How "Love, Simon" Is Breaking the Rules And Why We Love It

Coming of age movies typically all follow the same plot. The movie opens following a quirky main character who lives in a suburban town and goes to the local high school. This main character although describing themselves as an outcast has two friends. The main character and these two friends also have a common enemy, usually the school’s most popular student, who the main character was once friends with but now they have drifted apart. And in every coming of age movie there is always, literally always a crush, the main character is head over heels in love with either, the quarterback, the cool guy, or the senior with a car, and although the main character, the friends, and everybody watching along in the audience knows that this love will never be requited, and yet the main character persists.

Another important key to this plot that so many coming of age movies such as Pretty In Pink, Angus Thongs And Perfect Snogging, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Looking For Alaska all share is that the main character is seeking a heterosexual relationship. These movies and so many others all show heterosexuality as the default, and this is not only in teen movies but most movies. In 2015 it was recorded that “Only 17.5 percent of 126 major movies released in 2015 contained characters who identified as LGBT, according to GLAAD’s 2016 Studio Responsibility Index.” and in 2018 we haven’t made much progress. We have begun to make great strides in representation for people of color, however we cannot call ourselves inclusive until we do the same for the lgbtq community.

Love Simon is a movie that promises to do just this, with a movie that believes that “everyone deserves a great love story." Love Simon follows a high school student named Simon. Simon has been hiding a big secret: he’s gay. At this same time, one of the students at his high school has come out as gay on the school’s website. Simon soon falls in love with this anonymous student, and his life begins to change as a result. At this point, I have watched the Love Simon movie trailer too many times to count, but I still remember the feeling it gave me when I first watched it. When I first watched the Love Simon trailer I got goosebumps, literal goosebumps, not only does Love Simon represent what so many young adults face at some point in their life, the inner struggle of coming to terms with their sexuality, but it also challenges the hetero-normative ideals in which the movies that have come before it have laid out.

One of the most important scenes in the trailer discusses just this. The scene shows teenagers confronting their parents and “coming out” as straight, of course this is not something that people who do identify as straight are expected to do yet young adults who identify as lgbtq do. Love Simon is no typical movie and I believe that it is a movie for everyone to see. Like all coming of age movies it has aspects that everyone can relate to, the feeling of not knowing where you belong, the feeling of being rushed to find out who you are, and falling hard for your first crush. I am so happy that a movie like this is not only being released but is also getting the attention that it deserves.

Love Simon comes to a theater near you on March 16, and when you go see it (which I know you will) don’t see it alone bring a friend, bring some family, bring anyone to share in this beautiful movie.