Love Simon (2018)

Q - December 2020 Edition

4 mins read

With the exception of Call Me By Your Name and Blue is the Warmest Colour, very few modern LGBTQ+ movies have had the cultural impact of Love Simon. In fact, Love Simon has rightly earned its place as a defining LGBTQ+ movie of the past decade. Based on the best-selling novel Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by Becky Albertalli. Gregg Berlanti’s 2018 film sticks close to the style and vision of the book while also updating the narrative. In turn, creating a genuinely groundbreaking young adult LGBTQ+ rom-com.

Love Simon joyfully embraces the work of the late, great John Hughes by reflecting teenage experience through a lens of comedy, music, drama and romance. Here its tempo and humour matches that of both Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles while at the same time subverting the heterosexuality of the 80s teen flick into a celebration of diversity and optimism for a brighter, more inclusive future. The result is a teen comedy/drama that is unashamedly positive, its darker tones dragged into the light by a rare gay happy ending.

Simon (Nick Robinson) is an average student with a lovely house, supportive parents and a cooking obsessed younger sister. His close friendship group of Leah (Katherine Langford), Nick (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) and Abby (Alexandra Shipp), offering love and support. While at the same time, his active school and social life keep life both creative and busy. However, underneath all of this, Simon has a deep secret, one he is yet to embrace or disclose fully; he is gay.


Deep down, Simon knows his friends and family would be accepting of his secret. But, he also knows that speaking it aloud may change everything, and he isn’t quite ready for that yet. Plus Simon can’t help but question why anyone should have to come out, or why “straight is the default.” But, when a fellow student anonymously writes a post on the college blog expressing his fear of coming out. Simon responds privately to the email using the alias ‘Jacques’. Before long both boys strike up a secret online friendship, as Simon wonders who the mysterious boy named ‘Blue’ really is. Is he one of his friends? A member of his drama group? Or someone he is yet to meet?

Long before Albertalli’s book was translated into a screen gem, Simon’s journey had resonated with a whole generation of young adult readers. Here Albertalli had ceased on and reflected the changing landscape of coming out for a new generation where the internet had set them free and at the same time imprisoned them. The open world of the net dovetailed with increased fears of bullying and blackmail. It is within these themes of freedom, choice, public and private that Love Simon excels alongside its timeless reflection of teenage life, friendship and high school.

But maybe the greatest achievement of Love Simon sits in its ability to bring a fresh and engaging gay romantic comedy to a younger audience. Here, its 12A certificate is truly groundbreaking in reaching a broad and diverse audience of young people and families, making it a studio-backed game-changer in the landscape of LGBTQ+ cinema.

Director: Greg Berlanti 

Cast:  Nick RobinsonJennifer GarnerJosh DuhamelKatherine LangfordKeiynan LonsdaleJorge Lendeborg Jr.Alexandra Shipp

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