Spoilers to ahead! To be able to compare the two properly I will have spoilers here! You’ve been warned.
So, recently I went and saw the Love, Simon movie, and now I would like to take a moment to compare the original text with the film. The book was first released as Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda in April 2015 as Becky Albertalli’s debute novel (Goodreads). While the adaption came out just this past March (IMDB).
I loved both so much and consider the book a 5 stars while the movie is a 4.5 stars. I will have to say that my favourite out of the two has to be the book. I read the book in May of last year (my review [not the best review, but it was one of my firsts!]) and it was one of the first books I read with a main character coming out. I connected right away with Simon and the corkiness of the character and corkiness of the writing. When I first laughed out loud was Simon was thinking about a certain blanket being stiff as a board, ahahaha! I had so much fun reading Simon vs even the moments where I cried, for example, the moments between his mom and dad.
Both have handled the story of coming out beautifully. While the movie has more of a traditional Rom Com spin where something like the ending is a little more of a spectacle, where Blue and Simon meet for the first time in front of a huge crowd. However, the book Blue gave Simon a shirt with his cell phone attached, so Simon didn’t need to post publicly where to meet at the fair making it for just them. Another example is the relationship between Simon and Leah. In the movie, Leah and Simon no longer have a platonic friendship as they do in the novel, but where Leah has a crush on Simon. The movie has gotten some backlash for this because Leah being Bisexual, however, I can’t say I agree because we are seeing Simon’s story and he doesn’t know she’s Bi, and just because she likes a guy that doesn’t make her straight. The scene when Leah comes out to her family about being straight, that’s still Simon’s perspective. Which by the way is the best. Why IS straight the default? Why do we have to come out if we’re anything but straight?
One thing I was worried about in the movie was how the parents were going to handle Simon coming out. This being a feature film, I was worried that they would change it for the worst, but it was actually handled pretty while. I adored the scene with Jennifer Garner where she tells Simon she has noticed this change in him for a while and that now it’s time to let got of the breath he’s been holding. Just a rainfall of tears, even just watching the trailer back. Just tears. However, Josh Duhamel didn’t deliver for me during that suppose to be touching point between son and father. The family dynamic in both visions were wonderful, and I can see why they cut the older sister out from the movie as she was away from college.
One difference that not many notice is Ethan. Ethan is “the gay kid” at Simon’s school and is not in the book at all. He represents one of Simon’s struggle as to why not to come out; he doesn’t want to get bullied like Ethan. That is cemented for the audience when Simon and Ethan are both bullied after Simon is outed by Martin (horrible human by the way). But it did create this nice moment between Simon and Ethan as they wait to see the principal. Side note: what was up with that weird principal? He didn’t seem like he added any weight to the story, and was more of a comedy relief a lot of the time.
ANYWHO, I really loved both visions of Love, Simon. A wholesome story of a kid coming out hadn’t been done like that until Albertlli, and a feature film hasn’t done so until this movie. Each experience I was tricked to who Blue was, and wasn’t sure who he was until the big reveal.
If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie then I don’t know why you’re reading this, hahaha, but go read and then watch the movie. It’s well worth it, especially for us in the LGBTQIA+ community.
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