You’ll Love ‘Love, Simon’

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You’ll Love ‘Love, Simon’

Kela Ternasky, Staff Writer

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It has been almost 100 years since the first romantic comedies were produced, and only now are we seeing the first major studio romcom with a gay teen protagonist. Love, Simon, directed by Greg Berlanti, was released by 20th Century Fox in March of 2018. The film follows the story of a Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), a seemingly normal high school senior with a life-changing secret.

 

In addition to  its cultural significance, Love, Simon stands out visually. The movie was filmed in and is based in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, creating a realistic and relatable setting for much of the audience. The film’s production designer, Aaron Osborne, was dedicated to creating the perfect environment for the story to unfold, scouting over 40 houses to find the perfect match and even building an entire carnival from scratch for one of the film’s most important final scenes.

 

As for the characters, stereotypes are present, from the daredevil with a unhappy past, to the girl in love with her best friend, to the masculine dad who wants his son to follow in this footsteps. However there is depth to the characters, and the relationships formed between them seem authentic. This is partially because they are.

 

The cast rehearsed together for two weeks prior to filming and often spend time together outside of filming so their real-life friendships would translate to the screen as well. The actors also contributed to the film by taking from their own experiences. One touching scene between Simon and his mom (Jennifer Gardner) wasn’t actually in the original script. It was Garner’s idea to include it.  It was also inspired by some some of Berlanti’s real conversations.

 

The movie has also received high praise from both critics and viewers, receiving a 92% from critics and a 91% from the audience on Rotten Tomatoes. Many viewers were grateful for racial diversity and queer representation . Critics have suggested the latter has a chance to help teenagers that may have difficulty with coming out in the future. Seeing themselves represented in a movie assures viewers that they are not alone in their struggles. The  Wall Street Journal applauded how the film captured struggles different teens face and how the characters were three dimensional.

 

Viewer Skyelar Andrews stated, “Love, Simon was a great movie because it not only provided gay representation, but it also included diverse racial representation. I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy, and it was fun to see a less stereotypical story being brought to life.”

Overall, Love, Simon is a groundbreaking film that tackles problems teenagers across the country face in real life. It provides an example of struggling gay teens and assures similarly struggling viewers that they are not alone. It is a visual masterpiece as well, from the built-from-scratch carnival to the days spent finding the perfect home. Love, Simon is a wonderful, must-see movie for all ages.

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