Show of hands, I won't see them, but let's get everyone involved here. How many of you have seen the film Call Me By Your Name? Everyone, yes, no. Well, see it after this. Forewarning, there's going to be spoilers but in the most basic sense of their being spoilers... So keep on going, see it, read the book, etc. It's a romance film, so obviously you know there's going to be some romantic things happening and people are going to fall in love... So, now that I just told you the premise, let's get into the film!
When I was a little kid I used to spend my summers watching Days of Our Lives and for the years that it aired, Passions with my grandmother. Riveting childhood, I know… But, believe me when I say I know something about romance on tv. I’m used to the sappy moments and chair gripping cliffhangers that keep you wanting more between two characters and you might wait weeks to see them graze hands. So when it comes to a “good” romance storyline, I’m willing to wait to see the relationship build. That’s why I’m often skeptical of the believability behind romance forming in films because it’s packed into two hours and though most soap operas exaggerate every possible scene in question, the time frame and the build is a little more “real” for me. I thought that was the case until I saw Call Me By Your Name. Call Me By Your Name is probably one of the best romantic films I have ever seen. And no, I am not just saying that because the two lovers happen to be men. But, honestly, it helps. Do you know how sick I am of seeing straight men and women fall in love with each on tv? VERY. Over-saturated market people.
When it comes down to it, this film was so impactful for me and so many others because there are not many films like it of its kind. Call Me By Your Name isn't your ordinary gay campy film, it's real. It's beautifully shot, it's essentially the aesthetic of my Tumblr in movie form and it's SO RELATABLE.
Here's How I Relate:
This one is a tad self-explanatory. But, being gay and seeing gay representation in film and media is so important… Especially in a film where it's a gay love story but they never make that a point. There's not a huge coming out sequence, it's just the story of two guys who fall in love and even Elio's parents are cool with it no matter what the relationship forms into because they're happy he's happy and in love with a great guy and it's so apparent and that's a beautiful thing to see! Growing up, I always sought out the gay characters in film and tv because I was looking for someone to relate to. But, most gay characters that I saw led the most traumatic lives, and had the most difficult coming out stories and sure, coming out isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but putting so much pressure on it and seeing characters in the media struggling so much creates a void and ruins the chance of being thing when gay people around the world are jumping through hoops and facing obstacles to just as simply announce the gender that they are attracted to. Not seeing those obstacles in this film was just a nice feeling.
2. AGE DIFFERENCE.
I never like guys my own age, and when I do… something about it is strange to me…
In the film there’s a slight age difference between Elio and Oliver, Elio’s 17 and Oliver is 24. Not huge, but those are significant years. You’re looking at a high school senior that’s ready to enter the world as an adult, and a grad student that has been around the block a few times. Granted, the film is set in Italy, and Europeans age faster, sorry but it’s true. I don’t mean in the looks department, but when it comes to maturity… Europeans beat Americans by a landslide, and of course, Oliver was the American. Mentally, they were on an equal playing field… That is of course until the budding relationship started kicking in. The dynamic here is something I related to. I tend to go for older guys but I don’t like being treated like I am younger than someone. I like the opportunity to learn and grow with someone with advice to offer… But the moment I’m treated like a child it’s game over, and that is something I saw in Elio’s character. Oliver didn’t look at him as a child, it was addressed that there was an age difference and visually, it was apparent. Elio was played by a 21-year-old but, looked the part of 17, and Oliver was supposed to be 24 but was played by a 31-year-old. Their physicality gave an extra layer of tension in the scenes of them together because although, emotionally and psychologically they are in the same mind space… there are other factors going on and problems to arise from the experience one has and the other lacks and that's inevitable.
According to the Irish Times, the age gap is being seen an issue especially with the Oscars coming up. Personally, I didn't see anything wrong with the age difference. Maybe my lack of shock goes back to my experience dating older but when it comes down to it, Oliver despite being older had approval from Elio's parents and was a good match for him because they connected so well intelligently. They both had a lot to offer the other person and not once did Oliver use his age as a way to gain pain over his younger love interest.
3. LONG DISTANCE.
I have a bad tendency of dating guys that are visiting Chicago for extended periods of time, and I usually know the date they’re leaving from the beginning and our relationship becomes one big countdown to their departure. It’s great… very healthy and not depressing at all.
That type of doomed summer love was something that our two lovebirds in Call Me By Your Name experienced. I felt each moment they shared at such a higher magnitude because there was a timeline and those moments were cherished even more so because in many instances it was the first and last time it would happen.
If you haven’t seen Call Me By Your Name, I recommend. It’s the story of real love between two people who want to make the other person better and their time was cut short. Not everyone meets their soulmate in this life, so imagine what it’s like when your soulmate is everything opposite of what you thought they’d be and then they have to leave and you may never see each other again… makes for quite the romance when your time with each other is dwindling away.