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It Felt Like Love



Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh84%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled43%
IMDb Rating5.8102769

coming of agewoman director

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
760.21 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 22 min
P/S 13 / 42
1.38 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 22 min
P/S 15 / 59

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by arriweeks10 / 10

Challenging look at female adolescence

When many filmmakers approach the young girl searching for love story, they tend to turn it into a game where the young female protagonist's objective is catching the guy, through cute and sometimes provocative means. It's the tried and true teen movie structure—awkward girl transforms herself to be the object of desire for the popular, more sexually advanced male. But what happens when real girls internalize that model as they explore their own sexuality and adulthood? What happens when you take that off the Hollywood stage and situate a film in the often-overlooked working class Brooklyn? Eliza Hittman's film, It Felt Like Love, deftly is walks the line between potentially dangerous consequences of the girl transforming herself for the male gaze and sex object and the rite of passage that is discovering one's own sexuality and the often awkward and mortifying route that discovery can take.

The film opens with long, dialogue-less shots of a day at the beach for Gina Piersanti's young, inexperienced Lila. She has tagged along with her seemingly more mature friend, Chiara (Giovanna Salimeni) and Chiara's boyfriend. While the couple has wandered into a house, Lila is left to her own devices. The camera sometimes takes on her point of view as she investigates her surroundings, where the audience has the opportunity to return to their youth and inexperience. Other times, the camera lingers over Lila. While in less adept hands this lingering could be potentially cloying and sentimental, Hittman uses these shots to establish the dichotomy between Lila and the majority of her audience. While the audience may have been young once, this is a different generation whose own rite of passage is unique to their time. These shots of Lila, therefore, establish the difference between her youth and our experience. Much of the tension of the film resides here, since we watch Lila insinuate herself into increasingly, potentially dangerous situations and are unable to do anything about it.

It is clear from the start that Lila is envious of the more mature Chiara, as her friend seems to be maturing as our society suggests a young female should—using her sex to hold onto the guy, being the sex object he desires. Chiara's current boyfriend is jealous that there have been other boys before him; however, it is unclear if this is factual or not as the camera focuses on Chiara's face when they discuss this. In this scene, in particular, the actors' subtle performances are crucial in establishing the ambiguity. It's a double-edged sword for the character. If she confirms that she is not a virgin, then she's the whore and less desirable to her boyfriend; while on the other hand if she says she is a virgin, then she's less sexually experienced and desirable.

While Chiara's boyfriend is her age, Lila has set her sights upon an older acquaintance of Chiara's, Sammy (Ronen Rubenstein). She goes through the motions of what she believes maturity to look like, but the plans she devises to see him and get his attention reveals her youth. She packs a bag of groceries and pretends to be in his neighborhood, when she stops by the bowling alley he works at. She tries the cliché smoking of a cigarette to be perceived as older (it's cliché precisely because it is not only so common place in depictions of youth but also because it is the go-to standard for youth's perception of adulthood). It feels as if Lila has a checklist of what it means to be an adult, and she's running through the pieces one by one.

As she moves along this checklist, Lila puts herself in situations that are cringe-worthy at the very least and potentially dangerous. One of the most pivotal and challenging scenes comes when Lila has invited herself to Sammy's apartment. It is in this scene in particular where Hittman's work as a director shines through. She is able to coax out the performances from the young actors, not just with dialogue, but also their reactions to the dialogue and actions in the scene. Sammy is not alone, hanging out with the guys, smoking weed and drinking beers. Through close-ups of Sammy's face, Hittman seems to suggest that Sammy is aware of Lila's youth and sensitive to it as she tries to prove her sexual experience. However, in front of his friends, Sammy also seems to be pulled toward acting like one of the guys and going along with the act. That tension demonstrates that it is not only young girls trying to navigate the tricky waters of our porn and sex obsessed culture, but young men are also trying to figure out what manhood looks like.

While the experience of young adults discovering their own sexual nature is nothing new, what Lila and Sammy (to some extent) seem to be grappling with feels very particular to this moment and time. Just as Larry Clark's Kids examined what the teenage years looked and felt like in a very raw way at the end of the previous century, Hittman explores more specifically the expectations and desires of female adolescence in today's society. The success of It Felt Like Love arises from Hittman's ability to challenge the audience with this depiction, while also creating a thoughtful and honest look at her characters. She not only portrays those difficult and embarrassing aspects, but also the comical and naïve parts of self-discovery. And Hittman does all of this with a beautifully shot, seamless film.

Reviewed by violetta14859 / 10

Nailed every miserable minute of female adolescence

It's all there: the cool best friend who keeps you around mostly so she can feed off your envy; the cool guy whose slut-boy reputation doesn't guarantee he'll bother with you; the younger friend you try to impress by copying your cool best friend's vulgarity without realizing that it is in fact vulgar, not cool; plus the resolution that is no resolution at all, because this isn't a John Hughes film where you triumph over the miseries of adolescence, and the best our heroine can do is survive them. Most tellingly, the most devastating possibility Lila faces isn't what you might expect it to be.

Some have criticized this film because it isn't clear whether Lila's interest in Sammy is love, lust, competition with cooler Chiara, or just curiosity, but I think that's the point--Lila herself doesn't know. More to the point, Lila doesn't know HER SELF: in a world where superficial sex is celebrated (Chiara pretends each of her shallow relationships is The Only One) and traditional crushes are embarrassing, Lila doesn't get a chance to work through old-fashioned puppy-love until she's ready for something else.

If I don't give it a 10, it's because I'm not sure I could bear to watch it again. The desperation for something, anything at all to happen, even something catastrophic, is too much like the real thing.

Reviewed by lolitaxxx710 / 10

Really liked it

Hittman's beautifully composed sequences could function as still photographs. Not a good choice for a casual viewer looking for a "Spring Breakers" thrill, Hittman's film puts a very fine point on the heavy, achingly quiet loneliness of adolescent girlhood.

Certainly not an experience shared by all, it will still resonate with some: fourteen year old Lila navigates Brooklyn neighborhoods both alone and with her best friend two years her senior, Chiara. In the sweaty late summer nights, she boasts untruths to her younger neighbor and frequently finds herself a third wheel with Chiara and her boyfriend. She chooses to focus her attention upon the older Sammy, a local college kid who grudgingly lets Lila insert herself into his hard-partying scene.

Ebert, in his review, compared the film to the oeuvre of Larry Clark and Harmony Korine: "Clark and Korine's work, whatever their other virtues, often seem to take place in a universe of users and abusers that's devoid of real love, indeed any possibility of anything but a fleeting connection. " It is an apt comparison. It isn't obvious what Lila is looking for, and we as the audience aren't sure if she got what she wanted, either.

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