In the last few months, there has been a movie that has gotten a lot of media coverage. It’s called Love, Simon. For those of you unfamiliar with the movie, it is a film based on the book Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. The book and movie are about the coming out story of Simon, a completely ordinary kid who is gay, who is being blackmailed, and his story of falling in love with his anonymous pen pal, Blue. The book was hilariously written, a tear jerker at times, and relatable to all, gay or otherwise, but how does it translate onto the silver screen?
Simple answer: surprisingly well! It was a movie adaptation, however, so some changes had to be made. First off, Simon’ family has changed a bit. In the book, the family spends a lot more time bonding, which has led to some amazingly humorous moments. In the book Simon has two sisters, but in the movie, it’s cut down to one. The one sister in the movie, Nora, excessively bakes, in the book, that is not the case. Another character that was altered as Martin. In the book, Martin is much less of a dork, and he is a bit nicer. When Martin confesses his love in the movie, he makes a big deal out of it by confessing in the middle of a football game. In the book the reader doesn’t experience the confession, instead witnessing Martin’s anger towards Simon after the fact. The second sentence in the book is about Simon being blackmailed by Martin, but the movie waits until at least twenty minutes in to start Martin’s blackmailing. The biggest difference, in my opinion, was when Blue was finally revealed. In the book, Blue gives Simon a note containing his contact information. Using his phone number, he texts Blue, inviting him to meet Simon at the carnival, making it so it was not super public. Alternatively, in the movie, Simon makes a post on the school blog, inviting Blue to meet him at the carnival. This would mean Blue would need to come out to the whole school if he wanted to show up. I personally think that it was a bit unfair for Simon to do that, because as he has explained to Martin earlier in the movie, when/if someone chooses to come out, it should be on their own terms and in their own way.
One of the best thing of the book to movie translation was how Love, Simon was able to implement the emails between Simon and Blue in a way that felt natural. That was an area that I thought the movie would fall flat with, but it turned out great. The actors were able to portray the characters in a mostly realistic way, with the only exception being the vice principal, who in my opinion was a little over the top. As he was a comic relief character, all is forgiven.
To all who have seen the movie, please read the book, and vice versa. Both bring more to the other, but can be enjoyed individually as well. There are very few times that I have known characters that are so human, with (in the book) entire chapters dedicated to the characters love of Reese’s cups and Oreos (and besides, who doesn’t like Oreos). The entire story felt real, every character was relatable, and I had been able to leave the theater feeling warm and bubbly inside.