Plot: Oliver (Armie Hammer) has arrived in Italy for a six week internship, with plans to stay with the family of his professor and put in work toward his doctorate. The son of the professor, Elio (Timothee Chalamet) has to give up his room to the visitor, but he is used to it, since a new intern arrives each summer. Elio is close with his family and flirts around with a female friend, but spends much of his time either reading books or writing music. At first the two had some tension between them, as Elio seemed to be taken back by how brash and informal Oliver was, but soon he starts to see his quirks as endearing and strikes up a friendship. As the two spend time together and bond, desire begins to enter the relationship, even as both men find themselves with female suitors at the same time. Oliver seems hesitant to explore his connection with Elio, while Elio is sometimes overwhelmed with passion and desire. As the six weeks wind down, what will become of this summer romance?
Entertainment Value: A much acclaimed romantic drama, Call Me by Your Name is a sweet, often awkward take on a summer romance, driven by two fantastic performances in the leads. I think the movie does a remarkable job of crafting an attraction that feels natural and organic, not just two people thrown together and forced to fall in love. The connection here feels so real and in the moment, especially the early stages, which have an authentic feel of confusion and reluctance. The tension turns to desire and passion, which is fueled by the chemistry between Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet. The sexual tension is palpable between these two here, so it is never an issue to believe their bond as genuine. The performances are excellent, especially Chalamet as the giddy, overcome with passion teen. While the relationship between the leads is the core of the movie, the film deals in more than romance, showing us the importance of family to Elio and even putting some effective bursts of humor. The pace is a little slow at times and I do think the final act runs thin, but overall this is a well crafted, masterfully performed look at the joys and heartaches of romance.
The movie takes a sweeter, almost innocent approach to romance and sex, so there’s no graphic content here. A brief scene of a topless female happens, then some bare man ass in a couple other instances. This is more about desire than carnal satisfaction, so it makes sense that the sexual content would be handled like this. No blood. This one has no violence, so that makes sense. The dialogue is well written and performed with skill, but the tone is mostly serious and never feels off the rails. So while the score is low, that just means the dialogue isn’t wild or quotable. But some of more awkward moments do add up a point of wackiness. As I said, the movie is mostly serious and grounded, but some odd elements do come in at times. I found the dad to be a really creepy guy, while there’s also some really cringe level dance moves and of course, a guy fucks a peach and another guy eats the semen from inside of the peach. So yeah, some zany moments are here.
Overall Insanity: 3/10