Love, Simon Loves Love

Love, Simon makes history as one of the first major films with LGBTQ+ themes.

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‘Love, Simon’ makes history as one of the first major films with LGBTQ+ themes.

Caitlyn Truong, Photojournalist

While Love, Simon appears to have every element of a cliche teenage high school drama, it leaves an impact beyond the predictable storyline. With a racially diverse cast and truly relatable characters, Love, Simon is a successful trailblazer as one of the first mainstream movies to spotlight the LGBTQ+ community.

Nick Robinson, who can also be seen in the well-known movies Everything, Everything and Jurassic World, stars as Simon Spier, the main character of the film who is a closeted homosexual. He attributes this to his picture-perfect parents, the valedictorian and the star football player, and his close group of friends. While he isn’t certain of how they will react to his sexuality, he is determined to not disrupt his everyday life. His intentions of secrecy, however, are ruined when his classmate Martin discovers his anonymous emails with another unknown homosexual at his school. As the cliche goes, Martin goes on to blackmail Simon about his homosexuality in order to grow closer to his crush, Abby, who is also one of Simon’s closest friends.

The remainder of the movie has the audience excruciatingly watch as Simon attempts to balance hiding his homosexuality, maintaining his secret by manipulating his friends to benefit Martin, and determining who his mysterious email correspondent is. The storyline itself is quite predictable; his friends eventually discover his scheming, Martin reveals his secret on a public forum, and the entire school distances themselves from Simon.

What makes Love, Simon truly remarkable, however, are the scenes between his parents. Jennifer Garner’s acting skills are on full display as she plays Simon’s supportive mom who assures him that nothing has changed and that she is as proud and loving as ever. Shortly after, Josh Duhamel is the perfect shocked dad who tries to cope with his surprise with inappropriate but good-intentioned jokes. He eventually abandons his humorous approach and embraces his emotions as he tearfully reprimands himself for failing to notice Simon’s homosexuality earlier. In another notable scene, Martin tries to apologize for exposing Simon, who angrily replies that his actions are unforgivable because he stripped Simon’s right to ultimately decide when he was ready to come out to the world.

These moments are what make Love, Simon a milestone for Hollywood. A film about homosexuality and acceptance with a gay leading protagonist and gay director has made cinematic history as one of the first LGBTQ+ movies. It has received high reviews from critics and an overall ecstatic response from social media users who praise the film for helping to normalize different sexualities. Shifa Mirza (10), one of the first to watch Love, Simon, comments, “I truly loved Love, Simon for its progressive themes and amazing actors. It’s hard not to watch in awe knowing that every scene is making history.” Love, Simon premiered on March 16 and is still in theaters.