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By Eric Campos | June 26, 2005

Let the steam begin as Ziad Doueiri’s “Lila Says” creates an incredible sexual tension between two characters that’s bound to press out the wrinkles in your pants as this thoroughly engaging, if tragic, love story unfolds like a psychological striptease. The biggest challenge here is not to blush.

Chimo is stuck in a drab suburb, hanging out with his loser buddies, going nowhere and wasting his budding talent as a writer. Life’s pretty boring for the nineteen-year-old Chimo and he’s too apathetic to do anything about it, until the young, ultra-sexy Lila moves into town. Disregarding the rest of the drooling fools in town, she turns her attention on the quiet, more reserved Chimo and the seduction is on. Without admitting it, the two wind up falling for each other, but love doesn’t come cheap for Chimo. Lila throws enough headtrips on the poor guy so that he doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going…or whether he wants to cum or just go and bang his head against the wall. Oh, young teenage love.

The performances here are electric, especially Vahina Giocante as Lilla. Watching her reduce Chimo to a quivering pile of hormones is an experience that will unlikely be forgotten. She’s not a bad person, she’s just a teenage girl, fascinated with her own sexuality and that of the people around her. It’s adolescent innocence presented here with brutal honesty, creating a rollercoaster of emotions.

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