Lila Says (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes

Lila Says (2005)

Lila Says



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

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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 16-year-old girl named Lila (Vahina Giocante), and is immediately smitten, especially when she makes it clear she's attracted to him. However, while Chimo falls head over heels for Lila, he soon discovers she's far more interested in talk than action, and that she isn't eager to limit her attentions to one man. Lila Says made its North American debut at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovimore
Rating: R
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Mark Lawrence, Ziad Doueiri, JoŽlle Touma
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 29, 2005
Box Office: $43.5k
Samuel Goldwyn Films


Carmen Lebbos
as Chimo's Mother
Stephanie Fatout
as Claire Soulier
Barbara Chossis
as Chinese Prostitute
Bruno Esposito
as Police Inspector
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News & Interviews for Lila Says

Critic Reviews for Lila Says

All Critics (45) | Top Critics (18)

As sweet as it is dirty.

Full Review… | August 25, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 29, 2005
Seattle Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 22, 2005
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 21, 2005
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 15, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

[An] unabashedly erotic cross-cultural love story.

Full Review… | July 13, 2005
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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.

Luke Baldock

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]

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!

Leo L

Super Reviewer

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