Love, Simon: The LGBTQIA+ Movie We’ve Been Waiting For
In light of recent legislative and political pushes, it seemed like a far fetched concept to hope for a decidedly queer piece of art to be produced and consumed by the American public. Love, Simon is a lighthearted, intimate gaze into queer youth, familial love, and healthy communication both in romantic and platonic relationships. Successfully combating the overall stigma and stereotypes about the LGBTQIA+ community, the movie, like current socio-political activism, places teenagers at the forefront to represent something larger than just a movie or a teenage relationship. Teenage culture envisions the ability to find oneself and to truly feel comfortable in one’s own skin, an ideal that should never be forgotten.
Led by Nick Robinson, the cast has already captured the hearts of America and has fully encapsulated the movie’s mission statement. Cast members, Keiynan Lonsdale and Joey Pollari, who play Bram and Lyle respectively, credit the movie’s brave confrontation of homophobia and acceptance of queer identity as their personal motivations for coming out. Similarly, lead cast member Nick Robinson felt a similar emotional tether when his own brother came out earlier this year due to the movie’s inclusive, acceptant message.
Simon Spier, a teenage boy, finds himself in an online relationship with a mysterious stranger who also happens to be a fellow schoolmate. Throughout the movie, Simon struggles to accept his own queer identity while simultaneously searching for his romantic email partner who understands Simon in a way that even his closest friends cannot. Friendship is a pivotal pillar in this movie as well, as are familial bonds. In developing his own identity, Simon hurts those closest to him, and it is this characteristically flawed human moment that makes the audience root for him. It is only through his genuine evolution and personal development that he can own up to his mistakes and find peace in his life.
Love, Simon teaches kindness and steadfast love in a culture so often ruled by hatred and ignorance. The movie also tackles homophobia and bullying and the harmful effects that both can have on teenagers. What is most memorable about the film is its focus on self-introspection and individual awareness of identity. Before he can be a supportive friend, a loving brother, or a caring son, Simon must first find himself. Once his personal happiness is achieved, Simon slowly develops into his ideal self, and it is a pleasure to watch this unfold so naturally on screen.
Timeless and effortless in its graceful albeit authentic portrayal of the LGBTQIA+ community, one can argue that Love, Simon is classically reminiscent of a John Hughes movie without some of its misogynistic, heteronormative tendencies. Tears were shed, and laughs were shared as friends and family members enjoyed both the comedic and heartbreaking moments in the film. It is a movie that is both critical and necessary in our nation among our youth and arguably our adults as well.