23-year-old Nick Robinson portrays high school student Simon Spier in Love, Simon, a cinematic story based on the book ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.’ The movie follows a few months in the life of Simon, who is no different than the rest of his friends: they like iced coffees before school, going to play rehearsal, and hanging out at the Waffle House on weekends. However, Simon has a secret that falls into the wrong hands. Over the course of the school year, Simon has been corresponding with an unidentified boy in his school after Simon saw a post on his school’s gossip website that made it clear there was a closeted gay student. Simon immediately responds to the post because he too is a closeted gay student. The email correspondences between Simon (who goes undercover as Jaques) and the unidentified recipient, ‘Blue,’ go on for months.
The two share their stories of realizations and awkward experiences like their first girlfriends, yet neither of them knows each other’s real names. It is interesting to watch the enormous contrast of how Simon interacts with his closest friends versus when he writes an email to Blue. Simon seems arguably more relaxed while corresponding with Blue (smiling at his computer screen), all the while still trying to find out what Blue looks like. Simon feels as though he knows who Blue is, which to him, is more important than knowing what he looks like.
However, things come crashing down when Simon leaves his emails open on a school computer, and Martin, an overdramatic performer, reads his and Blue’s emails. Martin, in turn of not posting screenshots of the email chain, asks Simon to help him get closer to Simon’s friend, Abby, who is way out of Martin’s league. Simon agrees, but in the process of trying to save both himself and Blue, he hurts the people who mean most to him. The movie shows both the stereotypical jerks and the comforting friends in Simon’s life. Simon’s family also plays an important role in how he goes about, as he calls it, “the gay thing.”
The movie immediately received praise over social media, with celebrities from just about every industry repeating the movie’s catchphrase: “Everyone deserves a good love story.” Love, Simon is a way for young people who are similar to Simon (in that they are uncomfortable about sharing their sexuality) to know that they are not alone. Through social media, it can be seen that there are a lot of teenagers who Simon’s story resonated with. In fact, Nick Robinson (Simon Spier) told Ellen Degeneres on her talk show that as filming for Love, Simon began, his brother came out as gay. Although Robinson himself is not gay, he told Ellen that he enjoyed exploring his abilities and the kinds of movies he does, and also being able to represent a character that so many people look up to. The movie was successful in conveying their message of how judgemental today’s society can be, and also reminded viewers that, no matter what sexuality a person is, they deserve a great love story.
Graphics: Anika Tsapatsaris
1 thought on “Typical High School Rom-Com Reborn”
I find it extremely unfair that LGBTQ+ characters in fiction are being outed against their will. This promotes unhealthy coming-outs, which, by the way, can lead to anxiety. When one decides to come out – if they even do – it has to be only their decision.
Additionally, I am slightly frustrated with the fact that LGBTQ+ characters are often played by straight and cisgender actors. Going from this movie, where the actor did play the role very well, to the movie Three Generations where they even cast a cisgender woman for the role of a transgender man.