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‘Love, Simon’ puts a modern twist on the teenage romance cliché

Ben Rothstein/Twentieth Century Fox/Everett
Nick Robinson in a scene of 'Love, Simon.'

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Love, Simon, a film based on the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, follows Simon (Nick Robinson), a closeted high school Senior who is struggling with identity and acceptance. He then finds a hint of solace after messaging someone who is closeted as well.

The film sheds light on the classic coming-of-age romcom classics but with a spin; being the first gay teen romcom. The storyline is realistic to a closeted gay person’s struggles but idealistic in some ways. Simon does deal with the struggle of acceptance and identity but the plot fails to examine the other struggles when coming out.

When Simon first comes out to his friend Abby (Alexandra Shipp), she just says “okay,” and is generally accepting towards him. Despite some of the bigoted jokes Simon’s dad makes, Simon’s family is also very accepting. Not all family and friends of gay people are expected to be this welcoming and this is where the struggle of acceptance comes in. The movie does show homophobic boys who publicly embarrass gay people of the school but then they are quickly forgiven and forgotten about.

Simon has an anonymous email conversation with someone disguised as “Blue” and he disguises himself with the name “Jacques,” The plot focuses on finding out who “Blue” is and Simon’s big secret being leaked. Martin (Logan Miller), a nerd who stumbles on their email conversation, decides to blackmail Simon into setting him up with his friend Abby. After Simon’s not capable to help him, Martin out’s Simon on social media. This brings attention to the frustration of gay people being outed when they are not ready as Simon has an outburst against Martin.

You would expect the attention to be on Simon after coming out; however, the plot focuses on struggles within his inner circle rather than struggling with acceptance. This fails to show the internal struggles after being forced to come out by bringing the attention elsewhere. The climax seems to focus more on betrayal of friendship rather than the internal conflict of coming out.

Love, Simon got the heartwarming ending it deserves by Simon finding out and falling in love with his pen pal. Although just scratching the surface with struggles of LGBT, it does bring good attention to the perspective.

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