Elio leads Oliver on a sensual bike ride through the beautiful, nameless Italian town they’re passing the summer in. Finally, he brakes, turning to Oliver with a seductive smile playing on his lips,
“This is my spot. Can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent here, just… mulling things over… pondering life’s most perplexing questions.”
Oliver feels as if he is being let in on an incredible, intimate secret as Elio pushes open a door and holds it for him. He finds himself in a loud, crowded arcade, dark and musty, where socially inept teenagers with hilariously visible acne (probably also mild scoliosis and ridiculously oversized aviator-style prescription glasses, too, just to cover all the bases) hunch over the machines, intent on reaching the top of the Pac-Man and Space Invaders leaderboards. Elio arches his eyebrows flirtatiously at Oliver as he saunters toward the snack bar against the wall,
“Wanna split a Yoo-Hoo? If you have some change, we could play Frogger or something afterward.”
Having just given into their desire for one another, Elio and Oliver lie in bed, staring deeply into each other’s eyes.
“Call me by your name and I’ll call you by mine.”
After a brief moment of consideration, Elio responds by pointing at Oliver and whispering,
After a few tension-filled seconds of silence, Elio can contain his excitement no longer and bursts out,
“That was so totally tubular! How did you even come up with that bitchin’ line? Seriously, that was one of the raddest conversations I’ve ever had.”
(This is definitely how people in the eighties talked, in case you were wondering).
Fifteen minutes into the movie, Oliver inexplicably disappears for a few scenes and comes back played by a completely different actor for the rest of the runtime. This is because the producers could no longer pay Armie Hammer’s salary and license Aha’s “Take On Me,” Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Come On Eileen,” “Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” Toto’s “Africa,” Alphaville’s “Forever Young,” etc., etc., etc.
Molly Ringwald has a cameo in which she visits the Perlman family for dinner and compliments Elio’s mother, saying that she “Looks so pretty in pink,” even though she’s not even wearing any pink. (It’s the thought of the hilarious inside joke that counts).
Ralph Macchio's there, too, washing a car, mumbling,“Wax on, wax off,” to himself all day. (Does the movie really have the time or space for a grown-up, seemingly mentally unstable Daniel-San? Maybe not, but man is that reference amazing for the elite, select few who catch it as it goes flying subtly by!)
Rob Lowe has a brief appearance as a store owner, asking Elio if he’d like some “sodapop” to go with his Reese’s Pieces. (Get it? From The Outsiders?!)
Elio calls Oliver a “traitor” because he thinks he goes off at night to have sex with a bunch of girls, but really Oliver’s just going to the local theater to watch [insert title of whatever John Hughes movie you want] over and over again. When Oliver comes clean about this to Elio, he gushes,
“I just couldn’t help myself! I really think that Hughes guy is gonna become a major cultural touchstone in the coming years and that we’ll all look at his movies as some of the most defining works of this era!”
Elio, of course, snickers at such a ridiculous idea. The audience, of course, will snicker because John Hughes’ movies are looked back on as some of the most defining of their era!
Elio gets a sudden nosebleed at the table, “Oh shit!” He yells, dismayed, “My Howard the Duck shirt is gonna be ruined!”
He runs into the house, Oliver following closely behind.
“Don’t worry about it, I have something you can wear.”
He disappears for a moment and comes back with a “Goonies Never Say Die!” T-shirt. When Elio frowns at this offering, Oliver holds up option number two: A Darth Vader shirt with “I Am Your Father” printed on it. Elio makes the Sith Lord choking fist, and the two have a pretty good chuckle over this titillatingly exclusive inside joke.
Elio sits, staring longingly at Oliver on the dance floor, jealousy practically oozing off of him. Suddenly, Oliver and his partner clear a little space for themselves and he lifts her over his head in a perfect execution of the Dirty Dancing move.
Elio throws his cigarette on the ground and grinds it under his foot.
“This is bullshit.” He fumes, stomping off to go drink a pack of Zima by himself.