When Love, Simon hit theatres on March 16th, it marked the first time that a major studio released a film focused solely on a gay teenage romance. It may have taken forever, but we couldn’t have been more pleased with the result – when we weren’t sobbing into our tissues, we were laughing until our sides hurt and loving every minute of it. And that kiss! Everything was just perfect.
But when you see the words “gay teenage romance,” your first inclination is to think that it’s a film for teens, right? Well, no, not entirely. Sure, it focuses on teenagers and is told from the perspective of a teenager, but Love, Simon is a film that needs to be seen by everyone – especially parents. Here are four reasons why every parent should watch Love, Simon (with only very minor spoilers):
Parenting done right
One thing I love about Love, Simon is that it shows us what a healthy, open family is. When Simon first comes out, his parents, while not hiding their surprise, are entirely accepting of Simon. Even when Simon’s dad messes up – and, believe me, he does – he owns up to the mistakes he made, and promises to do better. They are constantly there to comfort Simon, and make sure that they love and support him fully, even when others turn their back on him. If that isn’t parenting done right, I don’t know what is.
First of all, Martin… 😒 As I stated earlier, Love, Simon is the FIRST major studio film to focus on a gay teenage romance. THE. FIRST. (It’s 2018, people…) The beautiful thing about this film, though, is that it’s Simon’s story, through and through. Everything that happens to Simon – Martin (😒) blackmailing him, his friends turning their backs on him, instances of blatant homophobia and microaggressions in the name of homophobia – is seen through his eyes, and everything that Simon does – coming out to his friends and parents, living as an out gay teenage boy – is experienced by him. While I can go on and on, it’s really just so important to see these realities, both big and small, play out on the big screen.
I repeat: This is THE. FIRST. MOVIE. to feature a gay teenage romance. From a father’s “harmless” jokes to public mocking, shame, and humiliation and everything else in between, Love, Simon tackles the very real issues that gay teenagers face every single day while treating its main character with the respect he deserves. One teenager, after seeing the film, wrote: “When I watched Love, Simon […] it was the first time that I felt like I can finally relate, like completely, to a movie.” I could say more, but I’ll leave it at this: after Love, Simon premiered, the movie was so impactful that it actually inspired people to come out to their parents and friends. Tell me again how representation doesn’t actually matter? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
It’s a lot of fun!
At the end of the day, Love, Simon has everything you could possibly want in a film. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and, most of all, it’ll make you feel ALL OF THE FEELS! Filled with all of the cliches that make the rom-com so freakin’ lovable – you know, the cheesy storylines and the big, cosmos-shattering, “will they/won’t they?” endings – Love, Simon is an immensely important film that everyone needs to watch immediately. I promise you won’t regret it.
Happy reading and please remember: representation matters!