Love, Simon is a movie based on a novel called Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda. I had read the book before going into the theater aware it’s almost impossible to beat the book. Books have hundreds more pages to tell the same story and fill it with detail that makes characters more real. So, as expected, the book was better.
That being said, I walked into the movie theater with high expectations and the film met them. The movie couldn’t match the plot in the time they had, but it covered all of the problems Simon had to face. Even with the changed, the movie was the same story with the same amount of honesty and awkwardness.
For those of you who haven’t read the book, it’s a classic rom-com story. A boy meets someone through email, they fall in love, and he has to figure out who it is. Like most coming of age stories, Love, Simon is about learning how to express yourself. It’s also meant to portray the coming out experience for those who have not had to deal with that. But it also makes a very relatable story for everyone about the awkwardness of high school and figuring out your place in the world.
As the first mainstream LGBT+ love story produced by a major studio, it had lots of expectations even from non-book readers. Based on the reaction of those in the theatre with me, it met said expectations; in a way, it even exceeded them.
Love, Simon is great because of the casual way it is handled. They could have dramatized it in order to have it celebrate it being a first, but instead, it’s like any other story. It blends in with any other movie of its genre. Remarkably, it is treated like the ups and downs of coming out as gay aren’t the character’s entire life – just part of it.
The characters all had their trials and tribulations, creating a plot that continued to have layers and different people to think about. The flawed actions each character takes eventually throughout the story create a well-rounded plot in a very convincing way. I almost wanted to see more of the actors, especially the love interest who has his own complications in coming out.
The movie had the perfect suburbia high school feel of nearing college but still living in a small town. Each scene had details subtly referencing the book which I always find delightful. It was filmed with detail to distancing and placement in a way that set the mood for every scene.
Love, Simon kept me surprised the entire time while staying true to the original book form. It was clearly well-thought out and perfect for its debut as a mainstream LGBT+ romance.
Cheers to opening new doors and telling new stories.