Karamo Brown is not so peachy-keen, if you will, about Call Me By Your Name. In fact, the Queer Eye star thinks the 2017 film is “problematic as f*ck,” as he reveals in a new interview.
Related: Timothée Chalamet opens up about THAT sex scene with a peach
“I’ve worked with many survivors of sexual assault, especially in the LGBTQ community, which oftentimes goes unreported,” Brown tells Insider. “And so the minute I saw that movie, I thought, ‘Here we are glorifying this sort of relationship.’”
For starters, this psychotherapist takes issue with the age gap between the two main characters, which may have been exaggerated by the casting.
“I know we’re calling [Oliver] a college student, but it looks like a grown man having sex with a little boy,” he added. “And for me, I just was not OK with that. And I was like, ‘Why are we pretending like this is OK in any sense, fashion, or form?’”
(For the record, actors Timothée Chamalet and Armie Hammer were 20 and 29 when principal photography began in May 2016.)
Brown does acknowledge that Oliver is only 24 in the movie and in the 2007 André Aciman novel on which it is based. “And so the relationship between him and this 17-year-old boy, I guess it ‘makes more sense,’ and I’m doing air quotations there,” he says. “But there is predatory behavior there that I see, especially in the movie, where Armie Hammer looks dramatically older than this young man.”
He continues: “If that was an older man or a perceived college student who looked that much older with a 16 or 17-year-old girl, we would have all had a hissy fit. We would have recognized that this is a problem. But for some reason, because it was two men, we’re just like, ‘Oh, well, this is just exploration.’”
Related: The explicit sex scenes that were almost in ‘Call Me By Your Name’
But Brown also takes issue with the movie focuses on two white, gay, male characters played by straight actors.
“I’m tired of this continued narrative of pretty white boys as the only representation of the LGBT community,” he explains. “Every movie is like, ‘Look! I’m a pretty white boy and my life is hard but maybe it’ll get better!’”
He would have preferred to see the film revolve around a young lesbian romance or one involving a young trans man. At the very least, he points out, the filmmakers could have cast gay actors: “There are so many talented — and popular — gay celebrities. Why not pop one of them in there?”
The 38-year-old is citing a major representation problem in Hollywood: Straight actors often play gay characters, and cisgender actors are often cast in trans roles, but the converse of either hardly ever happens.
But if you see Brown on the street, maybe don’t mention Call Me By Your Name 2.
Hey caramel no one gives a f what u think except desperate online blogs that need content to stir the pot.
Girl, you cared enough to comment, so you just defeated the purpose of your attempted read of Karamo Brown.
And no not all of us would have a hissy fit some of us can handle life. Jeesh I really can’t stand self righteous ,sanctimonious, hypocrites!
What’s hypocritical about his opinion? Genuinely curious.
He attended the film knowing full well the subject matter and stayed till the end.
I’m usually on point with this but this movie was none of that. Actually it was the younger one that was the aggressor and hardly a child.
If you wanted a black trans or whatever to play the roles why did you even go see it? Not to mention fitting a trans man into the story would be ridiculous and totally out of touch with the book.
ChrisK. Truth is, you’re usually on point with nothing. Nothing, nada, zippo, nyet, nein, nix, nah, no way, no way Jose, no siree, not on your life, not for all the tea in China, not in a million years, not ever. When pigs fly maybe you’ll be on point and I’m looking out my window right now. Nope, not yet. Hahaahhahha. (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
o.codone You couldn’t resist but you should, because he is totally right
Funny, I was 14 and my first gay love was 27, I chose him not the other way around. I knew then what I was doing. Armie Hammer reminds me of him and that’s why I love CMBYN. I was scared and worried about him and called it off yet I knew many girls dating older guys and no one frowned on them.
Your first “lover” was sick in the head. I find anybody like him who would touch a boy of only 14 I would kick their nambla loving ass from one end of the curb to the the other.
It’s one thing to be an adolescent attracted to and fantasizing about someone older as I did when I was in high school with certain teachers/coaches, but as someone now older myself, it is just wrong to take advantage of someone that young who is still physically and emotionally developing. That 27 year old you’re talking about has a predilection for kids. And no, an underage girl with an adult male is also frowned upon among the majority of society.
Dannyboi, do you have no shame at all? At that young age, you already set out to seduce a guy twice your age and more alarmingly till this day you feel no remorse for what you did to him and what he did to you. If it were not for the fact that you were a minor at the time, I’d really see you and your seducer both locked up in jail and registered a sex offender.
Dannyboi2, see what you just did? You got me to agree with HereIAm, at least partially. I don’t believe a child should be charged, let alone imprisoned, for a relationship with an adult, but the adult sure in the hell should. Whatever your intentions toward that 27 year old, he like every adult should know better, and should have brought up on charges, whether we’re talking about 1920, 1960, 1990, or today.
@HereIAm oh look, it’s Windchime/CastleSF BACK in the game after his accounts have been banned, how many times? Seriously. Like your accounts, everything you say is literally manufactured, predictable, and stupid. You’re an obvious troll account with no life, thinking you have the moral authority. Only the severely mentally ill can come up with half the garbage you do in your troll account. I’m sure you’re still a Virgin or someone who was turned down because they were mentally unstable. Phuck, you really are a lonely pathetic asshat.
Just to point out, there’s no way at the age DannyBoi2 was culpable for what he did at the age of 14, legally. The man who he had sex with is the one who would legally have to register as a sex offender. While I don’t agree with what went down is irrelevant to the fact that at the age of 14 he legally couldn’t be held responsible because he was considered a child. If what happened to him doesn’t affect who he is now as an adult and he shrugs it off, doesn’t make him personally a sex offender. I know you basically want the gay community to die off, and we are SO awful. But it must really suck being someone like you who is obviously so miserable. Nothing is good enough for you, and you hate the very people who surround you. You never have an ounce of compassion or empathy for anyone, so it’s hilarious that someone whom the DSM manual would classify as a sociopath and antisocial, has the gall to judge other people’s life choices. Seriously, when are YOU going to cease to exist?
The age of consent in many other countries is 14 though, it was in Canada until I think a decade or so ago under the Conservative gov’t who raised it. However, if it’s not that way in your country, you should follow the local law
Sure, children are responsible and can respond as an adult if they commit a crime, but a 17-year old is a “little boy”… Oh, the moral hypocrisy.
I agree, Americans sure have a pretty weird justice system, IMO. In California, even a 18-year-old having a relationship with a 17-year-old would be illegal, but that same 17-year-old can still apparently be tried as a adult
How about we just teach people to realize that movies aren’t real life and don’t somehow magically bestow permission to do any thing.
“I’m tired of this continued narrative of pretty white boys as the only representation of the LGBT community,” he explains. “Every movie is like, ‘Look! I’m a pretty white boy and my life is hard but maybe it’ll get better!’”
Ah! Not very honest to use a concern about their ages as a cover for speaking it out, but at least he does get to what’s really bothering him eventually.
Ha. Excellent point.
I disagree. Looks like most of his consternation had to do with the character’s age difference, and the pretty white boy slant was almost like an after thought. So, willing to give him the benefit of the doubt seeing how the subject he covered was overwhelmingly about the age difference.
Karamo Brown apparently hasn’t watched too many Gay themed movies.
Valid points but really not fair attacking this one single film: 1) Yes, the age difference but not only were the actors of age but this was legal in Italy at the time. I’m guessing the gay part would not have been popular at any age of the characters. 2) This does happen in real life. Oliver makes it very clear to Elio he can choose what to do and even tries to stop his own feelings. The tragedy of the film is that everyone knew that this could never really go outside of a summer romance because of the time. 3) The representation of LGBT people of color and the fact that these roles are being played by straight or CIS actors is a problem – but why blame it all on this film? Why not go after Brokeback, In God’s Country or even Bohemian Rhapsody? Or better yet, how about PROMOTING Queer and trans films – like Moonlight or Tangerine instead of jumping on one film. I was a white gay kid and this movie resonated with me. That doesn’t mean it will resonate with everyone or that more respresentation of LGBT stories with actual queer or trans performers isn’t needed.
Hollywood producers are still afraid that a gay guy playing a gay role is going to scare away the straight audiences.
At first, purely visually speaking, a skinny, short, young guy falls in love with a tall, mature man and I did look up their age gap in all honesty, but all of that collapsed to nothing as soon as I saw the film. I watched it a second time just recently, it’s a stunningly beautiful film in every way. Karamo Brown must’ve watched a different film.
I agree, I think it’s mainly the visual. Chalamet just looks very frail and fragile next to the robust Hammer. I remember when Miley Cyrus was 16 and dating some handsome guy about four years older and some online posters were calling him a “pedophile”. When I replied that it’s one thing to see it as not ideal but “pedophile” was way over the top, one said something like, “But he’s so muscular and has a heavy beard!” Like the way he looked decided the issue(!) If he’d been the same age he was but had that Timothee Chalamet malnourished look I know no one would’ve cared.
I suppose that my previous comment was too “mean” for sensitive American ears, so let’s try this again. Mr Brown is full of himself and knows nothing about youthful gay culture. When I was 17, and if I had a young man like Oliver interested in me and wanting to make love to me, then perhaps I would not have grown up with such internalized self-loathing and feeling like an outcast. I wanted to kill myself at that age from sheer loneliness and isolation, and nearly succeeded. Gay teen suicide would plummet inside the United States if those nearly adult gay teens were allowed to find and pursue love or sex or serious personal fulfilment within their social and cultural identity, even if with a slightly older person. By the way, 17 is not ten and there was not the rape of a child here, so if such a rape was suggested, it would be hypocritical, wrongly moralistic and just plain absurd. Mr Brown, shut up!
if you used the edit function it goes in a queue that nobody at their office pays any attention too.
Like the character in the film I was 17 when I pursued my first relationship with a man who was 27. I was the aggressor in the relationship. It lasted a year and he introduced me into the gay world of San Francisco circa 1971. There is zero doubt in my mind that this was a relationship that I very much wanted. It gave me the confidence to be out, go to college and start a life away from home. I don’t know how many years would have passed before I got myself together without Jim.
As for Mr. Brown I find it problematic that he doesn’t understand the difference between consent and molestation. It’s not up to him to decide how a young person views his life. I’m certainly glad he wasn’t around when I was young.
Yes and he doesn’t seem to feel obligated to explain his thought about what he preceives as or implies is “sexual assault ” I saw nothing wrong with the age difference. They were consenting adults, had Armie Hammer’s character been 60 years old it would have been nothing more than a prejudice that Mr. Brown should work to get over.
When someone strikes a nerve, I see the vitriol, double standards and just plain hateful rhetoric pour out of you people. I think Mr. Brown goes a little far in his comparison; but it’s understandable due to the film’s aesthetics. It does appear to glamorize a relationship that IS inappropriate. Sorry, I know it upsets a lot of you that sleeping with teenagers is not a universally acceptable standard; but it’s not.
But let’s unpack the narrative of this article and the statements in the comments. Mr. Brown’s imperfectly expressed opinion is portrayed as silly ramblings lacking any real context. That is of course not true. Inappropriate relationships within the LGBT community can indeed be problematic. And yes, nearly every mainstream LGBT film revolves around “pretty white gays with problems.”
What I find most interesting about this is the nature of the reaction to Mr. Brown’s comments. Such as don’t watch, why did he watch, grow up, move on etc. But just in the past few weeks, I’ve seen this site and others as well as those commenting launch into a wholesale bombardment of anger amid other emotions over Kevin Hart’s homophobic tweets from years ago. I think the obvious racism that exists in the LGBT community would make a much better story than Mr. Brown’s comments or Kevin Hart’s tweets.
To be fair, Queerty does periodically cover racism and transphobia, as well as effemophobia, in the US LGBTQ community. Whenever the site does touch upon the topic, it often sets a certain subset of readers off, a number of whom remain silent when a white US politician or celebrity engages in homophobic/anti-LGBTQ behavior. It’s telling that instead of arguing with the substance of Karamo Brown’s comments, which to be fair, some respondents do, you have people not only calling him out of his name (“caramel”), but trashing him personally, claiming they don’t care when they do, taking the film personally, etc. Look, he didn’t like the film, he had criticism of it, and that’s fine. No one is going to like everything, and that’s OK.
It’s obviously a play on his name has nothing to do with race but I can see where some people who see everything through the racial lens would object , sorry about that dude.
And I have seen the other side. the call of racism when none is there, at least at the wholesale carload level. Sure there are always some, but just disagreeing with the point of view of a person of color isn’t necessarily based in racism, and to call it so quashes obviously needed healthy debate.
Karamo who????? Lol. Desperate attempt for attention, albeit a year too late.
In other news, Call Me By Your Name is GREAT, and spoke to many of us in ways Karamo clearly wasn’t able to access in his feeble yammering.
I am getting so sick of these SJW’s attacking things for what they are not. If there needs to be more films about gay men of colour or trans people then make them but don’t tear down someone else’s work just because you have an agenda. The movie was based on a book and was true to that narrative so why not attack the author for not writing the book with different characters. How absurd.
& here come the Breitbartian acronyms (“SJW’s”)!
I used that TLA once and got a 7 day time out.
The set up of the movie is creepy and that plus the fact that they decided they needed two straight guys(Who then went waaay out of their way to let you know they were straight) to tell the story in the first place made it a skip for me.
“For starters, this psychotherapist takes issue with the age gap between the two main characters”
17 is perfectly legal in most countries including Italy where it was set and a 7 year difference isn’t excessively large.
“If that was an older man or a perceived college student who looked that much older with a 16 or 17-year-old girl, we would have all had a hissy fit.”
Maybe the problem is with how we perceive a 17 year (not 16, the character was no 16) old girl in a relationship?
“But Brown also takes issue with the movie focuses on two white, gay, male characters played by straight actors.”
“He would have preferred to see the film revolve around a young lesbian romance or one involving a young trans man.”
The horror of the movie reflecting the contents of the book!
“At the very least, he points out, the filmmakers could have cast gay actors:”
At least one of the characters is bisexual, should they have casted a bisexual actor?
What you’re saying is actually hypocritical. The movie actually doesn’t entirely reflect the book. In the book it’s made clear that the characters lived entirely hetero lives before meeting each other, and most of the sex scenes in the novel were actually hetero. And their “affair” is presented in an almost experimental type thing sort of way. So, in quite a few ways the movie doesn’t reflect the content of the book at all. Also, I don’t care about identity, but it would be nice to see more actors who actually have public and real relationships not with their opposite cis gender be at least eligible for these high-profile “queer movies”. I’m also not one of those people who think “gay” and “bisexual” have to be completely opposing things.
Thank you, @Donston! Bring the rationality when it’s needed.
It’s completely normal for writers and directors to make some changes when they’re making a movie based on a book. What you can’t do is take a gay coming of age story, set in the 1980’s, and just swap the main characters out for lesbians, let alone make one of them a trans person. That would require an entirely new story, making it pointless to be adapting the book into a movie in the first place.
Sorry but what part of the book implies the Elio lives an heterosexual life after being with Oliver? because i miss that for sure. In fact that doesn’t make sense at all given the conversation he has with his father.
I didn’t like the novel (even if the writing is amazing), i didn’t like the characters, Elio is petulant and annoying and Oliver is just a coward, but they are not straight.
And the complain about them being straight is valid (in fact it’s the only valid point) not because this movie but because all Hollywood movies. Nothing against straight actors playing gay characters (at least if they are comfortable because i’m a little tired of promo interviews where the actor is more worried about promoting his heterosexuality than the movie) but an openly gay actor playing a gay character on a Hollywood film it would be a welcome novelty
What he’s saying really isn’t something that many others (including many white people) haven’t already said over the months. It’s a rather shallow and not even particularly romantic or involving movie where we once again watch two young, pretty, conventionally masculine white boys “discover” themselves and “fall in love”. And no, if you’re young, pretty, white and fit nicely into “gender norms” that’s not meant to be shade. It’s just become extremely redundant at this point considering that that scenario makes up about 80% of movies about same-sex relationships, especially the movies that get mainstream press and recognition. The fact that in the film Timothee could pass for 15 while Armie looks no younger than 30 and that these high profile “queer movies” can’t help but keep hiring actors who make it clear that they’re straight/hetero-leaning are indeed things that are at least borderline problematic. It’s also another movie set in the past instead if dealing with the here and now. All of these things have been noted and criticized by many others. Let’s not act as if he’s saying anything ridiculous or original.
There are reasons why the fan base of this movie tend to be young, “gay culture” obsessed girls with wet vaginas for Timothee and/or Armie, and not gay dudes. Younger gay men in particular I realize are often fairly indifferent towards the film.
There aren’t a lot of ugly leads in movies unless it is plot point.
That might have 5% to do with my post.
Interesting. I talked to quite a few younger gays who were not impressed with the film. They didn’t like the ending where Oliver called and asked Elio if it was ok that he was getting married. They also didn’t like how Elio used Marzia in the film while he was really interested in Oliver, and then just left her high and dry. So that’s actually quite interesting you also find that younger gay men are “meh” toward the film.
He’s a year late to the part, but welcome.
Dirty Dancing anyone? What was the age gap between BABY and Johnny? And where were the pearl clutchers in 1987?
Dirty Dancing has really become the go-to movie wherever people criticize this flick.
Not just Dirty Dancing, but movies such as American Beauty, Diary of a Teenage Girl, Titanic, the Reader, and every student-teacher relationship on TV and Hollywood out there. It’s just that most of them aren’t between 2 guys, but between a younger girl and older man, or younger guy and older woman.
It’s funny, if more gay people had power in Hollywood Kevin Spacey would still be working, his scandal written off as no big deal.
What Kevin Spacey was accused of from multiple people is very different than what was presented in this movie. It’s not comparable. However, Hollywood in general is full of pedos or borderline pedos, predators and people who indulge a ton of manipulation for the sake of image and for the sake of getting what they want. It doesn’t matter where they fit on the romantic/sexual/relationship spectrum. On the other hand, many industry people were already “uncomfortable” or indifferent towards the movie when it was first released. That’s why it didn’t receive quite as much awards recognition as most people thought it would.
He was a jerk on set is the main reason he isn’t working now. Before his box office made up for the issues he created during productions, at least for the front office.
What does Kevin Spacey have to do with this?????????????????????????????
I’d watch a special episode of Queer Eye where the Fab Five discuss gay cinema, how differently each would view this film and other films.
Speaking of legal, the Age of Consent in Estonia is 14. Personally, I’m very uncomfortable with that and I wouldn’t even look at a 14-year-old that way. I’m not even sure about an 18-year-old, cos I’m 33, but I see nothing weird about a relationship or a summer romance between a 20 and a 29-year-old. 17 and 24, I’m not sure, but it has to be legal, obviously.
:facepalm: Karamo. My goodness. He makes points long argued by people not just in the LGBTQ community about heterosexual actors playing gay roles, but it is ACTING!!! I saw the characters, not the actors, and Armie and Timothee sold it. But ok…there is some validity to that argument and I do wish Hollywood would seek out more gay actors who could be cast in such A list movies, and I would like to see more stories involving gays of color; Asians, Latinos, Blacks. That’s why Moonlight resonated so much among LGBTQ gays of color. Representation matters and those faces are going to resonate more among LGBTQ gays of color.
As for his take on the movie, he sounds like the same conservatives that tried to portray this film as glorifying pedophilia. This was a movie that resonated with many, including myself. It was the story that resonated with many, across races, who saw themselves in those characters and remembered struggling with their identify and trying to cope with confusion and heartbreak from your first love.
I cried my eyes out for probably the last 25 minutes of that film, spent the whole weekend needing to recover from the film itself, and couldn’t even listen to Visions of Gideon without crying for a week. That movie resonated with me in multiple ways and so that’s why it made me so emotional.
Now granted, Armie appeared older and Timothee was very “twinky” in that movie. The extremes of the ages were about as much as you could get visually. But the age of consent in Italy is 14. Elio was 17. Oliver I believe was supposed to be a 24 year old graduate student. When I was 17, I had a summer type fling with a 42 year old. I knew what I was doing. I wasn’t taken advantage of. Besides, Elio pursued Oliver. When Oliver said in the movie when he touched Elio’s back to give him a sign he was DTF and Elio pushed away, Oliver said he backed off. But it was Elio who went after Oliver in that first intimate scene; quite aggressively. I don’t know if Karamo has history with someone doing something similar to him, but if he did he’s projecting an entirely different sort of thing onto this film. He’s entitled to his opinion but this is a bad take as far as I’m concerned.
Oh and since we’re on this film, let me just add that I’m in still undecided on how I feel about the sequel. The original was just so beautiful and I don’t know how I feel about a sequel because of the history of sequels not being so great.
What exactly is “straight but queer-leaning”? I’m assuming it was a typo and you meant “straight-acting”. Because to me if your overall passions, who you prefer giving persistent affection to and receiving persistent affection from, and who you prefer being in a relationship with don’t lean towards your opposite cis gender that’s not very straight at all. If you meant cis gender and conventionally masculine guys then I kinda get it. But that would also mean that a lot of homosexual/homo-leaning/trans-leaning/gay people would have to start saying they’re “straight”.
It was refreshing to read the last few responses, especially the ones by @Donston, @Blackceo and @supernaut, to Karamo Brown’s comments about the film. I thought André Aciman’s novel, on which the film was based, was beautifully written, that the film was a bit dull by comparison, and that it was overhyped as one of the better “gay” films of recent years, when in reality, it was just OK. By comparison, Brokeback Mountain, BPM and Moonlight were, on a number of levels, superior films. But I can see why Call Me By Your Name resonated with a lot of people; it presents a fantasy of an unforgettable, magical summer romance, involving two straight but queer-leaning guys, one a 17-year-old teenager and one a few years older but considerably more mature, and taps into feelings that are, despite the novel’s and film’s specifics, nearly universal. One refreshing thing that’s happened in recent years is that a much more diverse array of films and TV shows about or featuring queer/LGBTQ people, many starring LGBTQ actors, are now available, and they probably won’t hyped like or featuring stars as famous as those CMBYN, but some are very good and worth searching out.
I saw the film and I agree with him.
Pete le meat
Karamo is in a show called Queer Eye. He has no right to have a problem with anything.
The film is based on a book, so while you COULD change the characters, it’s really not what the writer intended. That’s not to say we don’t need more movies with lesbian and transgender points of view, but that it would not be reflective of this particular writer’s reality.
The film was based on a book so I see no reason why the identity of the characters should have been changed. It also does not bother me that the leading actors were straight – after all acting is what they do. I thought that, for a young actor, Timothee Chalamet gave a wonderful performance. The final scene where he reacts to learning that the older guy has gotten married particularly struck me. He doesn’t speak but the emotion etched on his face was, for me, a masterpiece of acting.
Thank you john.k. Maybe Karamo should read the book. Does he know the film is based on a book? That’s the source of K’s “problematic”, not the film. And thank you also miserylovedme24. “Go make one” is what I wanted to say too. Has this hitherto unknown-to-me complainant ever seen Moonlight and is he aware of its accolades? IMDb has a page called “Best Gay Films About Men of Color” if CMBYN doesn’t satisfy his needs for representation. I’m not sure why a film about gay Jewish people should also tick the color boxes. Maybe the NRA also feels aggrieved by the lack of guns in the movie. Australian aborigines might resent the film for its lack of didgeridoos and boomerangs. Dolly Parton might love the movie because people are frequently seen reading books.
Once again, so ridiculously stupid. If you want a film about a trans person or a lesbian couple, GO MAKE ONE. You don’t have to eliminate gay men from media for the sake of trying to include a more obscure group. I’m so sick of gay white men being attacked by the left. You’re not helping your cause.
Terrific comment. Too bad it will probably be deleted.
Correction: “Problematic” gay White men, of which there are many. Just as there are problematic gay men across races, but when gay White men are the ones most put out there in media and print then you have to expect there is going to be more coverage, positive and negative. There are plenty of gay and straight White men who understand intersectional issues and understand the importance of inclusivity and representation. I find myself having to sometimes check my LGBTQ friends of color who also don’t understand that gay and straight White males will never understand the experience of being a racial minority and that we can’t expect perfection from them at all times.
When a White guy, gay or straight, makes one comment that is said in an inarticulate manner, I’m not one to be like “oh they are canceled”. We can’t expect perfection from genuine White allies, but rather have to explain to them why their statement was ignorant and educate them on experiences they don’t live. The ones who are open to that are not ones attacked by the “left” The ones who are defenders of Trump and go out of their way to exclude LGBTQ people of color from a seat at the table and don’t care about our experiences are the White gays I have an issue with.
The movie was very slow .they should have cut 40 minutes out..Armie Hammer I thought looks 35 and acted like he didnt want to be in the scenes he was in..the movie belonged solely to Timothee..I bought it because of the hype and it wasnt playing anywhere around me ..a few scenes were ok..overall I give it a B .
I believe it has a lot to do with the aesthetics of both the main characters in the movie. It could be perceived as a relationship between a far much older guy in his 30s with a far much younger guy who physically appears 14 years old. I’m sure the movie is wonderful, the plotline resonates with many people. That’s great, because it should. It is just very interesting that everyone seems to want to ignore the aesthetic of the main characters when arguing against Karamo Browns’ point. That’s all.
I know obsession with youth is everything for men who identify as gay or straight, but even my 26 year old gay-self see this as a bit odd. But I’m not going to say that I haven’t craved after much older men than myself, so I just don’t know the answer. Though ephebophilia is a known thing among men, not illegal but still interesting. It’s just seems odd and shallow when only aesthetics is involved. Its a wonderful story though and I’m looking forward to seeing it. Timothee Charlamet is a great actor and I loved his character in “Beautiful Boy”.
To start with I am a black gay man. I think ” Call Me By Your Name” is a masterpiece. I haven’t read the book yet, nor am I immune to the surface problems the film presents. But I am disgusted by the idea that a 17 year old and a 24 year old shouldn’t have a relationship if both parties are willing. The characters in this film are both growing up, but they have enough intellect to understand their feelings and desires. I would remind people that less than a hundred years ago people got married at 17, probably still do. The real problem is that we have extended childhood way beyond its boundaries for both social and economic reasons.
That said I think this Karamo Brown is really disgusted that two white, handsome, straight men are portraying the first blush of true homosexual love. I too would love to see more gay actors, more people of color. ” Moonlight” presents the same type of love- and it is now in the canon of Best Pictures. So his compliant about story is confusing. As gay men we should embrace any film where we aren’t presented as crazy, killers, preying vultures , or just shy of being females. Not every film will match every taste. But I remember when a positive image of a gay man meant he wasn’t killed in the second reel. And if Mr. Brown wants these diverse films to exist then I would refer him to Oscar Micheaux, a black filmmaker who in the silent film era saw a need for positive black films and made them. Mr. Brown picked on a film he thought he could have a moral judgement against and win an audience to his real argument. The trouble is he is backward in his thinking. Perhaps if he had children, a little less self-hate, and a little more life experience he would think of a new theme to present his valid points from.
I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion and boy does he ever. I understand where he’s coming from but disagree with virtually all of his points. Opinions, eh? It would be helpful if he’d read the book before forming an opinion, but of course the movie does have to stand on its own. Still, having read the book several times long before the movie was even a remote possibility, I’ve had my own observations that often seem missed. Most importantly, Elio’s character is an exceptionally intelligent young man and frankly, more adult and wiser than most people I know that are three times his age. Yet he is emotionally naive. He has had more than one lover before Oliver and has thought about guys for a long, long time and describes one encounter when he was 14 with an errand boy that was briefly intimate but not entirely sexual. In the book he is 17 and Oliver is 24. Granted, the actors don’t convey the 7-year difference very well. In the book and presumably the movie as well, Chiara, the young woman Oliver gets frisky with, is 16 years old. More food for thought. Oliver and Elio are intellectual equals in many ways with Elio having the upper hand in many ways. It seems important to understand that this is THEIR story and what transpires is unique to them. It’s not calling for all 24 year-olds to seek out 17 year-olds. But in this story the age is nothing. There is an understanding that Elio is young and inexperienced with sex with another guy. That awkwardness is the charm. In the book Elio is so much more aggressive than in the film. He is driven to something even though he struggles with it. The prejudices we all grow up with about falling in love with someone of the same sex is a big theme in the book. It is also clear that Elio isn’t Oliver’s first same-sex experience. Not much is detailed about those experiences as the book is all from Elio’s point of view. And even though the time setting in the book is undefined (the movies states it is 1983, but they both state that in the book that they are HIV- so that would put the book closer to 1987 when testing was more readily available), Oliver has been around a bit. What is ultimately conveyed is that this relationship seems to have been the love of both their lives but life, time, expectations, girls, children, family and society all work to limit it to just a six-week affair. Oliver marries a woman and has kids and we learn that he’s pushed Elio into the recesses of his mind but the memories of Elio are as raw as ever. We find that Elio’s had many lovers and much more serious relationships since Oliver but we only know that they are with “people”–we don’t know if they were men, women or both. It’s left for the reader to decide if they were ultimately gay or not. But for me they were clearly two people who fell madly in love but the circumstances, including their ages and the fact that one lives in NY and the other in Europe most of the time, prevented them from more. It’s a tragedy but a celebration of love and in the case of these two people, the age is completely irrelevant. As for the actors portraying the characters everyone had an opinion. But the gay, bi, trans, etc. aspect is, to me, completely irrelevant. They are friggin’ actors, let them act. Yes, we need to make room for members of all communities to work and feel welcome. But watch online some of the many, many forums where Timmie, Armie, Luca (director), Andre Aciman (the author), Micheal (Elio’s father) and other cast members sit and discuss the movie and the characters and with what grace they display in having the opportunity to portray these characters. They all express such passion and compassion for not only the fictional characters, but with understanding and love for those of us in the real world who relate to the situations the characters find themselves in. I find it foolish to think that one movie that celebrates young love (as if turning 18 suddenly grants one adulthood and maturity) is an endorsement of “bad behavior.” I’d much rather watch CMBYM or similarly themed movies a hundred times more than the onslaught of movies that celebrate murder, violence, hate and unabashed killing one after another. Well that was long-winded but I’m laid up today and rambling seemed like fun!
Pete le meat
The liberals are trying to relegate male homosexuality despite the fact that male homosexuality has been the most legally persecuted segment of the rainbow coalition. They cannot cope with male homosexuality.
I wonder what people’s reactions would have been if they had chosen an actual 17 year old to play the part of the 17 year old? I doubt even Roman Polanski would have directed it. Most people who I have spoken to who watched the movie rationalized that the actor was actually an adult, otherwise it is as contemptible as the men who prey upon teenagers.
Oh get a grip, he doesn’t look dramatically older and there’s nothing problematic at all. 17 is more than old enough to know what he wants and in most countries, is older than the age of consent. If someone like that had come on to me at 17, I’d have been all over him. Very happily.
The same would be true well below 17 for me too. The only reason I never did go on the prowl for men before 16 is to avoid them getting into trouble, but otherwise I knew full well what I wanted long before 16. I wasn’t vulnerable because of “maturing emotionally” or any of that. It would not have been taking advantage of me in the slightest because contrary to the odd opinion of some, older teenagers are not babies. Their brains are for all intents and purposes developed. They are fully aware of what they’re doing.
What I wanted then was just straight up sex. And no, sex isn’t some emotional act of sacred beauty. It’s raw, primal and very physical. I wanted dick and to give it, to run my hands and lips all over someone. That’s all.
Do I regret waiting? Of course not. Ever since I started having sexual urges when I was around 12, I knew that it be wrong to go after men. I knew the right thing to do was wait till I was legal, to save a heap of potential trouble for all involved. Maybe I could’ve gone with someone my own age but honestly? None did it for me. I wanted men, not boys.
Many foreign films could also be weird or “problematic” to millions of Americans by that same token. Call Me By Your Name was well received among people from many other countries, as far as I could tell, even in places like China and Russia. The age thing is only a big deal in the USA alone, for the most part
It seems as their society begins more tolerant of certain homosexual relationships, they are less tolerant of any relationship with even the slightest age gap. For example, a lesbian woman in her 20s, a YouTuber named Julia Zelg, was viciously attacked online by lots of people for having a relationship with an older woman.
Like it or not, the gay experience growing up is still very complicated and messy sometimes, and sometimes people who are exploring their identity DO hook up with much older guys, especially if they live in much less tolerant areas than San Francisco, it’s actually quite common, just like some younger women do date older guys as well. Like, I don’t know why when a younger guy hooks up with an older woman, even an authority figure, most people will say, “Lucky boy”, but when it becomes the same gender, everyone is all of a sudden extremely apprehensive, hesitant and divided.
I do agree that Elio does look…very young in a way, and it was a bit awkward for me as well, but I still believe the movie has done more good than harm. There was “Total Eclipse”, that Leonardo DiCaprio film about a 16-year-old with an older man, but admittedly DiCaprio seemed much more mature and older than Elio’s actor somehow.
Still, I mean, the legal age of consent varies from 16 to 18 in the USA, I believe (it is actually 16 in both Canada and the UK), so it would be allowed in most of the country anyway. Wish people could judge a bit less and live and let live
Sorry but is he stupid or what?
Didn’t he know the is an adaptation?
If it were a movie about a lesbian romance it wouldn’t be call me by your name. I didn’t like the novel but if you are going to adapt a literary fiction you should adapt it with respect of the original
And i’m a little tired of the oh they are white. Sorry but there’s nothing wrong with being white. i’m all for diversity, but there’s absolutely no problem with two gay characters being white (and given how difficult it’s sometimes find a suitable non white actor wanting to play a gay character is not difficult to understand why white gay characters are so prominent).
The only thing that i agree is that there should be more openly gay actors playing gay roles on Hollywood
I had a serious problem with the casting of this film too. And for that reason I refused to see it! Despite the 7-8yr age differences of the cast members they both looked decades apart. I don’t know what fvcking universe many of you are living in if you can’t honestly see how the visuals in this film are problematic.
Shorter Karamo Brown: “This is an outrage! Hollywood needs to stop playing up to straights by casting two heterosexual actors as gay men in the lead roles. Now let me get back to my tv show about gays acting as fawning nursemaids to straight men so they’ll like us.”
I can understand some of the issues with representation and casting in the film industry. But I think he missed the whole point and nuance of the film.
CMBYN is overrated AF anyway.
OMG. What is this guy talking about? Seems like everything is problematic these days.
I’m attracted to much older gentlemen too but I’m an adult. Visually its just surprising. He looks 14 years old. They look at least 20 years apart.
I wasn’t opposed to this movie so much as not interested in a movie about a teenager and an adult having a relationship. Probably why I found “God’s Own Country” to be a better movie. Two full-on adults finding each other. Sadly, it didn’t get nearly the same press since it was an indie movie and featured unknowns.
Really? It is a coming of age story. Not unlike the movie Summer of 42 and countless other movies before it. Many of us have experiences similar to this one. It was not a perve story. I suspect this actor would have accepted the role himself it were offered, so I place little value in his expert opinion.
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