Love stories are told through film all the time in many different ways. Some are for fun, others are to bring a tear to your eyes, and Call Me By Your Name is one of those rare love stories that are just so real that no matter who you are, you know all too well the feeling of the first time you fall in love. Based on a novel by André Aciman, Writer James Ivory and Director Luca Guadagnino bring you an innocent love story told between two men Oliver and Elio played by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet respectively.
The story takes place in Italy, and let me just say that this movie makes you want to visit Italy just for the scenery alone. In 1983, Oliver comes to Italy for the summer as an assistant to Elio’s father. While there, Oliver stays with Elio’s family and that is where their bond grows awakening Elio’s sexuality as they bond over the beautiful Italy as well as their similarities in their Jewish faith. This is a beautiful story. Especially told in the 80’s you are given a bit of nostalgia with the music and the clothes worn throughout the film.
When I say that every character is likeable, that is an understatement. No matter how big or small anyone’s role is, there are no characters that will annoy you or frustrate you in the film. Everyone has their own quirks and traits that brings the story alive. Especially Elio’s lovable laid-back father played by Michael Stuhlbarg (The Shape of Water). Every gay man would want him as a father. You will see why when you watch the film.
The chemistry of Hammer and Chalamet is so real and organic, it’s almost too good to be true on how their relationship grows over time. The development of their relationship comes out of nowhere and sneaks up on them but once it’s aware they both have feelings for each other, it’s like they have known each other their whole lives. While navigating their feelings they are also left with the burden of having to hide it behind everyone’s back and keeping up appearances of still be interested in women including a few crushes both men are given in the movie.
That is one of the things I enjoyed with this film is that there is not one person really holding them back from being together. The pressures of societal ways of course slow down the process but there wasn’t a single villain or antagonist in the film.
Keeping this review short because this movie is best watched with little known as possible. Just know that you will be entertained with the almost perfect fantasy romance shown on screen. The fact that they are both men don’t take away the visual and emotional feelings of a first love. So, if you are into romantic movies then this movie will give you what you need to fill that void just as The Notebook did in 2004. Most of the romantic movie tropes are removed from this film keeping it very authentic and true to the stages of falling in love. As a gay man myself I may seem a little bias but just watch the trailer, listen to the buzz flying around, and note that this movie does have 3 Golden Globe nominations you are in for a delightful treat and wrapped with such an honest and raw conversation between a father and son I have seen in a long time. That scene alone is enough for you to appreciate the work that was put into this great film. Mixed with both English language and subtitles over Italian and French language gives a good example of different cultures mixing together. You will have to do a bit of reading while listening as well. I believe that if you end up loving these characters this movie has a rewatchable vibe to it as a date movie or just a movie that gives you a good feeling.
4 ½ out of 5
As always, thanks for reading my review. I hope this helped in your decision if this is a movie that will entertain you. I would like to hear your thoughts on the film. Who out there has seen it? Do you think it will win some awards? Comment below and I’ll see you at the movies.