Ever since it was announced Luca Guadagnino was adapting Call Me By Your Name for the big screen, fans of the original 2007 novel by André Aciman were dying to know if the film would keep the book’s most erotic passage: The one in which 17-year-old Elio lies on his bed masturbating with a cut-open peach before 24-year-old tutor, Oliver, visits his room, tastes the peach, and has sex with his young friend.
Well, after Call Me By Your Name’s premiere at Sundance this week, the word is out: The peach scene is in.
“Imagine the infamous American Pie scene, but with dignity, emotional truth, and a semblance of relatability” writes The Daily Beast’s Kevin Fallon. “But, you know, a guy still fucks a fruit.”
Timothée Chalamet, who plays Elio, told Variety he wasn’t concerned about the film’s sexual content.
“I felt very safe in Luca’s hands and Armie’s hands,” said the 21-year-old actor. “The book is a love story, and it happens to have those detailed scenes.” He added that he and Hammer had a good chemistry off-screen as well.
“I haven’t had a friendship like that with someone that I’d worked with [before]. This wasn’t the plan, but we became such good friends that it made the chemistry onscreen palpable. because we really did like each other in real life.”
Of course some are already complaining the sex scenes don’t go far enough: “The relative discretion about the full physical compatibility of the men could potentially help the film gain a wider audience beyond the LGBTQ community,” writes The Hollywood Reporter, “but feels a little too restrained for who these characters have become by the time they consummate their relationship.”
Fans of the film maintain that what it lacks in nudity, it makes up for in sensuality: Guadagnino had his two stars locking lips fairly early in rehearsals.
“The next thing we know, we’re lying in the grass and making out,” Hammer told Variety. “The shooting of the first kiss scene was great. It felt as organic and special as every shot we did on this movie.”
The film, picked up by Sony Pictures Classics, is getting rave reviews—and received an extended standing ovation in Park City.
And while the queer component of the story can’t be ignored, Hammer hopes audiences “[have] evolved enough that now we can see past that and see the humanity, the truth, that is present in every moment of desire or affection.”
Call Me By Your Name hits theaters later this year.