PLAYWAVE CREATIVE REVIEW: LOVE, SIMON
Reviewed by Lara Franzi
A generation mouthpiece for all young people and especially for those a part of the LGBTQ community. The emotionally moving Love, Simon represents our current societal concern amongst bullying and acceptance. This is a crucial piece of film that uproots the primitive school system of the ‘standard’ cultural image of relationships. I like to believe that this film contributes vastly to the new wave of LGBTQ cinema, involving more everyday and realistic scenarios. ‘Love, Simon’ was screened as apart of the Mardi Gras Film Festival with Queer Screen. Within this brave and relatable movie based on Becky Albertalli’s influential novel ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.’ Albertalli explores the concerns of a young man coming out as gay.
This strong youth-driven film is centered around Simon developing himself through his discoveries of strength and confidence. It is depicted within an ideal family situation that is keeping up with the Joneses. Simon is from a stable home life that is settled without financial or environment pressures. By focusing on Simon’s fear of coming out it allows for the audience to fully understand his worries in great depth by illustrating every social barrier that prevents him from being honest with his feelings, friends and family.
A key concern within the film and Simon’s world, is the obsession with social media and its flimsy connection between people. This faceless and heartless medium becomes a distrusted device of communication that distorts and exaggerates the truth. This reflects well with our current and new screen addicted generation. As we are constantly questioning our relationships beyond the stacking number of Facebook friends. This effortless interaction doesn’t provide any physical comfort or reassurance of our realistic identities. It is without this physical comfort that Simon struggles to express his homosexuality. But through this flimsy electronic branch, he connects to an anonymously gay school student and develops a positive relationship which gives him courage to explore his personal feelings.
Society has made a false promise to protect the right of everyone and their beliefs. But there is still prejudice and conservative theories which lurk behind flimsy excuses and peer pressure. These excluding feelings tend to be expressed by unseen users through the internet. Its within this film that it demonstrates the devastating impact of cyber bullying to an individual and their community.
By creating an understandable and charming character such as Simon, through the use of pop-cultural references and colourful posters lining his bedroom walls. It allows for a youth targeted audience to related better to his point of view. This is important not only for LGBTQ individuals, but also heterosexual people who are reacting to what’s happening within their expanding neighbourhood.
Love, Simon provides an essential insight into our current acceptance of LGBTQ relationships within school environments. By pronouncing not only LGBTQ relationships, but also gender transformations. It has a greater potential to invite a more inclusive and supportive message through this film. Love, Simon is an all-rounded film that covers critical issues which directly relate to this year and our expanding recognition of same-sex marriages. I found this movie eye-opening and reverent. I believe it shares a raw and powerful message, underneath its glossy and modernised comedic look. This coming of age story motivates us to see LGBTQ relationships as an ordinary and respected aspect of humanity.