CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
I haven’t had time to write any full movie reviews this year, (but I did write some mini ones, which you can read here: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/movie-reviews-mini-movie-reviews-for-2018,) but I could not let this one go by without weighing-in because it’s the Emperor’s New Clothes of films!!! (At the very least, it’s this year’s La La Land–totally overrated!)
Call Me By Your Name is best reviewed in one of my YouTube videos ala my old TV show rants. If I was still doing Karen’s Restaurant Revue, I would have railed against this one the second I saw it. I went to an industry screening of it about a month ago, and I’m still upset!!! (You can, and should, watch my video rant about it here, because it’s so much more thorough than this written review: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJokbIkBphU. Sorry my voice is a bit raspy in it; we shot it after a long day of events.)
Besides that it’s the stupidest, slowest, most boring movie ever, it celebrates pedophilia!!! OMG! And we’re supposed to root for them?! As Johnny Carson once said to me on The Tonight Show, give me a break!!!
But I must make something clear here first: My dislike of the film has nothing to do with that it’s a gay story, of course. You know that I feel to each his own, when a sexual relationship is between consenting adults. My disdain is about so many other aspects of the film.
First, and most importantly, the young kid is only seventeen, which makes the older dude legally a pedophile. (Hey—I don’t make the rules.) In the book the movie is based on, the older guy is supposed to be just twenty-four, which makes them sort-of contemporaries, and therefore, the two guys having sex may not seem as illegal and creepy, although it still is, to a lesser degree. So why in the world did they cast Armie Hammer??? I think he was thirty-one at the time of the filming, but he looks way older than that! It looks like a grown man with a little boy, which is what I thought they were trying to show us.
But actually, I have no idea what they were trying to show us! Brokeback Mountain, perhaps the most famous gay movie of all time, showed us the growing attraction between the two men, and had a purpose, and a real story. We could see each man’s pain and joy, and felt for them. But this one was just blank. I could not see for even one frame what attracted them to each other.
I had no idea what Armie was portraying for the duration of the very lengthy film. He was absolutely vacant the entire time; nothing was going on there. And, as excellent at Timothee Chalamet was in the last shot, during the credits, he didn’t show me much before that scene, either. (A pal was surprised that I didn’t like the film, and asked me, “Not even the last shot?” When the last shot is the only one a viewer cares about, that’s a pretty sad review.)
As for the technical issues, it was so slow that my friend and I had trouble staying awake. Some of the scenery is beautiful, but that’s about it. It’s way too long. About two hours too long, in my book.
And, by the way, a gay guy friend of mine told me he isn’t a fan of it either, and pointed-out that Armie Hammer was mis-cast, and that there was nothing in the visuals to show us that this was 1983. I totally agree with him, on both counts.
Another thing that really bothered me is that the kid’s parents not only allowed their teen-age son to have sex with an older man in their house, they encouraged this relationship! My parents would have killed me if they even had an inkling that I was having sex as a teen, (which I’m not saying that I did,) especially with an older guy, and especially if it was in their house!!! Mr. X and I never even shared a room when we visited them! It’s a matter of respect. But what parent in his or her right mind would let their teen-ager have sex in their house, under any circumstances??? I have a feeling they could be arrested, too, for allowing that to go on.
And why are they Jewish, and make a point of it? Their religions have absolutely nothing to do with story. Even if that aspect was in the novel, perhaps it was followed-up better there. The director has admitted that he left-out some of the novel, including that it’s written as a flashback, with them grown-up now, so why did u have to put in a sentence or two about their religion. I don’t get it.
Let’s finish-up my disdain for Call Me By Your Name with discussing that inane title. It refers to the older man asking the young boy to call him by the kid’s own name either during or after sex. What would even be the purpose of that little exercise?! Having someone call you by his name is not sexy at all—it just means that you forgot his name, and this is the way to find it out!!!
How this film has won several awards already, and is up for more, is beyond my ken. It might have to do with this country’s insane administration’s stance against gays, so, of course, Hollywood is trying to right that wrong. But who will right the wrong of this movie being nominated for, and winning, everything in sight? I guess that’s why it’s falling to moi.