Cinema Review: It Felt Like Love | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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It Felt Like Love

Studio: Variance Films
Written and Directed by Eliza Hittman

Mar 20, 2014 Web Exclusive
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Lila (Gina Piersanti) is a quiet, confused fifteen-year-old torn between youthful introversion and a desire to share the same sort of sexually adventurous experiences as her best friend. In an effort to prove she is mature and desirable to men, Lila pursues Sammy (Ronen Rubinstein), a local college student with a reputation for being loose and indiscriminate when it comes to his partners. While at first Sammy tolerates Lila, he soon tires of her constant presence. The more eager she is to fit in, the less self aware and embedded into bad situations she becomes.

Lila’s story is not new to cinema, and neither does It Felt Like Love say anything that has yet to be said. However, this doesn’t mean that writer-director Eliza Hittma’s film is without merit. Sexuality buds early in current generations, and Lila is a well-crafted character – and wonderfully acted, by Piersanti – whose experiences and uncertainties are doubtless shared by thousands of girls every day. Should she be jealous of her friend’s exploits? Why is she not having similar experiences of her own? Is it more valuable to hold onto her youth – something she seems incapable of releasing just yet – or forcing it away? These questions, and many more, are at the heart of Lila’s struggles.

Hittman is adept at showcasing the turmoil and travails of being a young urban girl in the increasingly quick to mature modern America, even if the film itself seems a little stretched beyond its borders. It Felt Like Love is Hittman’s first credited feature, and when it begins to slow, one can tell that she is perhaps still navigating the transition from short to full-length. The film might not relate to every audience member, and those it is about might miss some of its subtlety and nuance, but there is a large section of viewers who will see themselves in Lila, and it is for them that It Felt Like Love was made.

Author rating: 5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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Keith Mitchell
November 2nd 2018

It’s a hard film to watch but not because it’s a poor movie - it’s not at all. The subject matter is all too real and presented in a “train wreck you can’t turn away from” manner. Several scenes are left ultimately to the imagination after being set up in an in-your-face way, which was an intriguing way to handle teen sexuality. If you have discerning film tastes, it’s worth watching once, definitely not twice.