I was extremely lucky to go to an early screening of Love, Simon back in January and let me tell you – this is not a film to be missed.
Based off Becky Albertalli’s young adult novel ‘Simon Vs The Homosapiens Agenda,’ this book to film adaptation is guaranteed to bring a tear to the eye and a huge goofy grin to your face. The heart-warming story revolves around Simon Spier, a closeted seventeen year old student struggling to be his authentic self in a gossip obsessed high school. That is until he finds Blue, another closeted student who anonymously posts on the school’s gossip page about his own struggle to tell the world who he really is. The two begin an email correspondence in the hopes of finding solace with one another as they grow into their own queer identities but when their personal journeys to coming out are compromised, they must deal with the repercussions of ignorant classmates and new friendship dynamics.
Through Greg Berlanti’s pristine direction and Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker’s witty adapted screenplay, ‘Love, Simon’ captures the heart and soul of Albertalli’s original novel with added musical aspects that help create a whimsical, youthful tone that aids in audiences emphasising with characters throughout the film. The movie soundtrack is one of the finer masterpieces of the film with a collection of queer and Pro LGBTQ+ artists such as Bleachers, Troye Sivan, The 1975 and Whitney Houston all appearing on the disc. The soundtrack very much makes this film feel special and a classic that both queer and straight communities will be re-watching for years to come.
Whilst both the original novel and the film adaptation are told from the first-person perspective of its protagonist, Spier himself, the adapted screenplay removes the somewhat cringeworthy internal monologue of Spiers dorkier side and creates a more emotionally fulfilled story that strikes perfect balance between comedy and drama whilst also staying true to the coming of age nature of the plot. Although some characters are more developed within the novel, the films characters are all well drawn out and diversely represented causing viewers to emphasise with its universal themes of wanting to be liked and finding a place to fit in as well as the importance of staying true to who you are.
The ‘Love, Simon’ screenplay takes the best moments of Becky Albertalli’s novel but adds a modern and refreshingly new flare in a way that only coming of age films can. Similar to how Blue describes his life as a Ferris wheel, up one minute then down the next, you will find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster throughout this beautiful adaptation as hearts break, romances blossom and friendships and relationships are tested. This film is what the LGBTQ+ community has been waiting for – for our stories to finally be told. Whether that is queer youth just beginning to discover their sexuality or the older generations who never saw themselves represented growing up, ‘Love, Simon’ captures both the heart-warming and heartbreaking nature of coming out and becoming who you were always meant to be.
Take a friend, take some tissues and go see ‘Love, Simon’.
Words by Natalie Williams