of my identity.”
This film is not just a mindless romcom about puppy love. It will save lives. This film will show kids that it is okay to be yourself. It shows representation among a wider spectrum.
As a straight person, it made me understand the struggle and fear of coming out. I always thought I had an idea of what my gay friends had to go through, but I guess you can never truly understand. Still I was touched so much by this story and I was touched to see the effect it had on audience members who finally saw themselves represented on screen in a positive light.
This is exactly why it is important that Love, Simon is a success. It shows Hollywood that these stories are necessary and bankable. So if you haven’t already, go out and see Love, Simon. You will not be disappointed.