Simon (Nick Robinson, not that one) leads a normal high schooler’s life (for “normal” read “charmed”) except that he’s keeping his homosexuality a secret in Love, Simon; a title that’s fucked over the musician Simon Love in google terms.
Saccharine and formulaic, this YA adaptation looks like something you might see on the Disney Channel, the only difference being that its homosexuality is stated outright. That the protagonist is a closeted gay kid is not insignificant, as it’s important that young people see themselves reflected in mass media, and god knows we’ve seen enough teen movies about self-involved straight people.
These characters are just as self-involved, and that sameness is both the least and most interesting thing about the film; interesting because it means that gay people are no longer hidden away in arthouse cinema or relegated to “gay best friend” roles, but have been assimilated into films (well, a film) aimed squarely at teenagers where most of the drama comes from who’s taking whom to prom.
Love, Simon is not a particularly riveting picture, but in being such an ordinary high school flick about a gay person, its blandness is oddly profound. This is the ultimate normalisation; so normal it’s boring. On this trajectory, eventually trans people won’t solely exist in arthouse fare like A Fantastic Woman, but in mainstream trash being just as shallow as cis people. Hooray!