Call Me by Your Name

Movie review by
Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media
Call Me by Your Name Movie Poster Image
Strong sexual content, adult themes in gay romance.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 132 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 30 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Underneath everything, the film ends up celebrating love, excruciating agony and all.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There aren't any villains here; they're humanly flawed, but almost everyone is intelligent and accepting of one another's quirks. Even the main character's immature thoughtlessness is OK (story-wise), since it's in the context of a young person learning who he is. 

Violence
Sex

Several scenes of lovemaking, one between a teen boy and girl and several between a teen boy and a man in his early 20s (oral sex is implied at least once). Although sexual nudity is fleeting (the girl's breasts, the man's bare buttocks), the sex scenes are quite specific and have significant emotional impact. Non-sexual nudity includes characters shown from behind while changing into bathing suits. In another scene, a character ejaculates into a fruit, and the fruit is later handled playfully by someone else. 

Language

Infrequent use of "f--k," plus "p---y."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking at dinner. Two men shown drunk in one scene (one, who's underage, vomits). Frequent smoking by teens.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Call Me by Your Name is a vividly captured tale of first love between two young men. Starring Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, it has strong sexual content. While nudity is brief and fleeting (a woman's breasts, a man's buttocks) and the sex scenes aren't graphically explicit, there are multiple scenes of lovemaking, both between a teen girl and boy and between a teen boy and a man in his 20s. Oral sex is implied, and there's a scene in which a man ejaculates into a fruit, and the fruit is handled after. Teens smoke frequently, and both teens and young adults drink, at least once to excess. Language is infrequent, but includes "f--k" and "p---y."

User Reviews

Adult Written byJCMAST December 30, 2017

Excellent

This movie touched me on a fundamental level. I’m still thinking about it and will probably continue to do so for a while. This is a beautiful film with stella... Continue reading
Adult Written byrhonda l. January 23, 2018

Not For Kids

Regardless of how "artsy" other reviewers describe the film, this movie is not for any child, 21 or under. It depicts and romanticizes an older man... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byljsherms December 10, 2017

a great romantic drama

this movie is about a gay couple that meets in Italy. Eventhough I believe this movie can be watched by kids my age, parents should make sure your teen is matu... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written by1975taylor January 17, 2018

A cinematic masterpiece

This movie is so beautiful...I can’t think of any other way to describe it. In my opinion, just make sure your kid is mature enough to handle the content of thi... Continue reading

What's the story?

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, based on André Aciman's novel of the same name, is the chronicle of a brilliant teen's first love -- a same-sex romance that takes place during an ideal Italian summer. Young Elio (Timothée Chalamet), an American multi-instrumentalist, is with his parents, both academics, on vacation at their summer home. After his professor father's (Michael Stuhlbarg) latest grad student resident, Oliver (Armie Hammer), arrives, Elio soon finds himself struggling with strong, unexpected feelings. 

Is it any good?

This romantic drama is more fully and convincingly realized than most cinematic love stories in recent memory. Call Me by Your Name captures that affliction that all of us should have the chance to suffer: crazed, unreasonable first passion. The story is a bit unusual -- for Hollywood, that is -- in that it happens to be about two men, but that's only a detail in this beautiful film in which every element feels as vivid as the lovers' drive for each other. Director Luca Guadagnino richly captures a sense of place, whether in the bright sunshine of an Italian summer or the dying light in one of the house's rooms in early evening. "Vivid" is the word; it all feels as specific as the sharpest recollections of first love: the taste of the fruit that season, the Psychedelic Furs music they dance to at the club, the flashes of weird, inexplicable behavior. That the characters' passion is presumably forbidden (Elio is an older teen, while Oliver is an impossibly perfect grad student in his early 20s) only makes it more potent for those under its spell.

As Elio, Chalamet exudes real star quality. The role is demanding -- Elio is a gifted multi-instrumentalist who's highly intelligent and articulate and possessed of a kind of unsure charm. That's a lot, and Chalamet delivers it all while losing himself in an unexpected emotional rollercoaster. Hammer, meanwhile, is ideally cast as an all-American golden boy who's all confidence and ease. His Oliver is good at everything, but when he finally tips his hand romantically, he has endearing moments of vulnerability. And everyone should be so lucky as to have parents as interesting and understanding as those played by Almira Casar and Stuhlbarg. The dialogue, while highly intelligent, stays emotionally understated until the relationship blossoms, containing itself in all-subtext scenes like a wonderfully choreographed confession staged around a statue in a public square. There does seem to be a moral to this story, expressed in a simple, lovely scene of comforting. In celebrating the irreplaceable glory of love in the face of the agony of loss, one character says, "To make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything ... what a waste."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Call Me by Your Name depicts gay characters. How does it compare to other/typical depictions in Hollywood films?

  • How is sex portrayed here? Is it loving and respectful? What does it mean for the characters involved? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • What do you think of Elio's treatment of Marzia? Is it understandable, or does it make you like him less?

  • If you've read the novel the movie was based on, how do the two compare? Which do you like better, and why?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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