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‘Love, Simon:’ campy, yet endearing coming out story

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‘Love, Simon:’ campy, yet endearing coming out story

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

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UNIVERSAL PICTURES

UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Ian Lack

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Editor’s Note: The grading system used here is similar to the 10-point scale used in SDSU courses.

GRADE: B

I’ve been asked how I grade movies a couple times, and I always thought it was interesting, because I think the question people should be asking is “for whom do I grade movies?”

I’m not reviewing movies for myself. The grade at the beginning of this review is meant for general audiences: you, the readers.

Considering the movie’s flaws, I give “Love, Simon” a solid “B” for average moviegoers.

Personally, as a member of the gay community, there’s so much I had to be thankful for in this film. I’ve never cried so hard in a theater.

“Love, Simon” follows Simon Spier (Nick Robinson), a closeted-gay high schooler traversing through his senior year. The story really takes off when Simon discovers there’s another closeted gay guy at his high school. Simon begins an anonymous email correspondence with the mystery man and young love starts to bud between them.

Things get complicated when another student, Martin (Logan Miller), discovers their email chain and takes screenshots of it. Martin threatens to release the screenshots if Simon doesn’t help hook him up with a close friend of his named Abby (Alexandra Shipp).

One of the much-discussed aspects of this film is its mainstreaming of gay characters and gay romance. This is a film that could sit comfortably on a shelf with the likes of “The Fault in Our Stars” or “Sixteen Candles.”

However, that doesn’t mean “Love, Simon” shies away from its gayness. Topics like forced outing and fears of parental abandonment are brought into the story and handled beautifully from Simon’s perspective. There is so much for LGBTQ teens to relate to.

The movie stumbles in a few ways when it comes to some of its supporting characters, as well as a few story points toward the end. A few situations seem ridiculous compared to the context of the rest of the film. While the film is very funny, it can get rather cheesy, and not in the fun way.

Regarding the scene that made me weep like a hurricane, it unfolds quietly between Simon and his mother, played by Jennifer Garner. Garner gives one of the most heart-wrenching monologues I’ve ever seen in a film and it’s something every person of the LGBTQ community should hear.

I know there are scores of gay kids, closeted and out, who need this film. It seems recently Hollywood has been on a spree with films that signal more inclusivity for underrepresented communities.

We should remember the power films like this have. While “Love, Simon” might not have the same box office capital as “Wonder Woman” or “Black Panther,” I would say the movie can sit comfortably alongside both of them.

Ian Lack is a reporter at The Collegian and can be reached at [email protected]

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‘Love, Simon:’ campy, yet endearing coming out story