GRAPHIC BY YING YANG
By CHRISTINA QUACH
With its quirky soundtrack and diverse characters, you cannot help but love Simon.
The film, loosely based on the famous novel Simon v. Homosapien Agenda, revolves around Simon Spier, a normal guy with a big secret: he is gay. However, things quickly take a turn for the worst when Simon is under the risk of having his secret outed. Not to mention, someone is threatening to expose his emails with Blue, an anonymous email pen pal who acts as Simon’s flirtationship boyfriend.
Despite some inconsistencies with the book, Love, Simon manages to come through (as well as out) with its great character development and LGBTQ+ representation.
One of the most glaring aspects of Love, Simon is that the movie does not follow the book. Instead, the directors made a risky move and added their own characters and plot lines. However, this surprisingly does not tarnish the film. Yes, some important factors in the book are often overlooked, but the additions spice up the original plot and create a clear distinction from the book without being seen as inadequate. Rather than being a copy of the novel, the film is an extension. Picture: you can copy my homework, but change a few words (but in a movie).
However, all good things come with a price. While the characters are more developed in the film than in the novel, the focal point moves from Blue’s emails to Simon’s crush on any guy who looks at him. The emails soon become a subplot rather than the actual plot. The whole point of Simon v. Homosapien Agenda was to figure out Blue’s identity, the guy he fell in love with through chitchats about oreos and sentence fragments. Instead, the audience is left trying to figure out who Simon will end up with, because of who is looking at him a little too long to be considered a “straight” glance.
Luckily, Love, Simon has an eccentric soundtrack that makes up for it. From 90’s rock to funky synth beats, the film contains a variety of songs that, when at the right moment, leaves a lasting impression on the scene without being overbearing.
Additionally, the movie tackles hilarious misconceptions that the LGBTQ+ community face, such as the infamous gaydar. By incorporating these stereotypes, the film becomes more hilarious and relatable.
Speaking of relatability, even though Love, Simon focuses on the LGBTQ+ community, teens of all sexual orientation can connect with Simon’s struggles in both his high school and love life. From his random outbursts of confidence to his odd obsessions about the perfect Christmas carol playlists, the film manages to grasp the true aura of being a high schooler — a feat that is uncommon in most teen movies.
All in all, Love, Simon incorporates all the characteristics of coming out and coming of age straight to life and marks a turning point in the Hollywood industry: movies that focus on discovering your sexuality can be successful too. Perhaps now we can expect an influx in films about the LGBTQ+ community and it is safe to say that it has been long overdue.