Ah, to be 17 and spending the summer at a villa in Northern Italy.

Do the words sun-soaked, care-free, dreamy and idyllic come to mind?

That’s how it is in the summer of 1983 for young Elio (Timothée Chalamet) in Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name, a languidly paced romance drama that, if nothing else, will make you want to spend a summer at an Italian villa.

Elio is a smart, talented kid. He plays piano, copies down classical music scores, reads extensively. However, being a teen, with hormones raging and all, he is about to embark on a summer of sexual awakening.

He lives with his parents (Michael Stuhlbarg and Amira Casar) and describes his family as a bit of a hybrid: Jewish, American, French and Italian. (Several characters are multilingual, and there are some subtitles, though the film is mostly in English.)

Elio’s landscape is rattled by the arrival of Oliver (Armie Hammer), a hunky 20-something student from America, who has come to work with Elio’s father, a prominent professor of Greco-Roman art and culture.

Oliver is rather distant, dismissive and arrogant at first, but he and Elio gradually become friendly, and after tentative beginnings, fall into a romantic affair.

Both are also seeing women on the side. Oliver has a fling with an Italian girl, Chiara (Victoire Du Bois), while Elio clumsily explores first-time tumbles with his French friend Marzia (Esther Garrel).

Guadagnino’s great strength is conveying the sensuous. His film is about touching, feeling, smelling, whether it’s a piece of fruit, a swimming hole, the crack of a hard-boiled egg, the crunch of a gravely road, the breeze through the trees, the pressing of flesh against flesh.

Guiding us through this sensual feast is Elio. The film is told from his point of view, and Chalamet is terrific at inhabiting the jittery soul of a 17-year-old, bouncing between the adult world of his parents and his teen angst, between his affair with an older man and (practically) curling up on his mother’s lap to hear a story.

Call Me By Your Name is based on the novel by Andre Aciman. The screenplay is by James Ivory. Yes, that James Ivory, the director of so many successful collaborations with producer Ismail Merchant, including Howards End, A Room With a View and The Remains of the Day.

Ivory knows how to pull off a quality production, but he also never met a lengthy running time he didn’t like.

The film was nominated for three Golden Globes and will likely be in the Oscar mix, particularly for Chalamet’s impressive performance, but Call Me By Your Name runs out of story before it runs out of footage. It is pleasant enough, as a character study of Elio, but it doesn’t offer much in terms of dramatic payoff.

Perhaps there is more to come. A sequel has already been announced.

Clint O’Connor covers pop culture. He can be reached at 330-996-3582 or coconnor@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClintOMovies.