Rahul is a movie addict who can never get enough of good films. His all time favorites are Inception, 12 Angry Men, and Scarface.
What Films Are Similar to Love, Simon?
Rarely it happens that mainstream films get their heart right. Love, Simon is one of those rare films that do.
It's a mainstream rom-com teen drama with a bit of twist - a heartwarming teen love story about a gay boy. The movie wins on precisely depicting the torment and crisis any teen faces while growing up, even more so if you are closeted. Using every possible trope in the book for teen dramas, the film makes a dent in our heart for its sheer lightheadedness and reminds us of the title of Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being.
This heart-warming feature does not attempt to portray itself as a breakthrough by talking about the taboo element of gay romance. And in the process, it reminds us how we all are alike.
Talking of likeness, let me remind you of some similar heartwarming romantic flicks like Love, Simon that will make you laugh and cry, at the same time. Thou shall ready your popcorn and tissues.
Movies Similar to Love, Simon
- Call Me By Your Name
- Latter Days
- I Love You, Phillip Morris
- The Perks of Being A Wallflower
- But I'm A Cheerleader
1. Call Me by Your Name
Opening at Sundance Film festival, Call Me by Your Name swept audience off their feet. The film is reluctantly sensuous portrayal of first love. Based on André Aciman’s 2007 novel, the story unfolds in the idyllic Italian farmhouse set in the 80s. Timothy Chalamet, who plays Elio, the 17-year-old boy, has a disarming screen presence. And smoldering Armie Hammer plays the character of Oliver, a research associate of under Elio’s father.
The story unfolds in the vacation home of Elio’s mixed lineage liberal Jewish parents. The set-up is eclectic.
The romance between Elio and Oliver brews slowly and aesthetically on the screen, accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful soundtrack by Sufjan Steven. The vibe of summer is fleeting yet relieving and is captured in every frame. The film does an incredible job of pulling all the right strings of your heart.
Call Me by Your Name won critics and audience alike, landing it the Best Film nomination in the Oscars.
The most remembered line from the film was “Nature has a cunning way to find your weakest spot,” and I am sure you'll agree once you give this heart-warming flick a shot.
2. Latter Days
Released in 2003, Latter Days is a titillating little film, so much so that at times a few among audience have complained about it being too graphic. Nevertheless, beyond the skin lies the heart of the film.
It is a story of love, life, and lust intertwined. Though the movie uses all possible clichés, it conveys sincerity. The film is about two starkly opposite characters falling in love and their own struggles as they come to terms with it.
Aaron, played by Steve Sandvoss, is a Mormon missionary, where homosexuality is considered a sin. Christian, played by Wes Ramsey, is a gay poster boy with his unhinged way of life. The cultural clash offers an unflinching look at their lives. Of course, the melodrama is inevitable.
The movie is also an exploration of sexuality and the societal attitude towards it. The film underlines the fact that the religious pressure to keep families together is never going to work out in the long run. Interestingly, it is one of those films that inspired a novel, not the other way around, which is mostly the case.
If you're looking for some engrossing movies like Love, Simon, Latter Days should be right up your alley.
3. I Love You, Phillip Morris
Everyone loves Jim Carrey, and that alone is reason enough to watch this film. It is a black comedy with a surprising twist and zing. Based on the true story of a conman, Steven Jay Russell, the film is as much as a love story as it is about his prison escapades. It is an adapted version ofI Love You Phillip Morris: A True Story of Life, Love, and Prison Breaks.
The story is about an ex-cop turned conman coming out of the closet and falling in love with an inmate after being imprisoned. As charming as that blonde inmate is, it is Jim Carrey who is almost effortless in breathing life in this movie. The out-of-the-box tricks coupled with the theatrics of Carrey is sure to tickle your ribs.
In spite of the deception embedded in his acts, you end up cheering for him, solely because it is a beautiful love story at the end of the day. It's lust at first sight, in their own words, but they fall in love afterward, or more aptly, fall in love with the idea of love
You would find it difficult to pigeonhole this anomalous feature. A comedy? A heart-warming love story? Or a social satire? You be the judge. It's a cocktail, an indigestible one at that.
4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
"We accept the love we think we deserve." This line can be seen plastered around Facebook walls and Instagram posts quite frequently. But this line is what perhaps perfectly captures the essence of the film, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Written and directed by Stephen Chbosky, who has also authored the book on which the film is based, it is an emotional portrayal of a teenage boy coming of age and struggling with many issues simultaneously. Charlie, played by Logan Lerman, is a freshman in a high school. Suffering from PTSD, this troubled teenager finds it difficult to make friends.
Later, he meets two outgoing seniors named Sam and Patrick, played by Emma Watson and Ezra Miller respectively. With them, Charlie goes on unraveling himself, albeit slowly. He also has a pen pal to pour his heart out. Things, however, start getting out of hand when his seniors make plans for college. Will Charlie go back to his old ways of irrelevance, depression, and anxiety?
The movie is laced with issues like mental health, sexual abuse, violence, homosexuality, rape, and abortion, but does not exclusively focus on any singular issue. Yet, this flick has an uncanny ability to trigger genuine emotions.
It hits at both reality and idealism by showing the characters' struggles and their conquest over it. There is a strong possibility that you would identify with at least one character in the movie. Those looking for a heartening movie like Love, Simon will not be disappointed here.
5. But I'm A Cheerleader
If there is one film in this list that was truly ahead of its time, it has to be this one. But I’m a Cheerleader is often held as a cult classic among its followers. It is a satirical comedy that makes you laugh, but at the same time, makes you ponder over our prevailing social mores.
A social parody, the film follows the attempts of ‘converting’ the lead character, Megan Bloomfield, played brilliantly by Natasha Lyonne. She is sent to so-called conversion camp, sheepishly titled True Directions, which promises to put the participants of the camp on ‘straight’ path.
It is a comedy of sexual disorientation, expositing the fact that it's ridiculous to treat orientation as a matter of illness or some sort of deviant behavior. But from the ridicule comes the sad parts as well and you would have difficulty deciding if it is sad or funny. The film may often rely on stereotypes but is brimming with witty one-liners and clever innuendos. The colorful imagery and set design is an homage to the cult director of transgression cinema, John Waters.
I am aware that people have been singing paeans over Natasha Lyonne’s effervescent performance in Netflix’s Russian Doll. The film reminds us that she used to deliver such spirited performances even two decades back.
Premiering at SXSW festival in the US in 2011, this British romantic drama garnered a lot of acclaims. The film is directed by Adam Haigh, who gained fame after his HBO drama series, Looking.
Weekend is an intimate portrayal of two men who meet for a one-night stand, which turns out to be an experience they both didn’t expect. The main character is Russell, played by Tom Collins, a man who grew up as an orphan. He has trouble mingling and does not go out much. Things, however, change when he meets Glen, played by Chris New, an aspiring artist who is frank, outgoing, and at times, quirky.
The two seem to be fond of each other until Glen drops a bomb that he would be leaving the country in the next 48 hours. And from then onwards, the movie follows the weekend they decide to spend together.
The film proves that you don’t need a blockbuster budget to make good films. Weekend is shot almost voyeuristically at times, but it gives the feeling of both isolation and intimacy to viewers. Both lead actors perform their role impeccably. It is a modern classic - a gem you can find in The Criterion Collection if you wanna own it.
It is a surprisingly charming film that will linger long in your mind long after you have watched it.
Clueless is an iconic film - a funny, astute satire on high school life. Very few films can rework a classical literary piece in such a modern, funny, and chic way. In fact, it is not well known that this feature is actually a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s, Emma.
The film made in 1995 is about a girl named Cher, played by Alicia Silverstone. As she navigates through high school, she tries to sustain popularity, her friends, and possibly study as well. She is shallow, stupid, and rich but still likable.
The film works on multiple levels. There is as much as subtext in the dialogues as you can see in the frames. Clueless is light on plot but makes up for it in the precision of its observations and sharpness of its one-liners. Its colorfully written and well-executed characters stand fully on their own.
Clueless effortlessly incorporates some of the familiar tropes of teen movies, taking funny, playful jabs at young, wealthy, superficial, and self-absorbed people. Still, it never feels cynical and remains relatable. The film never takes itself seriously and that’s exactly why it carries so much weight.
Despite my best efforts, I fully understand that I might have missed out on a few good movies like Love, Simon. That's where you come in. If you think any movie deserves its own place in this list, voice your opinion in the comments section. I'll be happy to update the list with your suggestions.
jonnycomelately on March 23, 2019:
Rahul, thank you, you have done an excellent job here, giving brief appraisals of those films. I think Weekend would be my favourite to watch. Must try to get it.
My own life, coming from a childhood of feeling different, lonely, ignorant of what was "out there" to be sampled if only I had the courage and encouragement....yet having led a long life with virtually no companionship or relationship....I do feel a lot of envy for today's generations, where gay guys can feel the rough and tumble of attraction.
Wishing you continued success in writing and sharing.