‘Love, Simon’ is a great start for LGBT movies

Tony Villalobos

Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers about the movie. Read at your own risk.

“Love, Simon” movie (20th Century Fox)

“Love, Simon” was pretty gay—in a good way. 

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The movie follows titular character Simon Spier, played by Nick Robinson, a closeted high school student as he struggles to come out.  The film was based on the novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda” by Becky Albertalli.

For one of the first coming of age movie following a gay protagonist, it does a pretty decent job. Simon Spier lives with a pretty average nuclear family, two supportive, mostly, parents and a younger sister in a nicer suburban Atlanta neighborhood. After a classmate posted anonymously online the equivalent of “I’m gay and no one else knows,” Simon and the anonymous classmate adopt secret nicknames and begin to bond over email. That is until another classmate Martin, played by Logan Miller, screenshots the emails and threatens to spill them to the school if he doesn’t help Martin date his friend Abby, played by Alexandra Shipp, in exchange for secrecy.

This plot line fell flat when put next to Simon’s emotional journey throughout the film. During Simon’s attempts to not be outed, he manipulates his friends, finds his teenage angst and grows much closer with his secret pen pal—whom he knows simply as “Blue.” Simon is desperate to keep his secret, but he can’t figure out why. For a good chunk of the film, Simon struggles to accept himself even more then he fights to uncover Blue’s identity. 

Simon’s struggle to find acceptance is a topic most viewers can relate to even on superficial levels—but for LGBTQ members to see their struggle normalized as a mainstream plot can do wonders for them.

Cinemark Fort Collins 16 showtimes for “Love, Simon” 

“Love, Simon” explores how difficult coming out of the closest is, even with supportive family and friends. But what makes this movie about self discovery great is seeing the fallout from it. When Simon’s emails are leaked by Martin, he breaks off into a heart-wrenching speech. To Simon, denying he was gay or people finding out wasn’t important, to him it what mattered most was that he lost the power to come out on his own terms: “This was supposed to be my thing! I was supposed to decide when and who and where and how I want to say it.”

Following this, Simon comes out to his family and is met with mostly positive results—even if it takes his dad a little longer. Later we find out that the high school’s only openly gay student didn’t have the same luck; his mom lies to family members about the student’s sexuality. 

“Love, Simon” actively works to drag us through this coming of age story about a gay student and explores your everyday romance but it finally takes us through an LGBT relationship in your average rom-com style.

Nick Robinson helped lead a diverse cast through your average romance movie; the only difference is this one isn’t the straight through plot we are used to.

And like any sappy romance movie, Simon did get the guy in the end.

Should you watch it? Yes. 

And as a gay male: It’s about damn time.

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Representation is important for everyone. While Simon might not have had the same background I had, watching him sit in his car with tears welling up in his eyes as he confessed to a friend, or even learning how to talk about guys with friends were all scenes that resonated with me because those were things I have done. And I doubt I’m the only one. 

What made “Love, Simon” truly impactful was the happiness it brought to its audience. The theater might not have been packed, but it had audience members come in groups of teenagers to solo viewers. Just ask the kids sitting four rows in front of me squealing with joy loudly throughout the movie what they thought.

Collegian photo director Tony Villalobos May can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com/photo@collegian.com  or on Twitter @TheTonyVM