Call Me By Your Name is a 2017 coming of age romantic drama film directed by Luca Guadagnino, based on Andre Aciman’s 2007 novel of the same name. It stars Armie Hammer, Timothee Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Cassar and Esther Garrel. The film is set in northern Italy in 1983 and tells about a romantic relationship between 17 year old Elio Perlman (Chalamet) and Oliver (Hammer), 24 year old graduate student and assistant to Elio’s father.
The year is 1983 and it is summer. 17 year old Elio Perlman is a Jewish American living with his parents in Northern Italy. Elio’s father is a professor of archeology. He invites 24 year old graduate student, Oliver, who is also Jewish American to live with them over the summer and help with his educational work. Elio, an introverted avid reader and talented musician, at first thinks he has very little in common with Oliver, who has an easygoing personality. Elio becomes angry after having to give up his bedroom to Oliver and spends much of the summer playing the piano, reading and hanging out with his girlfriend Marzia. Elio grows annoyed when Oliver expresses being attracted to one of the local girls.
Elio begins a sexual relationship with Marzia and brags about it in front of Oliver to get a reaction from him, but finds himself progressively attracted to him. During a trip to the post office, Elio confesses his feelings to Oliver, who tells him he shouldn’t act in them. Later that day, they kiss, but Oliver is reluctant to go any further, so they grow distant.
After Elio leaves Oliver a note, stating he missed him, Oliver leaves one, telling him to meet him at midnight. Elio spends the day with Marzia, even having sex with her, that he eventually claims he didn’t enjoy, then he meets Oliver at midnight where the two kiss and have sex for the first time, while still keeping their relationship a secret. Now completely infatuated with Oliver, Elio begins avoiding Marzia, who eventually learns what has been going on.
You may call this film erotic, and it is, but it is also romantic, extremely sweet at times and sad at other times. Oliver may be gay, but Elio clearly isn’t, because he enjoys being girls too. Though the two eventually fall in love, they realize that their relationship is becoming strained because they have been trying to keep it a secret. Elio’s father finds out about them and rather than scold him, he gives him praise and encouragement and words of love. It is unsure whether his mother finds out or not.
In a way I feel Elio and Oliver were truly in love and in a way I feel as if Oliver was just leading Elio on. Elio was truly crazy about him and Oliver says and shows that he feels the same way, but it is hard to tell after the two part ways and Oliver returns to the U.S.
Both Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer are equally fantastic in this film. No other actors could have pulled off these roles, especially in the sexual scenes. Michael Stuhlbarg is great as Mr. Perlman. The scenery, the music and the romance is absolutely stunning. You the best of the early eighties and Northern Italy. If you don’t believe that love is love, then this film isn’t for you, but if you do, then you will thoroughly enjoy it. Everything about this movie is outstanding. I enjoyed it from beginning to end. Not one moment is wasted. Wonderful, just wonderful. I can’t wait for the second book to come out this October and the sequel film coming next year sometime. Lovely, sweet, yet sad film, a true masterpiece that will stand the test of time. Love really is love no matter what. 18+ 5/5