Disclaimer: I have not read the book. This article is solely based off of the movie and what happened in the film.
I would just like to start out by saying this: Love, Simon was a fantastic, amazing, heart-wrenching, well done, film. Along with the fact that society needs more LGBTQ+ representation in films, certain scenes that send powerful messages were phenomenally portrayed. For example, all the scenes with Simon’s parents were amazing; especially the one-on-one scene with Simon and his dad that made me start crying like a baby. It is important that society is exposed to not just to the “youth” side, but to also see the parents’ thought process and how they deal with their kid(s) going through that experience and transition as well. Additional to the scenes with the parents, the most heart-wrenching scene was when Martin, the antagonist of the film, tried apologizing to Simon for blackmailing him. Simon goes off on Martin and states the message that no one can decide when or how another person comes out by saying “I’m supposed to be the one that decides when and how and who knows, and how I get to say it, that’s supposed to be my thing!” This is a message and scenario that needs to be portrayed in media more often, and it is one that people who are not in the LGBTQ+ community need to hear. Overall, I enjoyed the film immensely.
Getting that out of the way, the main critique I have for this movie is the ending. Now don’t get me wrong: having Simon post that letter on the school’s gossip website telling Blue to meet him at a certain location to reveal his identity is a perfectly fine concept. However, it was portrayed poorly in the movie. In the film, Simon tells Blue to meet him on the Ferris wheel at the carnival that is happening in their town. The Ferris wheel was claimed the designated location when Simon writes: “This guy that I love once wrote that he felt like he was stuck on a ferris wheel. On top of the world one minute, rock bottom the next...So, Blue, after the play, Friday at ten, you know where I’ll be.” Simon picked the wrong location to reveal Blue’s identity because of how public of a space the Ferris wheel is. Having Blue publicly reveal his identity at a public place sends a wrong message to society; the public reveal of Blue’s identity should have been a more personal, private moment between the two characters. Coming out is a private experience that should not be on display to the public, and while this is a Hollywood film, this movie was made to represent the LGBTQ+ community in film in a realistic manner. In the movie, Simon keeps on paying for Ferris wheel rides hoping that Blue will come forward and reveal who he is, and while this is happening, people are gathered around the Ferris wheel cheering on Simon and putting pressure on him and Blue. No wonder Blue did not come forward right away; they were probably feeling overwhelmed by all the people watching. Finally, Blue comes forward at the last possible second and him and Simon ride to the top of the Ferris wheel. They kiss for the first time. Yes, it is an amazing moment, and I cried from joy knowing that these two gay characters finally accepted their sexual orientation; however, the cheering and hollering from their peers watching them pulls away from the heart-wrenching moment of the movie. Their kiss should have been between them, but the director made it feel like their friends were watching animals in a cage at the zoo instead of allowing Simon and Blue to enjoy their moment together. Having people watch them also puts pressure on the two guys because if all these people are watching they might have felt like they needed to kiss in order to make their peers happy. The way that Blue’s identity is exposed goes against the sole purpose of this movie and should have been done differently.
With that being said, I have an alternate ending idea. Again, I have not read the book, and if the movie was portrayed it in a different manner then it might have gotten backlash from the book aficionados. On the contrary, the LGBTQ+ community is represented in the literature world more than the film industry, which means that movies need to represent the LGBTQ+ community well and in a realistic way. Love, Simon should have had more of a personal moment between Simon and Blue when Blue reveals his identity. However, the Ferris wheel does play a significant role, so instead of riding the Ferris wheel (which draws more attention to Simon and what he is doing), he could have waited by it and then gone with Blue to a more private area to talk. After they had their conversation and shared their first kiss, they could have gotten applause from their peers after they came back from having their personal moment, and to signify that all went well, they could come back holding hands or having their arms around each other. It is great that they do get support from their schoolmates, but their moment should be only between them, not them and the whole entire school.
Film is such an influential form of media that people create assumptions and images of different people based on movies they have seen. It is better that films show a realistic and powerful message so people can be educated on different issues.
In the future, I hope films representing marginalized groups of people portray a realistic view of the characters and story as well as allow every person to feel represented in the film world. Those who do not fit within the standard depictions in Hollywood and film today can recognize that they are no less normal or acceptable.