Since the success of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy, adapting young adult fiction into teen movies has grown from a pleasant surprise into something incredible we have come to expect year after year. The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns (both inspired by the creative works of John Green), and other films like them have provided the inspiration for a growing genre of teen movies that inspire large fandoms and access parts of the teen culture and experience that weren’t largely present in film before.
Simon Spier is a high school student like any other. He has faced school drama, acne, school bullies, all of the standards of high school life. But Simon has a bigger secret – he’s gay. Throughout the novel and the film, Simon struggles with the possibilities surrounding revealing his true identity. During this, Simon is also in an online relationship with an anonymous boy from his high school named Blue. Simon has no idea who Blue is, but he knows that they will never be able to be together if he cannot find acceptance in his friends, his family, and himself.
This emotional rollercoaster is touching (and tear-inducing) because it is so relatable to present-day teens and young adults. Finding friendships and relationships online is more and more common – and even more common is the cyber-bullying Simon and his peers experience through their school’s Tumblr page. Love, Simon reaches into the real world to grab at the things teens care about and are facing to bring and successfully brings it out for everyone, adults, and teens alike, to experience and appreciate.
As a movie based on a book, Love, Simon performs incredibly. The format obviously leaves less space for scenes and expansion than its 336-page inspiration, but even with its necessary plot changes and diversions, Love, Simon is an incredible movie on par with its literature. It is impossible to experience it or Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda without feeling your heart pounding in your chest or your eyes water because they are both carefully and powerfully produced masterpieces. You don’t want to miss out on either of them.