Review – Love, Simon

I haven’t written a review in a long time, and a lot of my reviews tend to be based a lot on my emotions about a given subjects linked with minor tidbits about the films. When I write about Doctor Who, for instance, I tend to have such a love for the episodes. I have also seen them a billion times. When I’m reading the comics, I’m obviously going to like them or else I would have not paid for them. Yesterday, I just went and saw Love, Simon with my roommate, and honestly, I loved every second of it.

A couple of my friends saw it on Sunday night, and I knew meeting with them on Monday that I would want to know/talk about it. I decided to go with my roommate, whom I haven’t spent a lot of time with as of late. I got up, went to the gym, and then got ready for the movie. We went and sat in an almost empty theater. When the opening of the movie started, I could not help but smile and look over at Marc. I said simply, “I love that I know this movie is going to have a happy ending and not something horrible.” He smiled his reply.

My roommate and I have had a lot of conversations about gay men in various forms of media. I remember him telling me about all the stories he read growing up about gay men getting in relationships, but one of the loving duo would die, break up, or it’d end in some sort of tragedy. As he got older, that tragedy generally had to do with the AIDS epidemic. He talked about ready E.M. Forester’s Maurice and that changing the name of the game for him. The main character ended up with the person he loved. They ended together and happily.

I did not realize how much I was waiting for a mainstream story of this short. I wanted to see the story of someone like me, having trouble coming in, but also still having a universal feel of being an Everyman story. Simon does fit a certain type. He’s a cis-gendered white gay male, which is problematic as that’s the only person the mainstream media tends to focus on within the gay community. But as a cis-gendered white gay male, he was the type of character that I would have needed growing up.

He, like me, fantasized about boys. He has a loving family. (Granted, my family had more issues growing up, but what family doesn’t). He had a group of friends that he selfishly hurt. (We’ve all done that from time to time). And honestly, he ended up with the boy he loved. (I’m not there yet, but someday). It’s a good start to something that I feel has been needed for a long time.

The film is not without it’s fault. Ethan, a feminine gay, should have gotten a bit more screen time and at least a decent fully-formed conversation about the different types within the gay community. The movie almost relegated femmes acting gay males to a place below the straight-acting leads. The first time being the scene with Simon becoming ‘gay(er)’ in college. The musical scene and the pictures of gay icons on his wall created a fun little musical number, but ending, with a ‘maybe not that gay’ followed by the scene with him quickly explaining away that him and Ethan weren’t together.

That scene does however play with the idea that just cause they’re gay doesn’t mean their dating, which is also something I feel happens when you first come out. I had many friends who mentioned their gay friends and trying to hook me up with them. Just because we’re gay doesn’t mean we’re interested. Sometimes, if the stars align, that’s not the case.

Representation in the mainstream media has been something that every discriminated group has been fighting for. More, now than ever, the minority groups are getting it. Movies like Black Panther, Moonlight, and Love, Simon present our groups in a positive light, but there’s still work to be done. Minorities within the gay community should be given the forefront, as well as bisexuals, lesbians, and minority women. It just feels like we are in an era of change, and things are finally progressing to the way they need to be.

Love, Simon felt like a longtime coming for me. I was so happy to see it. I was glad to see it with my roommate, and I am glad that representation is happening in the mainstream. I recommend going to see the movie if you haven’t seen it. It’s fun. It’s loving. And honestly, it’s the feel good movie that I always wanted as a young gay man sleeping (physically) in his closet. I hope this gives more people courage to be themselves, and continue to make it easier for people to do so.

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