Book vs Movie: Love, Simon

Many of you might already have seen the Love, Simon film months ago. Guess what, even though the film is already out on DVD in the US, in the Netherlands the film isn’t in theatres until 14 June. However, as I managed to snag a ticket for a pre-screening, my mom and I saw the film in May and it is about high time I dedicated a post to it.

Let’s rewind a bit: I didn’t actually read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (or any other Becky Albertalli book for that matter) until a few months ago… I know, THE SHAME. But that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that I fell head over heels with the story and have been firmly established in the Becky Albertalli fanbase ever since.

Now, I am always a bit hesitant when books are turned into a film. There’s always going to be differences. And I don’t mind them, as long as the film stays true to the story, its characters, and message. That, strengthened by good, solid acting is bound to be a great film. And I was absolutely thrilled that Love, Simon delivered!

I don’t want this post to turn into a recounting of the differences between book and film. Mainly because I don’t think those differences should define the story. So instead I will talk a bit about the three characteristics I mentioned above: the story, its characters, and message. If you haven’t read the book or watched the film you might want to skip the following bit. Everyone should be able to experience Love, Simon for itself, and I don’t want to be the cause of spoiling even once second of it. If you don’t mind minor spoilers, then feel free to go ahead!

The story

The main storyline of the book really just two boys falling in love over email. That might be an oversimplified way of seeing it (as there’s more happening), but that simply is the red line in the story. And I am so happy that this wasn’t changed in any manner in the film. I had thought the email aspect might be difficult to do in a film, but watching the film it appeared to be a flawless transition. Nothing difficult about it, and I loved that. The heart of the story remained intact during the transition from book to film and that was just absolutely perfect.

The characters

All so very lovable! There might be some small differences between the characters in the book and how they’re represented in the film, but one thing that remained blissfully unchanged is the dynamic between the entire bunch. Simon and his friends have such a cool dynamic going and I love how that friendship was felt from the pages as well as the screen. Every minor difference is just that: minor.

The message

Everyone deserves a great love story

The film might have some cliches, but in a world where we’re aiming for better representation, this (both the film and the book) sure hit the mark. I love the message of self-love attached to the story and definitely had to wipe away a lone tear (or two, or three). Both the book and the film describe the intricacies of high school SO WELL. The story is so heartwarming and I think the filmmakers completely aced it in bringing the same message to the screen.

In the end, there really is one thing left to say: read the book, and go see the film! Let the dynamic between Simon and his friends warm you up, and watch a great love story unfold (because we all deserve one)!

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