Head to the Theater to Fall in Love With Love, Simon

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Simon, played by actor Nick Robinson, conveys what it is like to experience high school and embrace your true identity. 

Gloria Han, Maroon-News Staff

The most unrealistic part about Love, Simon is how happy the students of Creekwood High are at 7:30 in the morning: everyone’s laughing and smiling, as if they all slept over eight hours the night before (which I can tell you from experience isn’t possible). I arrived to high school groggy and grumpy. The other unrealistic element is that the vice principal (the wonderful Tony Hale) knows every student by name. But, whatever. I admit that as a whole, there are many more positives that outweigh the negatives when it comes to Love, Simon. 

Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) is our likeable, 17 year-old protagonist living in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. He has a close and loving family (his parents are couple goals) and three best friends: BFF Leah (Katherine Langford), soccer-lover Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and the popular and charming Abby (Alexandra Shipp). Overall he leads a pretty “normal” life – except that he’s in the closet. 

One day, Leah informs Simon about a confession posted on “creeksecrets,” the school Tumblr page, by a closeted gay student known only by the pseudonym “Blue.” Inspired by his family photo in Paris, Simon begins communicating with him as “Jacques” through GMail. The two confide in each other, forming a deep connection, and Simon quickly finds himself falling in love through their online communications. In the midst of trying to solve the mystery of his anonymous classmate’s identity, conflict arises when a blackmailer from the school musical threatens to out Simon to the entire school. 

Other than the occasional blips in the script (and the inaccuracies I mentioned above), Love, Simon is a nostalgic reminder of high school. Getting iced coffee before class, jamming out to music in the car and pop culture references are all so familiar and true to life. The film is elevated by Robinson’s performance as the titular character, who remains believable throughout. Conflicted about wanting to retain the normalcy of his life, Simon at the same time longs to embrace his queer identity in a heteronormative society. His (and the other characters’) feelings about being an imposter are also relatable, as is his hilarious awkwardness around his crushes. 

In addition, the film works so well because it functions very similarly to a typical, well-made young adult romantic comedy-drama – in fact many critics are comparing it to a John Hughes film. It’s genuinely funny and unlike many other movies revolving around LGBTQ romances, it has a happy, feel-good ending. Simon knows he is gay and doesn’t question it. He recognizes his sexuality as an inherent part of him, past the point of realizing it in himself. By normalizing Simon’s identity, it sets the precedent for similar movies to come.

The ending is sweet, but undoubtedly cheesy, with talk about going “on an adventure.” What perhaps makes the movie even sweeter is the fact that Robinson’s younger brother came out to him during the filming of Love, Simon (you can watch the “Ellen”interview on YouTube). I think you’ll find it hard not to like this movie, especially because it’s been a long time coming. If that’s not enough to make you watch this movie, then stay at least for the joke about post-presidency Obama – and then make it to the ferris wheel at the close.

Contact Gloria Han at [email protected]