“Love, Simon” is a universal love story

LGBT movies are always connected with either emotional love and death, rationality with seriousness or intense pride. From “Brokeback Mountain” to “Moonlight,” LGBT films have been permeated with a sense of sadness or melancholy. “Love, Simon,” however, approaches the same sorts of issues from a different angle, instead using a warm and smooth tone.

Simon (Nick Robinson) confesses that he’s gay to an anonymous online friend, and has to balance his friends, family, and Martin, the only other person who knows that Simon is gay, and who threatens to out him to the school. The film isn’t saying that coming out is easy. A lot of people are still unable to come out without fear. However, instead of telling sad stories, this movie reveals the truth of most individuals that identify as LGBT through a teenager’s crush on someone at his school.

The whole film is very relatable. From the beginning, Simon tells us that he’s a normal high school student, with a slightly alpha dad, an extremely liberal mom, a sister who loves cooking and a cute little dog that follows him all the time. He does not consider coming out as a problem, but he knows that he might have to pay a price: His friends might deliberately estrange him, and his parents might regard him as an alien. Such a character setting is so empathetic to most people in the closet.

One breakout performance was Robinson as Simon. Because of strong writing, Simon does not fall into the cliche stereotype of a gay boy who has been bullied since ninth grade. He’s not a flat character. Simon is not bad, but not completely benign either. He witnesses his gay schoolmate being bullied without helping him and even breaks up a couple to protect his secret. Being selfish but still kind, Simon is more lovable because of his flaws, and he seems more real.

Technically, the film was more than competent. The soundtrack of the movie is made up of pop songs by The 1975 and Troye Sivan, and although it was not the most memorable, it enhanced the experience. The scenes themselves were visually pleasing, as well.

“Love, Simon” shows us a world where most people accept and support the protagonist’s decision of coming out. It’s a world with little prejudice and no need for “closets.”

Film: “Love, Simon”
Starring: Nick Robinson, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner
Release: March 16
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars