Though Cosford Cinema wasn’t fully packed Thursday night, the theater’s first screening of top-grossing Fox film Love, Simon elicited plenty of responses from students in the audience.
The LGBTQ+ coming-of-age story centers around Simon, a very average teen with a very average family living a very average life. There’s just one thing no one knows: He’s gay. When his secret is threatened, Simon, played by Australian actor Keiynan Lonsdale, must deal with his own feelings as well as those of his classmates, friends, and family, all while keeping up an anonymous online relationship.
A corny yet inclusive take on a typical teen love story, the film came to Cosford six months after its release in March—but the audience at UM’s screening was still enthralled. During serious moments, the theater was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. During shocking scenes, gasps cluttered the air. Romantic scenes prompted “oohs” and “awws” from the audience, and when the main character Simon finally found the boy he loves, a round of applause spread across the room.
For sophomore Zoe Prescod, the movie hit close to home. “I cried because it was relatable,” she said. “I haven’t come out to my father because I’m terrified to do that, but the scene where he came out makes me think it might not be that bad. I’m glad the school showed it because it shows they’re supportive. Other schools, more conservative ones, may have been very against it, but ours wasn’t, and they did it for free so everyone would be welcome.”
Hurricane Productions and the Cinematic Arts Commission have partnered up to offer twice-weekly screenings of new releases and classic movies for all UM students. Admission is free with a Cane card.
With the success of movies like Moonlight, Call Me By Your Name, and now Love, Simon, senior Allison Kadampelil said it’s easy to forget that the LGBTQ+ community is still often erased or used as tokens in the entertainment industry.
“I think ‘Love, Simon’ is the cute, queer movie we needed. It shed some light on coming out to people who typically don’t have to [come out],” Kadampelil said.
Others, like senior Tamara Popovska, kept their opinions very simple. “It’s a damn good movie,” she said.
IF YOU GO:
- What: HP and CAC movie screenings
- When: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9 p.m.
- Where: Bill Cosford Cinema, 5030 Brunson Dr, Coral Gables, FL 33146
- Cost: Free to all UM students with Cane card
- Contact: Visit cosfordcinema.com or the Cinematic Arts Commission Facebook page for movie listings.