When I first heard that this movie was about a gay romance with a PG-13 rating, I pretty much knew I was going to see it. LGBT movies tend to be too trashy or too heartbreaking or too esoteric for me to notice. Granted I haven't seen too many of them, but in general none of them really quite fit. It's kind of like "even when it's LGBT oriented it still doesn't really pertain to me." Maybe I've just seen the wrong movies.
So my experience started when I first entered the theater. I was second in line at the ticket booth. I had gotten there about twenty minutes before the theater opened for the afternoon (they open 15 minutes before the first movie is scheduled to air). After I got a small soda and popcorn, I was the first person in the theater. Now, I live in a more conservative area so I honestly wasn't sure if anyone else was going to show (even though it was opening weekend for Love, Simon).
The first group to walk in was this group of teenagers. Not wanting to be a total creep, I didn't make eye contact, something I rarely do with anyone I don't personally know, and I browsed my phone. I couldn't help overhearing them, however. They were talking about whether or not they had come out to their family. Most of them had, but one of them said they hadn't. "My mom thinks I'm confused." One of them said and in response their friend said "Hahaha, it's cute that [she] thinks that." They talked about their orientations "I'm pan." "I'm grey asexual" and so on. One of them made a point to say that none of their group was heterosexual.
This struck a chord with me. I had known there were other kids who were out when I was going to school. I decided to remain closeted for a long period of my life. I went through most of my younger days dealing with everything on my own. It was difficult at the time. It made me really happy just to overhear these young adults. Throughout the entire movie they were reacting (just like I was) to the events onscreen.
Most of the people who came in after that seemed to be young women. There was one elderly couple.
One thing the theater seemed to lack were problematic men. That suited me just fine.
After the previews aired, the countdown for the movie started. I honestly didn't realize how excited I was to see this movie until just before it started. I was really optimistic. For the first time ever, t h e... f i r s t... t i m e... e v e r, I felt like I was seeing a movie that was made for someone like me. Even if I wound up not liking the movie, which I knew was a very real possibility, I knew that this was something that I never had before. Going to the movie theater to see a movie about a gay teen as the average joe. I never thought I'd have that experience, so to actually have it... I don't even know what words to use to describe how that felt.
As for the movie? Well, without spoiling anything, I have to say I really enjoyed it. I wish I had seen a movie like this one when I was still a questioning teenager. It touches base on a fair amount of issues that I personally related to, even if they weren't exactly the same situations. There was more than one scene where I felt like "Oh, Simon, I feel you, bro" and there was definitely more than one scene that got an emotional reaction out of me. In my opinion this movie doesn't waste a single minute of its screen time.
After the movie my head was filled with so many thoughts. This was an incredible experience and all it took was one movie that did a good job representing someone like me.