“Love, Simon” is late, but lovable

Love, Simon is a touching and classic romantic comedy for its generation.

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“Love, Simon” is late, but lovable

by Ella Kugler, Writer

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If I’m being honest, the first time I saw advertisements for “Love, Simon”, I wasn’t interested. The movie seemed ten years late (considering it’s much more normal for people to come out about their sexuality today). I’m not a fan of romance. Romantic gestures seemed pointless and sometimes cringe-worthy. For anyone who knows me well, I can be kind of cold-hearted.

Back to the point. “Love, Simon” had one particularly special quality about it, which made me interested in seeing it.

It’s a romantic comedy that revolves around the life of Simon (Nick Robinson), a teenage protagonist who’s secretly gay. His life is painstakingly normal, which he reminds his audience several times throughout the movie. Similar to most romantic comedies, he has an unrealistically perfect family and a tight-knit group of friends.

His life is annoyingly safe, without there being severe changes to stir up many emotional reactions in the audience. However, despite the normalness of Simon’s life, there’s something powerful about it, considering it’s one of the few films which revolves around a gay protagonist.

The movie never really reveals why Simon, a teenager with incredible support among his family and friends, would have such a hard time coming out. This could suggest this would always be a recurring problem even though society’s constantly evolving. Even though the world has gone through lots of change in just 20 years, there will always be discrimination. Plus, it’s pretty normal for people to be insecure when they can be rejected for being themselves.

The beginning of the movie starts off pretty slowly, but there are parts of the movie that draws you in with witty and breezy humor, like when Simon’s mom (Jennifer Garner) delivers comical therapy burns, or Simon’s dad (Josh Duhamel), who is overly emotional and is always making inappropriate jokes.

“Love, Simon” also takes a shot at the idea of a reverse society, where being gay is the norm, going through several entertaining scenes where children reveal they’re straight and their parents have super exaggerated reactions of shock and horror.

Then one day, after Simon gets home from school, his friend Leah (Katherine Langford) FaceTimes him. CreekSecrets, their high school’s anonymous blogging site, has an interesting post. A fellow student posting under the pseudonym “Blue” reveals he’s gay. Hungry for connection, Simon creates a fake email address, then replies with the alias “Jacques”.

Not long after, a friendship is sparked between Simon and the mystery character. The two are seen to be in frequent contact, sending multiple emails to each other every day. During one scene, Simon is seen texting Blue with one hand under the desk while he sits in class, his eyes still locked on the teacher in front of him.

I think one of the issues with the movie is that Simon actually seems pretty underdeveloped for the main character. His predominant trait throughout the film is that he’s secretly gay and also pretty awkward. His character almost comes off as ignorant sometimes, like when he fails to notice his best friend Leah very obviously has a thing for him, all because he’s so focused on Blue.

After a heartwarming scene with his mom, Simon grows inspired to make amends with Leah, who is quick to accept his apology. When he arrives home, his dad apologizes and he and Simon share several laughable moments.

From quirky characters, like the perky vice-principal Worth (Tony Hale), Simon’s chef-aspiring sister, Nora (Talitha Bateman) and hilarious theater director Ms. Albright (Natasha Rothwell) to the optimistic message very simply displayed in “Love, Simon”, the movie ends up being a heartfelt and classic romantic comedy for its generation.

While the movie has its flaws, like when the teenage characters’ scripts are very obviously written by a middle-aged white man or the movie’s predictability, it’s a gem and is worth the watch.

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