Movies are supposed to make you feel things, whether good or bad, but it’s not every day that a movie wraps you up in a big hug. Honestly, movies like that just don’t happen, because there are either big explosions, alien invasions, car chases, or the The Rock saving the world. Where are the feel good movies? Where are the movies that are simply designed to make your heart and head happy?
Well, here comes Love, Simon the only feel good movie I will need for the rest of my life. Based on the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, we’re invited along on Simon Spier’s epic love story. Certainly we’ve seen countless love stories before play out on screen, but never one quite like this: Simon is gay. Simon hasn’t come out to his family and friends yet, and holding in this deep breath is slowly chipping away at him. He’s frustrated and confused and as he jokes in the movie, why is it that gay people are the only needs that need to come out? Why has straight been designated the norm?
Making matters horribly worse for Simon, he starts up a correspondence with another closeted gay boy in town — but they don’t know the other’s identity. The two exchange dozens of emails back and forth, sharing secrets along with hopes and dreams. Slowly, Simon begins to fall for this pen-pal — who has dubbed himself “Blue” — as the two get closer via the internet. And then, everything falls apart.
Through a series of pretty misfortunate events, and one horribly executed and outlandish date-posal request, Simon’s secret is revealed to the school. Understandably, he’s pretty pissed about it and we watch him spiral. It’s heartbreaking, frustrating, and completely real. It’s also relatable — and that, right there, is the kicker.
Simon’s story is so relatable, whether you’re gay, straight, bi, transgender, in a relationship, single, young or old. Yes, Simon is a boy falling in love with another boy, and there will be people out there who turn their nose up at the idea of a “gay love story.” But at the crux of it, Simon’s love story is simply a damn good love story, and there’s no dancing around that. We don’t need another by-the-book predictable rom-com right now; what we need is Simon’s story with all its bumps and bruises along the way.
Not only that, Love, Simon captures a party of high school that we rarely see anymore. There is no “big school event” that our story is building towards, like a big football game or a school dance, or even graduation. Simon and his friends are simply allowed to be high schoolers, which means going to parties, spending hours at Waffle House doing nothing, and hanging out with their families. None of their actions seem forced or out of place. They’re just kids trying to figure out themselves and the rest of the world. By the end of the movie, for the most part, they’ve accomplished that.
No part of Love, Simon feels unnecessary or long, and director Greg Berlanti has crafted a pretty tight and concise story (it also probably helps that the movie was written by two This Is Us writers, Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker). I honestly wish I could say that there was one part of Love, Simon I didn’t like because it’s a rare thing to find a movie completely without faults. I mean, if I have to pick something, the only thing I didn’t like about Love, Simon is that it ends. The soundtrack is also damn good! Ugh, why does everything about Love, Simon have to be perfect?
That’s a question you’ll soon probably be asking yourself. Love, Simon is now in theaters, and it will forever be in my heart.