Why Love, Simon Is So Important

On 6th April, 20th Century Fox’s Love, Simon was released to UK cinemas. The film is taking America by storm and now is doing the same in the UK. The film is a live-action film adaption of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. The book (and film) focuses on the young, closeted teen Simon Spier and follows his coming out journey and him finding his first love.

I read the book for the first time not long after it came out in November 2015 when I was binge reading every LGBT+ YA fiction I could get my hands on and falling in love with authors such as David Levithan, John Green and Rainbow Rowell. I myself had only been out as a gay man for around two years when I read Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I distinctly remember how much I related to Simon and his emotional journey throughout the book. One of the main reasons I came out when I did was because not long beforehand I had kissed another guy for the first time and I was petrified that he would tell people and out me to all of my friends and family before I could tell people in my own way. Basically I was petrified of having him replicate what Martin did to Simon (however I did come out on a social media site because I was naive and didn’t think things through at the time).

After reading the book I do remember thinking it would be a great teen romance film as the narrative had enough twists and memorable moments that would translate well to the big screen. I dismissed it ever actually happening though as the idea of a gay teen romance film would never be taken on, especially be a major production studio. I am very happy to say that I have been proven wrong and that the film I needed to exist during my teen years finally does exist. A massive thanks to Becky Albertalli for creating it all and for putting into the fantastic hands of Greg Berlanti. You can tell in the film that it was created under the hands of someone who fully understood the subject matter.

I have been lucky enough to get to go to three screenings of the film before the film was released in the UK and the thing that made me love it the most was how real the film felt. It didn’t focus on the cliché of relying heavily on stereotypes but rather showing a spectrum. For example, Simon (Nick Robinson) and Ethan (Clark Moore) showing that being gay doesn’t mean a stereotype, having the same coming out experience or having the same high school experience. Even how Blue’s is also so strikingly different, especially when you meet him at the end of the film.

An interesting insight to the film is in the blurb to Becky Albertalli’s upcoming sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaLeah On The Offbeat, that reveals that Leah (Katherine Langford) is bisexual. Going into the film for the third time knowing this I found it so much more interesting watching her interactions and reactions especially when she is around Abby (Alexandra Shipp).

I love how this film seems to have already found its place as a cult film for my generation and younger. I’m so happy that the film I needed when I was a teen finally exists and is already helping so many young people come to terms with their sexualities and coming out. I am also really happy that in the film Simon’s parents are so accepting as mainstream media has focussed for so long on parents not accepting so to see a film that represents a lot of modern-age parents and doesn’t brandish the parents as villains is lovely. Emily (Jennifer Garner) and Jack (Josh Duhamel) have some of the best moments in the film and the connection between them is what I think makes the coming out scenes so believable and encapsulating.

I am a little bit addicted to this film as you can tell and I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat since. The soundtrack is full of great tunes such as Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” (It’s an amazing moment in the film!), Khalid and Normani’s “Love Lies”, Troye Sivan’s “Strawberries & Cigarettes” and “Love Me” by The 1975. I strongly suggest getting the soundtrack so you can have a good old boogie after watching the film!

So yeah…go watch Love, Simon and when you do, let me know what you think! Who is your favourite character? Would you be up for Leah On The Offbeat getting a screen adaption too? Would the film work on stage? Interested in what you all think!

Love You Aeronauts,

AJ x

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