In 1994, I was a freshman in college. Alanis Morrisette and The Spice Girls were chart toppers, Independence Day was a box office hit and that was also the year I came out as gay to my family.
It was the single most amazing and terrifying thing I have ever done in my life.
I would spend a good part of my college years slowly and strategically coming out to many people in my life. First my closest friends, then family and then co-workers. Keep in mind that back in the 90's, there was extreme negativity and shame associated with being gay, so coming out was a very big deal. Not to mention, there were also very little, if any laws at all, that protected gay men and women from being fired from their jobs for being gay. (Note there are currently 15 states that still do not have state wide protections for LGBTQ individuals)
Ok, so you’re probably wondering what does this little flashback have to do with the new movie "Love, Simon?"
The answer is simple: progress.
As a young gay man just entering college in the early 90's, I had zero role models to look up to when it came to love, dating and even less when it came to coming out. So, this movie, the first of its kind is hitting major historical milestones in the movie industry by doing the following:
By being a major commercial release by a major movie studio (20th Century Fox) that is opening nationally in theaters
By being a story about a young closeted high school senior who comes put as gay
By being a RomCom about two young gay men
There are many more marks that Love, Simon hits but these are the biggest of them.
For the many young kids out there who are struggling with their identities, this movie will not only make them laugh and make them hopeful, this movie will also save their lives.
According to recent studies suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24. Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth. (see more stats here)
So, if one little movie can help one young person feel hope, love and dare I say "normal" - we need to support movies like Love, Simon so we can see more love and more smiles on the faces of our children.
Also, we all know I love a good RomCom, so this movie scores big for me just on those notes. It is reminiscent of the classic John Hughes movies like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink that defined the "coming of age" movie category.
Other highlights from this movie include a tear-jerking Mom & son scene with Jennifer Garner who plays Simons Mom, a cute/funny scene with Josh Duhamel as Simon's Dad and of course every awkward and all too real moments with Nick Robinson who plays Simon.
Last but not least, the soundtrack is next level amazing! Singer and Songwriter Jack Antonoff is behind the lead single "Alfie's Song (Not So Typical Love Song) which is performed by The Bleachers. The Bands unique sound carries through a few more songs on the soundtrack. There is also a catchy single by Troye Sivan called "Strawberries & Cigarettes" You can listen to the whole soundtrack on Spotify.
Check out the trailer below and make sure to get out and watch!