We Love Simon! Review.

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We Love Simon! Review.

Olivia Podraza, Editor

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March 16th, 2018, the movie Love, Simon was released. It seemed to make big waves during its first few weeks in theaters; and the book, Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, has made its strides in the reading community, being nominated for many awards. After noticing several of my friends were reading it and seeing the movie advertisements, I was totally on board and had to read/watch it for myself.

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a fast-paced, coming-of-age novel about a teenage boy who’s caught up in a series of emails with another anonymous, gay boy from his school, and navigating the rocky waters of keeping their secrets safe. In the novel, Simon is somewhere between coming out and being outed, and faces his own character development in response to the evil forces potentially outing him.

The main plot stays the same in Love, Simon (thankfully), as we see Nick Robinson’s portrayal of this character. The movie was, in its own right, just about as good as the book, even though it somewhat strayed from the original storyline (as all movie adaptations do) in some areas. When thinking about the portrayal of each character and their development, I was very pleased with the cast. Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner, playing Simon’s parents, had a perfect balance of being animated, with their zany character traits from the book, and being serious in the face of Simon’s situation. Logan Miller did an outstanding job as the story’s antagonist, but shows growth in his own flimsy antagonist ways, and all of Simon’s friends felt like a solid fit for the movie’s tone.

I arranged a brief Q&A with a couple of students from here at the high school, and this is what they had to say.

Q: What did you think of the cast?

A: Alex McLaren’s answer, a senior at GCHS – I thought it was like, diverse, it was nice to have that. There was a part in the movie that I didn’t like because it didn’t exactly portray it correctly in the book, where he’s been outed and all of his friends kind of turn on him in the movie that’s not exactly what happened in the book, and that’s not what I really liked but the cast was diverse and that was another thing that I liked to be normalized.

A: (Joey Thomas’s answer, a junior at GCHS) I think the cast did a great job, especially representing a coming out story. As a person who has had to come out, I really appreciated it.

Q: Without giving too much away, what did you think of the movie’s ending?

A: (Alex) If you’ve seen other romcoms and things like that they all end in the same way, and to have a gay movie do the same thing, with the mystery revealed of who it is– his [pen pal]  and to have that happen in such a beautiful place! And that scene, where they’re up there and they kiss, it’s beautiful! It’s just like any other romcom.

A: (Joey) Oh my God. It was surprising, it was amazing, I was shooketh to the core. I was amazingly happy.

Q: Why is this movie important to you?

(Alex) As a[n] LGBT person, and as a person who also loves women a lot, as a girl who loves women, being able to see that movie and being able to like see that LBGT+ movies are being normalized, is incredible for me. Because maybe it’ll give other people the chance to either recognize that they’re like me, or be able to recognize, or have their parents recognize that this is a normal thing that happens. It’s not unnatural in any way shape or form, and it’s beautiful in a way.  Alex also commented on the quality of the movie, noting that the cinematography “adequately displays” and highlights the more romantic parts.

Because maybe it’ll give other people the chance to either recognize that they’re like me, or be able to recognize, or have their parents recognize that this is a normal thing that happens. It’s not unnatural in any way shape or form, and it’s beautiful in a way. ”

— Alex McLaren

(Joey) This movie was actually very important. So, Before this movie I was not out, the day this movie did come out, I came out. I had the urge to because of this movie. It totally inspired me, because it shows an accurate description of what it feels like to be in the closet, and what it feels like to be out. And Simon goes from basically ‘holding his breath’ and then he goes from like, really depressed and stuff like that, to like the most happiest person ever, and that’s how it goes, like that’s how it is.

I also noticed there was a lot of news about the release of this movie on twitter, with several accounts going viral with tweets urging people to go see the movie.

I asked Alex what she thought of those tweets:

A: (Alex) God, I related to a lot of them, like once again as an LGBT person, I related to a lot of them, the fact that I like cried a little bit whenever I went to see it, I wasn’t one of the people hyping it up but I was reading them and being able to see other people having the same excitement as I did for the movie was really nice.

Q: What would you rate this movie?

(Alex) Like a 5 out of 5. Well, no 4.5 out of 5.

Q: Would you want to read the book, or would you reread it?

(Alex) Yes, Now that I’ve seen the movie I would reread the book. The little bit of when his friends turn [their] back on him during the movie, that isn’t really like that sharp in the book, it’s kind of softer. I didn’t really like that in the movie, and that’s why I gave it a 4.5 because if you wanna make a positive movie about lgbt people then you would keep their friends with them throughout that but they do give it a good reason because he did manipulate them but other than that it was a really good movie and it was a really good book.

I don’t know if I agree that Simon manipulated his friends in the book or the movie, but everyone had their problematic moments and different ways of dealing with things, and I think that really brings to life the human aspect of this book, and parts of the movie.

Joey has only seen the movie, but says he wants to read the book. On a 5 star scale, he gives it 6 stars. He also told us about his favorite part of the movie by saying, “I think my favorite part of the movie was him talking to his dad, because I related to that with my situation. Like that was the exact same conversation I had with my dad.

Alex reflected a little on the feelings of realism she had while reading the book, and said, “It’s broken apart where you can actually read the emails that are sent back and forth, which gives you this like refresher of the daily drama that you had in high school, and being able to have that is really nice to read. It gives it like a back and forth kind of thing, so you get a look into Simon’s daily life as well as the life that he has hidden from everyone else.

Joey said, “I think if you’re a part of the LGBT+ community, or not a part of it, you should definitely go see this movie! It’s not just for people of the LGBT community, it’s, if you want to understand the LGBT community, go see this movie.” I couldn’t agree more. #ThxSimon