Story

Simon (Nick Robinson) is a teenage boy who seems to have it all. He has loving and liberal parents – his mother is Emily (Jennifer Garner) and his father is Jack (Josh Duhamel), a not-so-macho man. He also has a younger sister, Nora (Talitha Bateman), whom he adores, and a group of really good friends. Simon drives his new car (a birthday present) to school each morning and collects his friends Leah (Katherine Langford) and Nick, (JorgeLendeborg Jr) whom he’s known since primary school, and Abby (Alexandra Shipp), who’s new to the school. The only thing that’s not right in his life is that Simon has a big secret, one he’s too afraid to tell anyone about. His secret is that he’s gay.

He finds a soulmate in an online blog and they communicate anonymously with each other for a few weeks. Simon is falling in love with this person but doesn’t know who he is. He imagines it might be one of several people he has met recently. Then one of his ‘friends’, Martin (Logan Miller), who has been blackmailing him by threatening to ‘out’ him in public, does the unthinkable and publishes all of Simon’s emails. Simon panics but discovers who his real friends are and what they value most about him.

Themes

Homosexuality; teenage relationships

Violence

There is very little violence in this movie but Simon does get angry with Martin and swears at him.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5
There is nothing particularly scary in Love, Simon for children in this age group.

From 5-8
There is nothing particularly scary in Love, Simon for children in this age group.

From 8-13
Children in this age group could be disturbed by some aspects of Love, Simon, particularly the nasty way some people have. An example of this is two young men simulating male sex on a dining table in the school cafeteria to humiliate Simon.

Over 13
Children in this age group could also be disturbed by the aspects of Love, Simon mentioned above.

Sexual references

Love, Simon has a lot of sexual references. For example:

  • Simon’s Dad bursts into his room and Simon is obviously embarrassed. Jack says, ‘I didn’t realise you were masturbating’ (Simon wasn’t).
  • Mr Worth, the school principal, tells Simon it’s normal for people to go out and have sex.
  • Mr Worth also talks about a woman he’s going to see that night. The next day he tells Simon she was ‘so not into it’.
  • During a rehearsal of a play, the teacher says that two of the students were practically ‘dry humping’ the whole time. She also tells a student to stop treating the trumpet as his penis.
  • Simon talks about how he knew he was gay. He says that he was obsessed with male rock stars and that he hated his date with his first (and only) girlfriend.
  • Abby dresses as Wonder Woman at a fancy dress party in tight hot pants and a revealing top. Nick thinks she’s the ‘hottest’ woman he knows.
  • When Martin publishes Simon’s emails online, he says that anyone wanting ‘butt sex’ can apply.

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

Love, Simon shows some use of substances. For example:

  • People drink a lot of alcohol at a party. Simon plays a drinking game with Bram (Kelynan Lonsdale) and both get quite drunk. Simon walks in on Bram kissing a girl in his bedroom.
  • Martin drinks a lot and vomits all over Simon.
  • There is a brief mention of someone smoking pot.

Nudity and sexual activity

Love, Simon has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, Simon kisses another boy both in his imagination and in reality.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in Love, Simon: Oreo biscuits and Dove men’s products.

Coarse language

Love, Simon has quite a lot of coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Love, Simon is a poignant, coming-of-age teenage movie with a difference. It explores the difficulties young gay people have talking about their sexual orientation with their friends and families.

Love, Simon is a bold and heartfelt movie, which creates empathy for the characters. But because of its content, this movie isn’t suitable for younger viewers, although it will appeal to teenagers aged 15 years and older.

The main messages from this movie are about being honest with yourself and those you love and having the courage to be the person you want to be.

Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include empathy and respect for others.

Love, Simon could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the following:

  • One person’s thoughtless and malicious actions can destroy someone else’s life, particularly when people say awful things about others online.
  • It’s important to think about what you’re putting online and about whether you’d say this to someone in person.
  • Posting anything online has consequences and might affect other people.