Call Me by Your Name (2017)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Call Me by Your Name</strong> (2017)

(On Cable TV, July 2018) I’m not that fond of the whole summer-of-personal-growth subgenre, and so there are definite limits to how much I can like Call Me by Your Name. This being said, much of the film’s first half is remarkably successful at making us enjoy a summer European holiday in picturesque settings, with bright people enjoying each other’s company. It’s a really interesting atmosphere, and it does much to compensate for the film’s slow pace—in fact, the pacing is part of the film’s charm. Then the plot takes over and the film becomes substantially less interesting, although director Luca Guadagnino does have a good eye in executing a rather good script from veteran screenwriter James Ivory. Pacing and subject matter means that Call Me by Your Name is almost by design an actor’s showcase, with Timothy Chalamet establishing himself in a single film as a young actor to watch. I’m not that comfortable with the romance, although my discomfort has more to do with the maturity difference between the leads. Still, the film wraps up with a decently wistful last five minutes (featuring what may be the most open-minded father in the history of cinema). Call Me by Your Name is clearly designed for another kind of audience, but I liked it more than I thought, and actually quite enjoyed moments of it, even if more as a travelogue than a romance.

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