March 21, 2018

Love, Simon: Gay Teen Is Forced Out of the Closet in Dramatic Comedy

By Kam Williams

Simon Spier (Nick Robinson) would tell you that he’s a typical teen, except for the fact that he’s hiding one huge secret. He’s gay, but he hasn’t told his parents (Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner) or any of his friends. He’s even dated a female classmate (Cassady McClincy) at Creekwood High to keep up the charade.

He’s well aware of the merciless teasing waiting for anybody who is brave enough to come out of the closet after witnessing the fate of Ethan (Clark Moore), who was bullied at the school after he revealed his sexual orientation.

Simon keeps his equilibrium by anonymously visiting an LGBTQ-friendly blog where he has found another gay student from Creekwood High. At first, they only support each other, however, over time their friendship blossoms into love. However, since they’re both using pseudonyms Simon has no idea who “Blue” is because both of them are understandably hesitant to reveal their true identities.

The plot thickens when Simon stops using a school computer and forgets to log out of the website he was visiting. The next user, Martin (Logan Miller), figures out that Simon is gay, and starts threatening to out him.

Initially, Simon tries to satisfy the blackmailer’s demands, since he’d prefer to come out of the closet on his own terms. But that proves impossible when Martin loses his patience and spills the beans to the entire student body.

That is Simon’s awkward predicament in Love, Simon, the best gay-themed movie since Call Me by Your Name which just won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The movie is based on the novel, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli.

The picture was directed by Greg Nerlanti (Life as We Know It), who handles the delicate subject matter sensitively and sensibly. If this heartwarming teen-oriented film is any indication of how Hollywood plans to handle homosexuality in the future, the culture has truly turned a corner in terms of teaching tolerance of sexual preferences.

Excellent (****). Rated PG-13 for profanity, underage drinking, sexuality, and mature themes. Running time: 109 minutes. Production Studios: Fox 2000 Pictures/Temple Hill Entertainment/Twisted Media/New Leaf Literary & Media. Distributor: 20th Century Fox.