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Overall Rating
4.33

Awesome: 33.33%
Worth A Look66.67%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 9 user ratings


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Lila Says
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by Peter Sobczynski

"A modern-day 'Rochelle, Rochelle'"
4 stars

In the grand tradition of “Rochelle, Rochelle” comes the French import “Lila Says,” chronicling the erotic and tragic misadventures of two young people in lust.

This time around, the hormones in question belong to Chimo (Mohammed Khouas), a 19-year-old Arabic boy living in Marseilles, and Lila (Vahina Giocante), a 16-year-old French girl who moves into his neighborhood and captures his attention with long and detailed stories of her alleged sexual exploits. To Lila’s surprise and confusion, Chimo doesn’t take her blatant come-ons as an invitation for a cheap and easy seduction–instead, she realizes that he is really and truly falling for him. She decides to take things up a notch–at one point taking things directly in hand (if you know what I mean)–until she begins to realize that his feelings for her are genuine. Tragically, her behavior is witnessed by several of Chimo’s thuggish friends and they decide that if he is too shy and stupid to take advantage, they will do so instead, leading to the inevitable tragedy and heartbreak.

Although conventionally sexy enough for even the most discriminating viewers (there is one scene aboard a motor scooter that should do for Vespas what “Risky Business” did for the El), the intriguing thing about the film is the way that most of the sensuality is conveyed through words instead of action–an inspired approach considering that the film is itself based on an acclaimed erotic novel. There are, on the other hand, a few flaws here and there. Although it remains true to the story, the ending is, frankly, too much of a downer to really come off very well. Another slightly troubling aspect, one that takes away from the otherwise realistic nature of the film, is the unavoidable fact that the 24-year-old Giocante is a bit too . . . mature (you know what I mean) to play a Lolitaesque teen–the same type of role that she was playing over eight years ago in “Marie Baie des Anges”.

Despite those problems, “Lila Says” remains a thoughtful and occasionally powerful look at young erotic obsession that is smarter and more realistic than most films on the subject.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=10564&reviewer=389
originally posted: 07/22/05 13:39:50
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Toronto Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 SXSW Film Festival. For more in the 2005 South By Southwest Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Seattle Film Festival For more in the 2005 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Atlanta Film Festival For more in the 2005 Atlanta Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

8/04/07 Tehreem Pasha Had a great teenage feel 5 stars
5/30/07 Ish Excellent Movie 5 stars
5/01/07 Chuck Great Acting, Tragic Story 4 stars
6/18/06 Shawn Cubitt Erotic without nudity.... well done! 4 stars
6/24/05 KD suprisingly good, despite the clichéd story 4 stars
1/24/05 marko great film 5 stars
12/14/04 Christian Garaud beautiful film 5 stars
12/04/04 eden purely explicit... 4 stars
9/13/04 N Incredible story, amazing acting! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  24-Jun-2005 (R)
  DVD: 29-Nov-2005

UK
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Australia
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