Everybody knows that most LGBT films suck – and if you don’t know…well, they do.
When watching 99% of the films, you can count on at least one of the following to apply: either A) the quality of the film is sub-subpar, B) the main character goes back to being straight, or C) somebody gets thrown in jail/dies, or faces some other horrible fate.
For some reason, films in this genre have been plagued with multiple tropes and stoylines that are not meant to accurately portray the “gay experience”, but moreso embellish the fears that are aimed the respective group. Furthermore, when an LGBT movie *does* break free of those pitfalls, it is often the case that the quality was so low (acting, writing, etc.), it barely even counts as a serious, watchable film.
From The Children’s Hour to Loving Annabelle, it seems like the audience is faced with a downright crappy movie, or an ending that does not contain a happy resolution, and even sometimes they get both. This certainly is not to say that a “happy” ending is needed to be deemed a decent film; in fact, I usually find the opposite to be true. However, when it comes to a subgenre that centers on a minority group, and the bulk of their stories/films that have been produced thus far have seen more negative outcomes, over time it gets to be very disheartening; even though there are a lot of stories that involve intense heartache and struggle, we need to remember that sometimes there are good endings to look forward to, too.
Thanks to Love, Simon, we can add another entry to the group of LGBT films that doesn’t end in complete and utter tragedy, AND is decently well-made. The film, based on Becky Albertalli’s 2015 book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, tells the story of Simon, a high school senior who enters his coming-out journey when he develops a bond with an anonymous classmate online.
Simon is extremely likable, and equally relatable as far as LGBT characters go, which is one of the strongest traits of the film. Its script is also very smart and, at times, extremely touching. Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel play Simon’s parents, and if I ever doubted that Tad Hamilton(!) could move me to tears, those doubts were put to rest in this film.
The movie does contain a much lighter theme than other films that center on a gay character, but it was welcomed, as both types of films are necessary: the more gritty, realistic view, as was seen in Blue is the Warmest Color, and also the positive, inspiring kind, like Simon.
In the same vein as Wonder Woman and Black Panther, the director at the helm of Love, Simon also belongs to the group of its protagonist, a theme that hopefully continues to propel through the Hollywood and Indie film scene, and also the creative world at large. And also, many kudos goes to 20th Century Fox – the first major film studio to bring a gay teen romance to the big screen. While this has been a long time coming, I’m currently more grateful than resentful.
One of the taglines for Love, Simon is: “Everyone deserves a great love story”. True, everyone does deserve that, and while we don’t know what Simon’s life will look like when he’s 40, for now, he does get his happy ending.
>>Person to see this movie with: Your gay aunt Sally