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Lila Says

Lila Says (2004)

tomatometer

68

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 40
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 13

Lila Says is a vibrantly told coming-of-age story, helped by the sultry charisma of Giocante.

53

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 7

Lila Says is a vibrantly told coming-of-age story, helped by the sultry charisma of Giocante.

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 2,788

My Rating

Movie Info

A self-styled bad girl leads a teenage boy down a frustrating path in this drama from France. Chimo Jarjoura (Mohammed Khouas) is a 19-year-old student living in Marseilles. Chimo likes to write and has genuine talent, but he hasn't been able to break away from his friends Mouloud (Karim Ben Haddou), Big Jo (Houd Dkhissi), and Bakary (Lofti Chakri), who are more interested in petty crime than in building a future and are suspicious of Chimo's non-Muslim teachers. One day Chimo meets a

Nov 29, 2005

$43.5k

Samuel Goldwyn Films

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All Critics (45) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (13) | DVD (7)

As sweet as it is dirty.

August 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though beautifully photographed, there's something creepy at the heart of Lila Says.

July 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mostly succeeds in conveying the real- life risks that disgruntled teens will take to prove they're more powerful, more sexy and more in control than they really are.

July 22, 2005 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In the end, Lila Says is far less interesting than its premise, primarily because we never know what anyone is really thinking.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An underdeveloped exercise in carnal awakening that thinks its characters are far more special than they ever prove to be.

July 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[An] unabashedly erotic cross-cultural love story.

July 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Induces a rare kind of cinematic immersion and nervous intimacy, thanks to its deft treatment of sexual confusion and awakening.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

It's sort of Romeo & Juliet, but with the same kind of urgency the story of star-crossed lovers must have had for the Bard's first audience...

January 3, 2006 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

Director/co-writer Ziad Doueiri captures the tenderness of young love and the volatility of Lila's sexual openness -- a bottle of nitro that even Doueiri can't handle.

November 18, 2005
Salt Lake Tribune

Lila says what's on her mind. And what's on the frankly speaking, flirtatious blonde's mind is sex.

October 17, 2005

Just because a cupcake looks like a tart doesn't mean it'll taste like one. Big lesson.

September 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Give Lila Says points for accuracy in titling.

September 16, 2005 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

West Side Story with the songs replaced by Lila's sexual chatter.

August 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Lila ... comes across as a Larry Flynt fantasy of a compliant temptress.

August 4, 2005 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

A so-what story, but nicely put together and well filmed by John Daly.

July 30, 2005 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

The community atmosphere of the vibrant but volatile cultural mix and the tender relationship... are more interesting than the familiar steps of the plot.

July 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Doueiri has an unerring sense of place as well as an ear for talk and silence.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

(O)ne of the hottest, sexiest movies sans nudity. Vahina Giocante creates a fully clothed sexual tension reminscent of Kathleen Turner's "Body Heat" (1981).

July 4, 2005 Full Review Source: tonymedley.com

A pretty slight coming-of-age story that hides its message of hope in a stream of dirty talk.

July 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

It's the performances make this film compelling, especially the subtle, noble vulnerability that Khouas brings to his role.

July 1, 2005 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Audience Reviews for Lila Says

For the most part a fantastic tale of interracial romance during a time of suspicion and conflict. The Arabs are seen as terrorists or luxurious accessories for French women. Lila (obvious similarity to Lolita) is a sexually awakened girl. She talks confidently and with pride about her sexual encounters and fantasies. This doesn't sit easy with the young man who has fallen for her. Chimo must constantly deal with his arrogant and testosterone fueled friends. The final scenes are heartbreaking if slightly obvious and the character of Mouloud is really a device as opposed to a person. Though he is obviously offended by the way his people are treated he seems to go too far without explanation. Whether it's his lust for Lila or his jealousy of Chimo that spurns him on is left blank and us unfulfilled. The setting in a poor area of Marseilles is bitter sweet in its beauty of narrow streets and tall buildings. Excellent performances from Giocante and Khouas create a well built chemistry that plays out believably until the end credits.
November 11, 2008
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "Lila Says", Chimo(Mohammed Khouas) is a 19-year old living a dead end life with his mother(Carmen Lebbos) while his hanging out with friends occasionally enters the realm of petty crime. His teacher(Stephanie Fatout) thinks he has a talent for writing and wants him to apply to a prestigious school in Paris but Chimo feels that he has nothing to write about. That all changes when Lila(Vahina Giocante), a sexually precocious teenager with a penchant for exposing herself, moves into the neighborhood...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Lila Says" is an unexpectedly poignant movie about first love and how we learn to express ourselves.(For example, Lila expresses herself sexually while Chimo has no idea until Lila shows up. But I've seen too many independent movies to know better and a single line of dialogue from "Orlando" singlehandledly refutes the whole theory behind muses.) And the movie does err by being predictable and trying to have an explanation for almost everything.[/font]
October 8, 2006
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

An interesting movie! A story of coming of age and discovering love for the first time. Chimo is young and indecisive about choices in life, but everything changes when he meets Lila. He begins to see things differently, and starts to act and not just dream. Great! Intriguing story plot. Great music! Nitin Sawhney does not disappoint. A must-see!
June 6, 2008
iLeo
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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