(It made me cry.)
I still remember seeing it’s bright red cover from across the store, as if it was calling out to me in some way. I didn’t think twice before I bought the book, not even bothering to read the summary. I read it in a week, then picked up every other abstract YA coming-of-age novel I could get my hands on. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was an important book for me not just as a reader, but also as a queer, young teenager who had just entered high school. So of course it’s no surprise that when I heard the book was being turned into a movie, I was overwhelmed with excitement. There have been some ups and downs in waiting for more word on the film, but it’s first trailer has finally been released…and I have so. many. things. to. say.
In case you haven’t read the book, here’s a little summary to get you up to speed: Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, or Love, Simon as the movie has shortened it to, is a coming-of-age Young Adult novel about a closeted sixteen-year-old named Simon Spier. Simon is an active participant in his school’s Drama department, starring in musicals and plays all year-long. He also spends his time emailing a mysterious boy, pen-named Blue. Simon’s life is pretty normal for the average Joe, until his email to Blue falls into the wrong hands. Now, Simon is being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexuality will be made aware to the whole school. In addition, the privacy of Blue will be compromised.
The movie is set to release on March 16th, 2018, with a cast full of familiar faces: Nick Robinson (Jurassic Park, Everything, Everything), Katherine Langford and Miles Heizer (Thirteen Reasons Why), Keiynan Lonsdale (The Flash), Alexandra Shipp (Straight Outta Compton), Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spiderman: Homecoming), along with Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel, just to name a few.
The film is being produced by 20th Century FOX, the creators of movies like John Green’s book adaption The Fault In Our Stars. Plenty of mixed opinions had formed following the announcement of the film, with some being especially skeptical of the film’s title. However, the first trailer for the film truly sells it’s image.
Within the first seconds of the trailer we discover that an incredibly awkward Simon Spier is hiding his sexuality in a small town. He’s struggling with the basic teenager issues, feeling out of place in his community and insecure about hiding his identity. But then we get glimpses into Simon’s life, of his crush on a straight classmate, and hints at Simon eventually falling in love with someone completely different. The film has a tone very similar to that of the Perks Of Being A Wallflower adaption, but ultimately stays true to the same messages communicated in the novel: at the end of the trailer, Simon expresses his annoyance at the fact that “only gay people have to come out”. What follows are clips of the main characters coming out to their family as straight.
Some key quotes:
“I like girls.” “You tryna’ kill me?”
“I’m heterosexual.” “Oh GOD help me Jesus!”
The film hinges its selling point on a “coming out” story, a love-letter of sorts to every teenager who’s ever struggled with the weight of hiding their sexual orientation or gender identity. This, I believe, is what is going to set the film apart. Here’s the truth: we don’t have many coming-of-age films made for a teenage audience that are centered around the main plot line of a gay kid struggling with his identity- never mind a major motion-picture with a large amount of funding behind it. People across the country (and beyond) are going to be seeing the trailer for this film, whether they want to or not. They’re going to be exposed to the prospects of a film about a kid coming out as gay- no other major plot aspects aside from that.
Similar movies have been limited to indie companies, which isn’t a bad thing, of course, but still restricts the amount of people who know about the film. 20th Century FOX’s backing behind the film, however, assures it’s trailer will be surfaced across all TV networks, media sites, etc. People will be forced to see the trailer and accept it for what it is, just as they did with the likes of Carol and Moonlight, for example. The trailer for Love, Simon promises a good amount of representation for queer youth in the country, and that is what makes this film already so important. At the end of the trailer, the film announces it’s release date: “Coming Out March 16th.”
We have high hopes for this film, and are extremely excited to see more of the film as the release date nears closer. Be sure to read the book before going to see the movie, though!