Elio (Timothée Chalemet) and Oliver (Armie Hammer) never exchange the phrase “I love you” in the film Call Me By Your Name. Yet the breathtaking film, which focuses on the profoundly intense connection that develops between Elio and Oliver over the course of one summer in Italy, certainly tells a love story — one that's almost universal in its depiction of pure emotion. Watching 17-year-old Elio tumble into these heady feelings for the first time, you’ll inevitably recall your own experiences of teenage love.
Call Me By Your Name is remarkable because it’s a queer love story with no adversary, aside from time and circumstance. Oliver and Elio are never persecuted for their sexual orientation. If you see Elio and Oliver slinking around the Italian villa, it’s out of a sense of mischievousness, not fear. If you see them looking torn up, it’s from a sense of heartsickness, not shame.
Even though CMBYN is arguably different than movies that have come before it, this is hardly the first time a love story featuring LGBTQ+ characters made us cry our eyes out. Here are some of the most wrenching, beautiful queer love stories in film.