The film revolves around a bisexual 17-year-old and his affair with his father's assistant. That is the basic plot of this film if one strips away the luxurious life and double entendre poetry and literature. A classic movie about a person trying to find another like him and making the relationship work while being hidden from the fact that he is attracted to the same gender as the rest of the world.
Call Me By Your Name, very much similar to 50 Shades Of Grey is cinematic erotica at best. An actual romance film, while considering intimacy, will never make sexuality a core theme. As an example of an actual romance movie, the film Love, Simon is a gay romcom that provides a balance of suspense and romance side by side without ever needing to dive into the intimacy between any characters even though it would have been more than welcome considering the genre of the film.
Shallow characters with deep thoughts
Other than Oliver and Elio themselves, every other character in this film has a serious case of having thought-provoking conversations with characters while holding no importance within themselves.
Elio's parents are a great example to put forth this point. The morals and thoughts that his parents have are the most ideal within the film and are the most sorted characters. Yet there is no purpose or engaging moments with them as they purely exist to set Elio on the right path and that is where their existence ends, with no personal agendas or side plot.
Another valid example would be Chiara's character. The first romantic interest of Oliver in the film before Elio stepped up. The single-note character only serves the purpose of creating this unnecessary tension between the two romantics when they were still finding the ideal chemistry for each other.
History and music, flavor with no substance
The movie makes it a point to let the audience know that Elio is a skilled pianist. However, this skill never comes into play other than in the scene where Elio plays Bach: 'Zion hört die Wächter singen' from Cantata BWV 140 with his guitar which he later transfers to the piano. It is a small scene that aims to display Elio as someone who plays classical notes with a few alterations of how other musical artists would have played them.
Then comes the overwhelming theme of history which has close to no impact on the plot whatsoever, yet the film has injected various themes of history throughout its runtime. The only reason that can be speculated for the presence of historical themes is to create an aesthetic around the film to be made with.
Obsessiveness displayed in the worst way
Within the book of Call Me By Your Name, the bond between Elio and Oliver had much more time to grow and strengthen naturally, however, due to the nature of a film having certain time restraints a lot of the context that makes the plot interesting gets instantly loses its spark.
The film showcases the relationship between Elio and Oliver as something as borderline toxic. Especially with the peach scene, as it was symbolic in the book of how much the two are ready to explore each other yet in the film it felt much more like a scene to grab the audience's attention rather than to have a meaningful plot point to the film itself.