The dad’s monologue in ‘Call Me by Your Name’ will make you ugly cry

Gil Cadiz

If you love romantic coming-of-age stories, prepare yourself to be viscerally moved by “Call Me by Your Name” when it hits Philippine theaters on January 31, 2018.

One of Time’s Top 10 Movies of 2017, “Call Me by Your Name” is the Luca Guadagnino-directed film adaptation of André Aciman’s 2007 novel of the same title. It debuted at Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation.

Set in Northern Italy in the early 1980s, the film chronicles the tender but carnal summer love affair between Elio, a smart 17-year-old American-Italian Jewish boy, and Oliver, a 24-year-old American Jewish scholar Elio’s father took in as a house guest to help him with academic paperwork.

Everything about the film is hands down beautiful from the cinematography, screenplay and music score to the two empathetic lead actors – Timothée Chalamet as Elio and Armie Hammer as Oliver.

There’s no shortage of praises to say about the film and its two leads, but there’s one moment in the film that ultimately stands out and reduces audiences to tears. Impeccably delivered by Elio’s father (Michael Stuhlbarg), it’s a powerful monologue about a parent’s unconditional love and non-judgmental acceptance of their child’s becoming their own person.

Here’s the text of his speech:

“When you least expect it, nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot. Just remember I’m here. Right now, you may not want to feel anything. Maybe you’ll never want to feel anything. And, maybe it’s not to me you want to speak about these things, but I feel something you obviously did.

Look, you had a beautiful friendship. Maybe more than a friendship. And I envy you.

In my place, most parents would hope the whole thing goes away, or pray that their sons land on their feet. But I am not such a parent. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster that we go bankrupt by the age of 30 and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!

And I’ll say one more thing… it’ll clear the air. I may have come close, but I never have what you two have. Something always held me back or stood in the way. How you live your life is your business. Just remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once, and before you know it, your heart’s worn out. And as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now, there’s sorrow, pain; don’t kill it, and with it, the joy you’ve felt.”

If you still have an ounce of bravery left after reading that, go ahead and watch the clip of the scene below.

Kleenex, anyone?

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