May 21, 2008
Netflix DVD
France / UK
89 Minutes
Ziad Doueiri

Chimo is a 19-year-old Arab living in a slightly slummy part of a city, committing petty crimes and odd jobs, and hanging out with his three equally unmotivated buddies. His world is turned upside down with the arrival of one of the sexiest presence in movies that I’ve ever seen. She’s a French girl named Lila, and she’s amazing. Gorgeous, brazen, self-assured. Chimo doesn’t stand a chance. She makes him an early offer that causes him to remark in voiceover “Lila could cause a Jihad.” They take romantic, sexy moped rides together, she whispers her secrets and desires to him, and he gets crap from his buddies for not making his move on her. She also causes him to write, which we’re led to believe he’s good at, because he is visited by a teacher who encourages him to enroll in some famous writing school in Paris.

Lila is played by an actress named Vahina Giocante, who I will have to go research now. There isn’t very much to this film. Their differences in religion and background aren’t really explored. It’s one of those movies where a hottie will ride by a group of guys and somehow pick out the one she should be with and smile only at him. We know he’s the right one because he writes, is more polite, and is the most handsome of the group. One thing that is hard to figure out is why he hangs out with the idiotic and felonious group of guys we always see him with. He is smarter than they, more compassionate, has a brighter future. I found that to be less-than-realistic.

Besides a pre-20s mutual attraction, I’m not sure what this film is trying to say. We get blowing sundresses, stolen peeks of flesh, the application of suntan lotion, and deep soulful looks into eyes. Not much more.

But did I mention that Lila is beautiful?

5.7 Metacritic
7.1 IMDB


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Written by Michael W. Cummins