By Jack Rico
The 2-8-0: #LoveSimon is the coming-of-age movie we desperately needed. It’s a movie for all ages that is about love and understanding that everyone deserves to love and to be loved. Everyone deserves a great love story and Simon Spier shares his with the world.
The Gist: Based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Love, Simon, is about the life of closeted gay teenager, Simon Spier (Nick Robinson). He had everything down to a T, from balancing his friends, family, school and his secret pen-pal, Blue －one of the few gay kids out at school. Everything comes crashing down when someone finds out his secret, and threatens to reveal it to the entire school.
What Works: EVERYTHING. After seeing so many promo trailers, it just didn’t feel like a movie could be this good, but I am so glad to see that such movie exists! The cast is incredibly diverse, and it didn’t feel like it was done to appease the masses and sell tickets. They were all incredibly talented and made this such a heartfelt film. Nick Robinson steps away from Jurassic World, and headlines the film; his role of Nick Spier, is beautifully portrayed. We could feel every emotion that he felt, every insecurity but most of all, we could feel the love that he desperately wanted to share and receive. Not once did he fumble on screen, it was all effortless and natural.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m stuck on a Ferris wheel. One minute I’m on top of the world, then the next I’m at rock bottom. I’ve been thinking about why I haven’t come out yet. Maybe a part of me wants to hold on to who I’ve always been just a little longer. No matter what, announcing who you are to the world is pretty terrifying cause what if the world doesn’t like you?” – Nick Robinson as Nick Spier
Keiynan Lonsdale sheds his Kid Flash suit and joins the cast as Bram Greenfeld. It’s absolutely refreshing seeing him in this movie, it definitely took us back to his Dance Academy days by how witty and charming he was amongst his friends. Alexandra Shipp (Abby Sousa) and Katherine Langford (Leah Burke) play their roles with such fire and emotion, it was truly mesmerizing. Shipp’s character was starting over after her father cheated on her mother; the audience gets to see her character work through angst and grow as a person. Langford’s character truly embodies what true friendship really is by how she loyally and fiercely stood by her friends through thick and thin. Jennifer Garner plays Emily Spier, Nick’s mother. It brought tears to my eyes seeing just how much she cared for her son, it was breathtaking. The biggest take away from this story is how gay teenagers are often scared of coming out because of how their family reacts. It was great to see such a positive response that both supported him and yet acknowledged that she kind of knew for a while but was waiting for him to be comfortable enough to come out.
“I knew you had a secret; I could feel you holding your breath. You get to exhale now, Simon…You deserve everything you want.” – Jennifer Garner as Emily Spier.
Alongside Garner, Josh Duhamel plays the role of Jack Spier. He’s a good father and it was captivating to see how he struggled to correctly show his support to his Simon. He loves Simon no matter what, but as an audience member, it was great and relatable to see how his parents reacted to the news in different ways. He fumbled and tumbled a lot, especially because at first he said some comments that he shouldn’t have said. After Simon came out to his parents, it was as if something clicked. Josh struggled to see how he could still show his support and interact with his son while adjusting to the new shift in their dynamic.
What Doesn’t Work: The only thing that didn’t work was that tissues weren’t provided for us; this movie had its emotional, tear-jerking moments, and I wasn’t ready for them.
Pay or Nay: PAY. We cannot stress this enough: this is the movie that this generation needs. We live in a time where people shouldn’t be scared of being who they really are, and this movie really drives home the point that everyone deserves love. Whether they are in the LGBT community or not. It shouldn’t matter. What should really matter is how we can love and be kind to one another. That’s the message that we took from this movie, and with everything that’s happening in the world, it’s not a bad thing to be reminded of the beauty that love brings.