Love, Simon is quickly making its way across celebrity hometowns

By Alexia Fernandez
March 24, 2018 12:27 AM

Love, Simon is quickly making its way across celebrity hometowns.

The coming-of-age love story about a teenage boy who gains the courage to come out as gay has been making fans of stars like Kristen Bell and Neil Patrick Harris.

On Friday, the two actors encouraged moviegoers to see the film, starring Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel, for free this weekend.

Harris, 44, bought out a theater in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

“So my husband David (@dbelicious) and I enjoyed @lovesimonmovie so much, we wanted to pay it forward. Others are doing this, and I’m so on board,” Harris wrote on Instagram. “So we bought out a screening at a theatre in my hometown of Albuquerque, NM for this Sunday afternoon. It’s free, and a great chance to see this wonderful film. Hope you can make it! Swipe left for details.”

Hours earlier, the actor shared the impact that the film had on him and his husband.

“I saw the movie Love, Simon last night and was utterly enchanted, moved to tears, and deeply proud of everyone who helped create it,” he wrote. “How I wish something this brave, powerful, and confident existed when I was struggling with my identity – but how super awesome that a new generation will get to lead by this example.”

Kristen Bell, Neil Patrick Harris
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic; Jason Merritt/Getty

He added, “In being so simple, straightforward, and kind, @gberlanti has created something courageous, empowering and important. I encourage everyone to see this wonderful film. @lovesimonmovie.”

Bell, 37, also bought out a theater in Minneapolis, writing on Instagram, “Love, Simon is a KNOCKOUT. There are so many important stories that don’t get made. I am so grateful this one did. I had absolutely nothing to do with the making of this movie—I just have a huge crush on it and I’d like to share the love. Minneapolis, please enjoy a screening of Love, Simon this Sunday on me. 🙂 Enjoy!”

The film’s director, Greg Berlanti, along with YouTube star Joey Graceffa also bought out movie theaters in their hometowns to encourage audiences to see the film.

On Thursday, actor Matt Bomer revealed he and his husband, Simon Halls, bought out the movie theater for locals of his Texas hometown to watch the film. “This is an important movie, and a really good one. I know you’ll love it so come watch for free this Sunday!” said Bomer, 40, who offered free movie tickets to anyone who was available to see it.

Garner and Duhamel play parents to high school student Simon, played by Nick Robinson, who struggles to tell his loved ones he’s gay. The film is based on Becky Albertalli’s book Simon vs. the Homo sapiens Agenda.

The actors recently sat down with PEOPLE to talk about the emotional weight of the film and the impact it’ll leave on moviegoers.

“I hope that it’s inclusive, first and foremost,” Robinson, 22, said. “That people feel respected, represented as much as they can and that it is a fun way to spend a couple of hours.”

“We want to be entertaining. We want anyone who sees it to have a good time, and they should,” Garner, 45, said. “I think it’s a really fun comedy that anyone should connect to.”

“So many times these movies are heavy-handed in some way or preachy, I never felt that from this,” said Duhamel, 45. “I think that that’s really why it works. I think that if there’s a message, it’s that it’s not that big of a deal if you’re lesbian, gay, straight, trans, whatever, you’re still a human being. We don’t have to make a huge deal of it. What I love about this movie is it’s not heavy-handed, it’s light and at the end of the day we’re just human beings, trying to exist.”