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‘Love, Simon’ tackles teenage truths

•courtesy of 20th Century Fox

•courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Kayleigh Padar

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“Love, Simon” left me curled up in my movie theater chair with sweaty palms and a jiggling thigh. To be extremely honest, it was too real.

“Love, Simon” is a romantic comedy that follows Simon Spier’s [Nick Robinson] journey to understand his sexuality, be honest with himself and his family about it, and fall in love with his anonymous email pen pal along the way.

The general plot is peppered with teenage jokes and incredible music that someone could expect to hear at an indie music festival. No seriously, I heard all the songs at an indie music festival last summer.

It was a regular, “young-adult-novel-turned-into-a-well-marketed-movie” movie. The draw wasn’t the lovable best friend characters or the football game way too many people showed up to or the high school with two minute classes and hour long passing periods. It was the way the movie portrayed the experience of coming out.

I wasn’t shaking in that AMC because I’m extremely passionate about movies with sophomores wearing jean jackets. I was shaking because I was watching my life unfold on the mainstream big screen for the first time ever, and it was too real.

At the beginning of the movie, Simon already knows that he’s gay, but it takes him almost half the film to be able to say the words out loud. He’s worried about his loving, accepting family viewing him differently even though there’s a part of him telling him there’s no reason to be. He’s afraid of changing the dynamics of his friend group in the last few months before they all split up for college. He’s anxious to vocalize exactly who he is to his entire world. These are all extremely specific experiences that LGBT+ teenagers go through– are going through right this instant.

“Love, Simon” portrayed all of these intense inner struggles, but kept the corny vice principal character and indie pop music in the background, just like any other teen movie where the biggest conflict is what to wear to prom.

It tackles huge issues in a meaningful, relatable way that can be understood by anyone while simultaneously providing representation for everyone out there like me, squirming in that fancy AMC recliner chair.

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‘Love, Simon’ tackles teenage truths