It Felt Like Love (2014)
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Critic Reviews for It Felt Like Love
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.
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.
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."
"It Felt Like Love" doesn't just unreel before your eyes, it weighs on you.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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