It Felt Like Love (2014)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Eliza Hittman's powerful debut feature tells the story of Lila (Gina Piersanti, in a stunning debut), a fourteen year old spending a hot summer in a blue-collar Brooklyn neighborhood far removed from the bustling city. Awkward, lonely, and often playing the third wheel, Lila is determined to emulate the sexual exploits of her more experienced best friend. She fixates on Sammy, a tough older guy, when she hears that "he'll sleep with anyone." Deluded in her romantic pursuit, Lila tries desperately to insert herself into Sammy's gritty world, but in doing so she puts herself into a dangerously vulnerable situation. (C) Variance
Directed By:
Written By:
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Jesse Cordasco
as Patrick
Nick Rosen
as Devon
Case Prime
as Nate
Richie Folio
as Justin
Kevin Anthony Ryan
as Lila's Father
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Critic Reviews for It Felt Like Love

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (15)

In Gina Piersanti, also making her feature debut, Hittman has found the perfect actress to portray the difficult undertaking of growing up, or at least trying to.

Full Review… | April 24, 2014
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Hittman draws attention to the pervasive cultural forces (rap music, Internet pornography, suggestive dancing on TV) that present young girls as sexual objects, making the scenes of exploitation seem sadly inevitable.

Full Review… | April 3, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Rarely has the zone between girlhood and womanhood been captured with such urgent honesty than in Eliza Hittman's superb teen drama "It Felt Like Love."

Full Review… | March 27, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

"It Felt Like Love" doesn't just unreel before your eyes, it weighs on you.

Full Review… | March 27, 2014
Top Critic

It's easy to be seduced by the loosely observational vibe of the movie, even as its tale of a shrinking violet struggling not to be a late bloomer fails to strike more than a single note of dismay.

Full Review… | March 20, 2014
AV Club
Top Critic

Gorgeously shot in Brooklyn's beachfront neighborhoods and devoid of easy sentimentality, "It Felt Like Love" features realistic performances all around, understandable given the cast of mostly first-time actors.

Full Review… | March 20, 2014
New York Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for It Felt Like Love


Why do so many critics like this movie? The acting was like porn acting. Although I do like the concept. It is just hard to believe she is 14.

Seth Kumaroo
Seth Kumaroo

I suppose it helps that the director is a woman, otherwise this tale of an underage Brooklyn girl's sexual awakening would feel even creepier. 15-year-old Lila is bored with summer vacation along the Brooklyn beachfront community where her working class father is trying to raise her and a starving dog as a widow and her only distraction is modern dance and a semi-slutty bestie girlfriend. Inevitably, a thuggish older boy appears, and she responds. She wants to have sex, or at least some kind of connection, but is clueless. He's indifferent. Lassitude of summer defines the tone of this desultory journey, leading up to the aforementioned creepy episode.

Nick Demartino
Nick Demartino

It Felt Like Love is an awkward, awkward movie. The basic story is simple--earnestly so--such that most people should be able to identify with it; if not from their own lives, then knowing someone similar. A young girl experiences mixed emotions as she watches her best friend (and best friend's boyfriend) hang out. There seems to be a sense of abandonment, and jealousy, and probably a lot of other feelings, too. And so she decides to find herself a boy of her own. Her target? An older fellow who will have sex with anyone (as rumor has it). It's so awkward watching her trying to push her way into this boy's world. He has no interest in her, and he humors her for a while. When things get bristly and strange, the pace of the movie seems to slow down, forcing the viewer to feel every awkward bit of awkwardness in all its awkward glory. It doesn't help that we stop caring about this girl and her quest for this dude midway through the movie. The more interesting storyline is that of her best friend/boyfriend. We see the downfall of that relationship in all its glorious terror. The boyfriend is caught up on the fact that she is more experienced sexually than he is. And watching this best friend navigate the crap that this guy says and does to her almost washes our mouths from the bitter taste of the main storyline. That said, it's hard to see who the target audience is for It Felt Like Love. It's didactic simplicity (and awkwardness) might make it too annoying for people who have matured beyond these stages. But at the same time, it's certainly not a movie that will capture the attention of other 14-year-old girls, you know?

Jacob Gehman
Jacob Gehman

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