Love, Simon

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Not recommended under 13; PG to 15 (Sexual references, adult themes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Love, Simon
  • a review of Love, Simon completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 April 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended
Children 13 - 15 Parental Guidance recommended
Children 15+ OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Love, Simon
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Coarse language
Length: 110 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Simon (Nick Robinson) is a teenage boy who seems to have it all. He has loving and liberal parents, Mum, Emily (Jennifer Garner) and Dad, Jack, (Josh Duhamel) a not so macho man, and a younger sister Nora (Talitha Bateman) whom he adores and a group of really good friends. Simon drives his new car (a birthday present) to school each morning and collects his friends Leah (Katherine Langford) and Nick, (Jorge Lendeborg Jr.) whom he’s known since primary school, and Abby (Alexandra Shipp) who is new to the school. But Simon has a big secret, one he’s too afraid to tell anyone about, which is that he’s gay.

He finds a soul mate in an online blog and they anonymously communicate with each other over the course of a few weeks. Simon is falling in love with this person but doesn’t know who he is. He imagines it might be one of several people he meets along the way. Then one of his ‘friends’, Martin (Logan Miller), who has been blackmailing him by threatening to ‘out’ him in public unless he gets him together with Abby, does the unthinkable and publishes all of Simon’s emails. Simon goes into a tailspin but discovers who his real friends are and what they value most about him.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Teenage relationships; Sexual orientation

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

  • There is very little violence in this movie but Simon does get angry with Martin and swears at him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • Nothing particularly scary

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • Nothing particularly scary

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Children in this age group could be disturbed by the contents of this movie particularly the nastiness that some people display. An example being two guys simulating male sex on a dining table in the school cafeteria to humiliate Simon.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Children in this age group could also be disturbed by the above mentioned aspects.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Oreo biscuits
  • Dove men’s products

Sexual references

There are a lot of sexual references in this movie, some examples include:

  • Simon’s Dad bursts into his room and Simon is obviously embarrassed. Jack says ‘I didn’t realise you were masturbating’ (he wasn’t).
  • Mr Worth, the school principal, tells Simon it’s normal for people to go out and have sex.
  • Mr Worth also talks about a woman he’s going to see that night. The next day he tells Simon she was ‘so not into it’.
  • During a rehearsal of a play, the teacher says that two of the students were practically ‘dry humping’ the whole time. She also tells a student to stop treating the trumpet as his penis.
  • Abby dresses as Wonder Woman at a fancy dress party in tight hot pants and a revealing top. Nick thinks she’s the ‘hottest’ woman he knows.
  • When Martin publishes Simon’s emails online he says that anyone wanting ‘butt sex’ can apply.
  • Comments such as:
    • ‘It must be hot in your vagina’
    • ‘It looks like you’ve been gang-banged by T K Max’
    • ‘Didn’t your mother tell you not to grab your micropenis in public’

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity but some sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Simon kisses another boy both in his imagination and in reality.
  • Simon’s parents kiss on several occasions.
  • Simon walks in on Bram (Kelynan Lonsdale) kissing a girl in his bedroom.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • There’s a lot of drinking of alcohol at a party. Simon plays a drinking game with Bram and both get quite drunk. Martin drinks a lot and vomits all over Simon.
  • There is a brief mention of someone smoking pot.

Coarse language

There is quite a bit of coarse language in this movie, including:

Frequent use of the following words:

  • God
  • Oh my God
  • Goddamn
  • Ass
  • Assholes
  • Crap
  • Shit
  • Hell

Infrequent use of:

  • Fuck
  • Chicken shit
  • God help me Jesus

In a nutshell

Love, Simon is a poignant, coming of age teenage movie with a difference. It explores the difficulties gay young people have with talking about their sexual orientation to their friends and families. It is bold and heartfelt, engendering empathy with the characters. While not suitable for younger viewers, it will appeal to older teens.

The main messages from this movie are to be honest with yourself and those you love and to have the courage to be the person you want to be.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Empathy
  • Tolerance

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • How one person’s thoughtless actions can destroy someone else’s life particularly in this technological age when people publish and say the most awful things about others online.
  • Thinking about what you are putting online and firstly thinking about whether you would actually say this to someone face to face.
  • Understanding about the consequences of publishing anything online and the impact this has on others.