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It’s About Time For Some “Love, Simon”

From humor to conflict to a typical cliche ending, “Love, Simon” is both a familiar and refreshing film for a vast audience to tell a heartwarming coming of age and coming out story.

Nick+Robinson+in+new+%22Love+Simon.%22
Nick Robinson in new

Nick Robinson in new "Love Simon."

Tribune News Service

Tribune News Service

Nick Robinson in new "Love Simon."

Emma Miller, Reporter

“Love, Simon” directed by Greg Berlanti puts a new twist on an old idea which breaks down boundaries and the stigma behind a high schooler’s coming out experience. The film uses dynamic characters and a blossoming romance between two average high school boys to communicate a storyline for a broader age group. “Love, Simon” is a must see coming of age story that redeems the PG-13 romantic comedy genre.

While the happy, riding off into the sunset ending is overused and unrealistic, the very raw, humorous portrayal of main character Simon Spier, played by Nick Robinson, causes the audience to root for him and his romantic pen pal, Blue because one of the main points of the film is that everyone deserves a happy ending.

Simon struggles not with the shame of being gay but rather the fear that he does not have much time left as a senior in high school. He fears coming out could cause people’s perception of him to change and he doesn’t want to completely let go of the old him. Whether a young person on the brink of freedom and adulthood is gay, straight or anything in between, change is scary and Simon’s struggle with change and publicly claiming his true self to the world can inspire any viewer especially as he overcomes his internal and external circumstances.

The great takeaways from this cinematic gem is an understanding of how difficult it is for people to come out and be themselves in communities full of stereotypes and speculation.”

The characters in “Love, Simon” were very dynamic and their personalities were well developed to make them more believable. The somewhat villain of the film, Martin, played by Logan Miller, who blackmails Simon with his email conversations with Blue, is not simply the disgusting bully but also the kid who just wants friends and has a bold personality. While Martin’s actions were not justified by his good qualities, it was nice to see a well-developed antagonist character in a fairly mainstream film about high school. Simon’s fault in the movie is how he lets Martin’s blackmailing turn him against his friends because he wants to keep his secret hidden. Simon’s role as the protagonist of the film is not perfect, similar to most one-dimensional heroes because everyone has flaws. The cast and Berlanti did a fantastic job translating that factor to the big screen.

This film is especially exceptional because of its fairly modest and appropriate interpretation of a teenager grappling with their sexuality. Other critically acclaimed movies in the past years that have addressed the LGBT community and had a big impact on Hollywood including the portrayal of more diverse characters are “Moonlight” and “Call Me By Your Name.” These films contain more mature content and are geared towards older audiences. However, “Love, Simon” is a great movie for families with teenagers that won’t cause embarrassing and uncomfortable moments in the family room.

One complaint about this movie would be that the main focus on the two female main characters is centered on which boys like them and who they will end up dating. It would have been nice to see more into their lives. A small glimpse into Abby’s life is given as Martin is trying to flirt with her, but it seemed as though her purpose was to be both the girl everyone desired as well as Simon’s friend. A lot of the hype around Abby and everyone who wanted to date her could have also been a little satirical as well, given how ridiculous Martin’s character acted around her.

“Love, Simon” seems to give off a sort of “Cinderella” feel as Simon is searching for the identity of his mystery man. However, whether or not Simon finds his true love, in the end, is not the most important topic of this film. The great takeaways from this cinematic gem is an understanding of how difficult it is for people to come out and be themselves in communities full of stereotypes and speculation. Not only that, but everyone’s experience with coming out is different. Only the individual has a right to label themselves, no one else. Once people stop meddling in others’ lives and begin to not only accept them but love them for who they are, claiming a title will not seem like such a frightening feat.

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