Historically, coming-of-age romantic comedy stories depicted on screen have been centered around heterosexual couples; the 2018 film Love, Simon challenged conventions by depicting a gay protagonist while building on the traditions of the genre. This paper aims to examine the effect of this film on fan behavior and critical perception of the genre. Examining the impact of Love, Simon reveals how an unconventional narrative both expanded how viewers and critics understood the genre while also inspiring new forms of fan engagement with the film. The author concludes that this groundbreaking narrative, by providing a previously unavailable opportunity for a wider fan base to relate and connect to its central character, correspondingly prompted acts of engagement that were uniquely specific to Love, Simon’s story and powerful enough to carve their own place within the larger Simon metaverse.



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