Call Me by Your Name
Strong sexual content, adult themes in gay romance.
Based on 33 reviews
Based on 156 reviews
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Call Me by Your Name
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Call Me by Your Name vividly captures a tale of first love. 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 two teens 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, which is handled after. Teens smoke frequently, and both teens and young adults drink, at least once to excess. The age gap between the two central lovers may raise concerns. Language is infrequent but includes "f--k" and "p---y." The realistic coming-of-age story features characters who demonstrate courage and compassion.
A film about first love.
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What's the Story?
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, based on André Aciman's novel of the same name, chronicles a precocious teen's first love -- a romance that takes place during an idyllic 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 so many of us have suffered: crazed, unreasonable first passion. The story 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 star quality. The role is demanding: Elio is a gifted multi-instrumentalist who's highly articulate and possesses 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 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 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 in which Elio's father comforts his son. In celebrating the irreplaceable glory of love in the face of the agony of loss, his father 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 depictions or typical depictions in Hollywood films?
How is sex portrayed here? Is it loving and respectful? How does the age difference between Elio and Oliver impact their relationship? What are 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?
How do the characters demonstrate compassion and courage? Why are these important character strengths?
- In theaters: November 24, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: March 13, 2018
- Cast: Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Timothée Chalamet
- Director: Luca Guadagnino
- Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Book Characters
- Character Strengths: Compassion, Courage
- Run time: 132 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, nudity and some language
- Award: Academy Award
- Last updated: February 18, 2023
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