By inspiring, and perhaps empowering, legions of young girls and children of color, films like Wonder Woman and Black Panther seem as though they’ve been called to arms with the mission of tempering any doubt about the power of representation. But you’ll have to stray a bit further from the spotlight if you want to observe the impact of queer cinema on its community. In fact, you generally have to stray pretty far from the spotlight to observe queer cinema whatsoever. Which makes Love, Simon a small miracle.
Tucked away in an enclave of the already remote province that is the given year’s “prestige” releases, movies about gay, bisexual, and transgender characters can feel essentially distinct from the remainder of their big screen company. Confined by limited breathing room surrounding Hollywood’s understanding of how queer stories are supposed to be told, not to mention marketed and distributed, they come around to painting similar pictures, attracting similar audiences, and commanding similar conversations.