Jennifer’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'm not exactly sure what to say about this film or how to rate it really. All I know is I didn't leave it feeling like I think I was supposed to.
I wanted to love this movie so badly. I went in fully under the impression it would be my favorite of the year. And there were lots of aspects I really liked: the characters, the performances, the relationship between Elio and his parents, the Italian setting and how gorgeously it was captured, the music, and the leisurely pace at which the film moved (up until a point). But when it came to the one thing that matters most in a film like this, the romance, I was disappointed. We never really get to see the two men's love growing or any palpable chemistry between the two beyond that of a casual fling. Their conversations were remarkably surface level. It didn't seem as though they had this special, passionate, intimate connection to me, despite other characters telling us they did. It was challenging to root for them to get together (especially considering the age gap) or feel sad at their parting. I never felt that they were longing for each other (the tension between them was more awkward than romantic or dramatic), rather that they just stumbled together. In short: I wanted to care more than I actually did. And it's a shame because I feel like the possibility was there for this to be something really special.
I hope you guys don't hate me for not loving this film, and I'm really glad almost everyone else enjoyed it and connected to and was moved by it. I'm just sad I wasn't.