Director Greg Berlanti’s coming-of-age tale “Love, Simon” is the first teen film from a major studio that features a gay romance. The film is not only a major historical landmark, but is also exceptionally made.
The film kicks off with the 17-year-old protagonist Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) who drinks iced coffees with his best friends while counting down the days until graduation. Simon’s life is pretty much perfect; he has an understanding family and loving friends. Despite his picture-perfect life, there is one issue that weighs him down immensely – no one knows he is gay, which leads him to put on a facade and feel insecure as coming out is a struggle.
While dealing with his homosexuality, Simon reads an anonymous comment from school in which a classmate comes out. The anonymous person uses the pen name “Blue,” while Simon uses the handle “Jacques.” The two fall in love immediately, but who is Blue? As the mystery moves on, the plot gets thicker. The audience is always on the edge of their seats trying to figure out Simon’s mystery lover.
It should not be a big deal for Simon to come out, and yet it is. The closeted gay teen is fearful that his life will change, and his reluctance gets him tangled up with a blackmailer who threatens to expose his secret. The blackmailer also creates a conflict between Blue and Jaques.
The film has received a seven-and-a-half out of a 10 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and after less than a month at the box office, the movie has become one of the most domestically successful teen movies in four years.
Freshmen Sulekha Mukunda said, “The film is captivating beyond belief at every moment. I cried twice in the movie, showing that it is a heartfelt movie enveloped with emotions. The movie left me smiling, as there were so many emotions that were developed.”
Berlanti’s “Love, Simon” navigates excitement, happiness, sadness, guilt, and anger equally well in the film while at the same time making sure the audience is always engaged.
His characters are always diverse in terms of race and sexuality, such as those in “Riverdale,” “Arrow,” and “The Flash.” He does not fall short in “Love, Simon” as the characters are very religious and racially diverse, which brings all types of people together. As a gay director, he has brought a genuine authenticity to the film.
Freshmen Nikki Shah said, “‘Love, Simon’ is one of those movies that you will always remember because it makes you feel strongly about the characters as you can relate with their struggles. The conflicts the protagonist faced were realistic, such as his coming out and fitting in. The film demonstrates problems that teens face in high school today.”
Ultimately, what makes one fall in love with “Love, Simon” is that the film accomplishes what Hollywood has been doing with heterosexual romance for more than a century, nipping and tucking it into a glossy, palatable fiction, but incorporating the 2018 culture – a gay romance.
How did “Love, Simon” make you feel? What was your favorite part of the film and why?