A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Entertainment

‘Love, Simon’ brings hope, positivity to LGBT portrayal

Normally, the thought of a teenage romantic comedy makes the average viewer cringe. The cliche soundtrack, the overdone plot lines, the terribly unfunny jokes, all of these movies seem to blend together in a horrifying wave of boring and forgettable films. But “Love, Simon” is neither forgettable nor boring.

“Love, Simon” follows the life of 17 year old Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), a closeted gay boy, as he navigates the social world of high school in a small town in Georgia. He soon finds out about another closeted boy who goes by the alias “Blue.” After countless email exchanges, it becomes clear that Simon has fallen in love with Blue. But when another student finds out and blackmails Simon into helping him, Simon has to decide between playing it safe or letting the world see who he really is.

Most casual viewers had low expectations as to the quality of the film. At first, they would be proven right, with the cheesiness of how everything seemed disjointed and separate. But as the movie chugged along, slowly, the pieces started falling together.

Viewers began falling in love with each of the characters, laughing with them, crying with them. Every character had a story to tell, hopes, aspirations, and fears. Not one character was left underdeveloped. “Love, Simon” is not just a funny, heart touching film, though. It is a message to every LGBT kid out there. It’s a sign to the youth that what they feel is okay, and valid, and that they are worth being appreciated — That they are worth a story, too.

Most modern films about the gay community focus on tragedy and heartbreak, an overt warning to gay people that their “lifestyle” will lead them to pain and suffering. “Love, Simon” is the first of its kind to be friendly, to explore the dynamics of being a teenager and not end with unnecessary tears.

Yes, the ending had many in tears, including my own. But they were tears of joy, because finally, viewers saw someone on the screen they could relate to. Simon Spier was an icon, a shining beacon to the idea thatgay people can live without unnecessary pain.

Along with the fantastic social implications, “Love, Simon” also manages to maintain the reality that everyone is going through a struggle, not just the protagonist. For example, it is established in the very beginning of the film that there is only one openly gay kid in the entire school. He is constantly teased, tormented, and treated poorly, but manages to roll the bullies off of his back with a smile and a quick comeback.

However, during a confrontation between him and Simon, Simon admits that he felt jealous of the kid for seeming so happy and unaffected by everything. The kid replies by telling Simon how despite being out and proud, his parents still refuse to accept his identity and frequently lie about how many girls he is dating, simply because they feel it would be easier on everyone else.

This is just one character among many, of course, and over the course of the movie you begin to feel as though they are more than actors on a screen, that they are real people living through real things.

This movie cannot be recommended enough, it is beyond words. One must see it for themselves to fully experience the beauty that is “Love, Simon.”

Google+