When it comes to award season, not every film can win an award - but then again, not every film needs to.
Love, Simon - based on the book ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’ - follows Simon Spier, a teenager who is just like us. He has a family who he likes and his friends; they do everything friends do - drink way too much iced coffee whilst gorging on carbs. Except, he has one huge secret: He’s gay.
As Simon tries to protect his secret from destroying those who he cares most about, he starts messaging a boy from his school - nicknamed ‘Blue’ - who anonymously came out online. As their bond grows, he tries to work out who ‘Blue’ is… that is until his world is shattered in an instant after a disgruntled ‘frenemy’ outs him online.
Suddenly, he has to come to terms with his identity all whilst fixing friendships and trying to get through school.
Whilst Love, Simon may try just a tad too hard to be ‘relatable’ to young adults, one of it’s glistening features is how it is grounded in the realities of being a young LGBTQ+ person trying to be yourself whilst fearing the implications of just that.
Simon’s Dad, who says all of the inappropriate comments that everyone’s Dad says, is shocked; his Mum is supportive. His friends care more about how he’s manipulated them than what his sexuality is… the film doesn’t make drama where there isn’t any, it looks to help viewers understand what is going on in Simon’s mind whilst navigating the fact that he has just been outed in, of all places, school - an experience difficult enough even without having your secrets publicised.
As any young person can admit - most of the drama that we experience is going on inside our very heads, and that’s what Love, Simon does best at showing, even if the backdrop of his family home and school is a bit… typical.
There are moments which will make you hold your breath, and moments where you will gasp. Whilst director Greg Berlanti didn’t quite expert the emotional trauma that other films - such as ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ - nailed so perfectly (and, thus, thrusted them up the box office), the film moves fast enough to keep you engaged, but also lingers on the important, underlying issues long enough to make you really think about what must be going on inside of everyone’s head.
Nick Robinson, who plays Simon, does so in a very natural way - it was revealed that his brother came out whilst the film was shooting, helping him ground his experiences in reality. Katherine Langford plays Simon’s best friend Leah in a positive performance which is mostly realistic, although at times a bit typical.
However, despite that, after watching the film you immediately realise how important it is - that there might be a generation who can see LGBTQ+ relationships on-screen and, next time, it might not be such a big deal… it might even be deemed normal.
Love, Simon might not be nominated for any Oscars in 2019, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the most important teen flicks to be released in recent years. It teaches us that whilst it may be hard to come to terms with your true self… it’s worth it. And what’s better than that?