Apr302018

This is Why Gail Didn’t Love Love, Simon & Some Alternative Options (Miss Carriger Recommends)

My dearest Gentle Reader, I finally went to see Love, Simon and I have a few thoughts.

I don’t wanna get into a debate or impinge on anyone’s feelings about this movie (you are utterly entitled to your own opinion and should not be influenced by mine).

Please note that in my (home) blog post I will not approve comments that are spoilers or crack open said debate, use your own platform for that, please.

So, if you haven’t seen it or you really adored it, then you might want to skip to the bottom of this blog post, Other Options, for more movie recs.

Love, Simon

I don’t go to movies often, it’s hard to make time, but I really wanted to support this one so I managed to make it to a matinee showing on the very last day available in my area. Apparently I’m not alone in wanting to show support. I was, however, alone in the theater.

Couldn’t have asked for a better viewing.

I had really high expectations.

I agree with general concerns over the sanitized nature of this movie. However, the very clean prettiness of the presentation made it feel retro to me, like something vaguely John Hughes.

For me that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Because the flip size of objecting to the sanitization and retro feel, is the need for queer normalization (no, don’t get bristly with me, you’re still a unique special sequined love-ball, they just need help to get them there, OK?)

My point is, something bright and shiny and sweet (and yes, sanitized) slides in under the radar. It will be shown in theaters across the country and not just in arthouses in major cities. In that, I give  Love, Simon props. It’s fighting, just not with knives.

See Gail talk about the power and subversive nature of comedy in this blog post. 

However…

Gail Gets Embarrassed for Characters

I found it super cringe-worthy at points. I wanted desperately to fast forward several parts, instead I ended up just covering my face with my hands.

I don’t like to be embarrassed for the characters on the screen, I still flinch when I even think about the film Mermaids. So this kind of thing makes me particularly uncomfortable.

Dialogue

The dialogue was not as snappy or witty as I’d hoped. I wanted something a little more like Mean Girls, 10 Things I Hate About You, Bend it Like Beckham, Clueless, or even She’s the Man (only, you know, GAY). In terms of writing, I’d even have settled for something more classic old school poignant-meets-cheese like Breakfast Club.

The dialogue in Love, Simon was, well, fine. Dull.

Not quotable, but, you know, there, I guess?

The Crux

My biggest issue is kind of a spoiler but I think I can be euphemistic enough to articulate in a way that only those who’ve seen in the movie will understand.

It has to do with the ferris wheel at the end.

I was a pretty upset to see Simon do unto Blue basically what Martin just did to Simon. He took away Blue’s agency in a pivotal life choice. It was social pressure, meant nicely, but still social pressure. While the nature of intent is open to debate, Simion essentially forces choice onto another. Blue should have had the option to make his choice in his own time without the empathy-pressure of Simon’s immanent humiliation hanging over Blue’s personal decision.

Sweet and romantic as I found Simon’s grand sappy gesture, that part really messed with my head. I don’t know if I’ll be able to forgive the movie for it.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I did enjoy it. I found it sweet and the characters were likable, and the romance was satisfying but that last plot point was a doozy.

I understand Love, Simon’s importance to the zeitgeist. I do. Tumblr alone has opened my eyes quite a bit.

But in the end?

I’m conflicted.

How unsatisfying, Miss Gail!

Perhaps I’ll watch it again when it’s out on DVD.

Other Options!

If you liked Love, Simon you might also enjoy these. Or if you had some of the concerns I did with that movie, you might prefer these.

High School Setting

Were the World Mine ~ Streaming right now on Prime, this is the only movie I know (off the top of my head) that’s also a gay romance set in high school. However, I wouldn’t call it a comedy. It’s a slightly surreal romantic drama musical. To me, it feels like it owes more to a more cerebral movie like Flirting, than anything else. Bonus glitter… lots of glitter.

After High School

One of the reasons that Love, Simon is so important is that it’s a high school set romantic comedy with gay characters. And I get that, I do. It’s a favorite setting of mine, obviously. But here are some movies that tackle some similar themes in a slightly more adult setting.

Shelter

Shelter ~ Just post high school this features adorable surfer dudes, familial responsibility, honor, duty, and painful coming out. Bonus points from one of my favorite romance tropes: finding love with the brother of the best friend.

Later Days

Latter Days ~ One of my favorite all times movies. I features: a repressed Mormon, dramatic indie songs, unfair mistreatment by the ignorant, reformed bad boy, with bonus Tara from Buffy.

The scene when he drops the tray. I mean, come ON. So good.

Big Eden

Big Eden ~ This feels like a real romance. Yes there are quirky characters, but they’re so much more honest than Hollywood usually allows in terms of complexity, appearance, vocabulary, everything. Bonus cooking = love!

I have a blog post all about Queer Romantic Comedy Movies that includes these movies plus lesbian and trans romantic comedies. Check it you if you want some ladies in your gay.

Conall Feels Pretty Fan Art

Queer in Your Ears

From ace-artemis-fanartist

Book Recommendations

Like the book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda?

Try…

(Last two not available as ebooks because someone around their production is an idiot.)

My Super Queer Stuff:

More to come!

OUT MAY 13, 2018!

Amazon | Kobo | B&N | iBooks | Direct from Gail

How to Marry a Werewolf (In 10 Easy Steps) ~ A Claw & Courtship Novella by Gail Carriger is now awabile (print, audio & other editions will follow). Featuring a certain white wolf we all love to hate (except those of us weirdos who love to love him). Add this book on Goodreads.

Guilty of an indiscretion? Time to marry a werewolf.

Rejected by her family, Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.

UPCOMING SCRIBBLES

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Image that influenced lesbian side characters Lady Flo and Jane in Poison or Protect 1862 Title- Ladies’ Companion Date- Thursday, May 1, 1862 Item ID- v. 42, plate 86

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

Book News:

Darque Dreamer Reads says :

Curtsies & Conspiracies offered everything Etiquette & Espionage did. It had humor, whit, ridiculously fun antics, and vivaciously dynamic characters. It also offered plenty of gadgets and gizmos, important lessons on espionage and character assassination, and vivid descriptions of dirigibles and the wonderful world of The Finishing School.”

FS C&C Foreign Editions

Quote of the Day:

Questions about Gail’s Parasolverse? There’s a wiki for that!

Tags:

Posted by Gail Carriger

4 Responses

  1. Darque Dreamer said:

    Mermaids was pretty awkward, haha! I am actually feeling this way about the book. It’s just not hitting me the way it did so many others.

    Thank you for featuring part of my review for Curtsies & Conspiracies! I so love your books! <3

  2. Chelsea said:

    My comment will be the most pedestrian among literary people, but the book was better.
    There were far more snappy retorts, and funny exchanges that didn’t make it into the film.
    Your concern on the final plot point (which I share by the way – everyone watching him ride was painful) was avoided in the book.
    That being said, the film has opened a lot of dialogue with my students. A number of my kids saw me reading it during reading time and wanted to chat about it, and seemed interested to read it once I was done. So for that purpose the film helped a lot.

Leave a Reply

(will not be published)

© 2018 Gail Carriger | Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Site built by Todd Jackson