Every generation of teenagers endures the same things; the angst, the rebellion, and the relatability of the teen movie. Every few years, a new teen movie fit for the new era of ever so angsty teenagers comes out. This year’s was a little bit different than any of these other teen rom-coms, which certainly wasn’t a bad thing. Instead of the normal boyfriend-girlfriend story, Love, Simon follows the story of not-so-openly-gay Simon Speir, when his story gets pushed into the spotlight.
The movie is based on the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli is about a high school student Simon, who writes emails online to another anonymous closeted gay kid at his school. They met on the school’s anonymous Tumblr page. However, one day Simon forgets to log out of his account (classic) and another kid sees that Simon was using that computer. He takes a screenshot and confronts Simon, telling him that he won’t tell anybody if Simon helps him get the girl he likes, who also happens to be one of Simon’s friends.
Many say that the film is reminiscent of past coming of age tales made for teens and the big screen. Some of these are John Hughes type films, such as Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. It has even been compared to more recent movies such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Call Me By Your Name. I believe, however, that this movie stands on its own.
While many other LGBTQ+ movies have their characters shed in a bad light, this movie, in my opinion, has a mostly positive light. Simon, like every other character, is not perfect and has flaws. But he also has a personality. In many movies, the gay characters are the sidekick, and Simon even quotes this in the book, mentioning that he always thought of himself as the sidekick and not the leading man.
This mostly positive light, however, turns a lot of other reviewers off from this movie. They believe that it is too perfect, too normal, and actually, spoiler alert coming here, that Simon’s community is unrealistically supporting him in the end, in one scene literally cheering him on. I also agree with this point. Not every story has a happy ending, especially when it comes to family support of LGBTQ+ youth. But I do believe that we need both types of representation in the media. We have seen every kind of straight relationship in the movies, but the same could not be said for LGBTQ+ characters. One thing remains the same: Every generation deserves a great teen movie. Just like every person deserves a great love story.