You know how when you watch a movie, you want it to be exactly like the book, but also different and better? Love, Simon captured the spirit of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda without being boring or exactly the same. It was at its essence just really really well done. The acting was great, the email scenes weren’t just a boring person sitting on their laptop, and THE FERRIS WHEEL SCENE !!! I’m going to discuss a few aspects of the film that I think are particularly notable, instead of doing a straight (lol pun not intended) review; you can find plenty of those on the internet already.
Leah was acted by the person who played Hannah in 13 Reasons Why, apparently. She was probably my favourite actor in the whole movie. Although her role wasn’t huge, I think she perfectly depicted a very complex character (‘I don’t do casual’=100% me) in a very nuanced way. This makes me re-excited for Leah on the Offbeat, because I remembered what an interesting character Leah is and how much I loved her in the Simon book.
I really liked how Simon imagines various people writing him the emails until he learns who it is. It was confusing that it was his imagination (I low key thought they’d changed the identity of Blue or revealed it early or something until I realised it was all in Simon’s head) but I think it worked really well to show how Simon’s brain was working. However, I do think that although it was implied that a lot more emails were sent than you see, based on the content that you see in the movie, it doesn’t really make sense that Simon falls in love with Blue? I mean, it doesn’t really show them getting to know each other through the emails, so the relationship did feel like it went through a lot of development.
This is a really funny movie, people. Probably funnier than the book. Martin’s character is so cringe and annoying but also strangely funny, and there’s great banter. Simon’s Vice Principal is a bit too hip with the kids but totally crack up, and his drama director is funny too. This is at it’s heart a teen rom-com, and it shows.
I loved the depiction of Simon’s family in the movie. (Although I really wish his older sister alice had been in it because I really liked her as a character. But she wasn’t too important to the plot so that’s okay). It was nice to have a movie where the parents are actually part of the story, and I loved how his little sister just cooked all the time. Although not every family is as loving as Simon’s, it just made the movie that much more happy. Also, I really liked the father-son scene, and the discussion about all the vaguely offensive comments Simon had had to live with for years.
This is a rom com, and they’re supposed to be idealised. But all of Simon’s friends, as well as himself, were very very rich. He practically lived in a mansion, and had all the latest Apple products. The house was waaaayyy too tidy, and apart from his ‘huge-ass secret’ Simon didn’t really have any problems. But, as Shanti explains in this twitter thread, Simon has it all–wealth, whiteness, and a supportive collection of family and friends. Yet society still isn’t accepting, and coming out is still hard. It’s good that Love, Simon emphasised that, while being cute and fun.
Love, Simon was idealised and wasn’t perfect. But it was a faithful yet creative adaptation of the book, and if it’s out in the country where you live and you have the means to see it, I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s a fun, cute rom-com (which, as a side note, is my favourite genre.) But it’s the first (and to my knowledge, only) gay, fun, cute, rom-com.
How do you feel about book-to-move adaptations? Have you watched this one? Have you read the book? Are you as excited about Love, Simon as the rest of the YA community?