Director: Ziad Doueir
Vahina Giocante ... Lila
Moa Khouas ... Chimo (as Mohammed Khouas)
Karim Ben Haddou ... Mouloud
Lotfi Chakri ... Bakary
Hamid Dkhissi ... Big Jo
Based on a controversial French novel, Lila Says tells the story of a quiet young poet named Chimo (Mohammed Khouas) who develops a crush on the pretty, blond Lila (Vahina Giocante), a girl who recently moved into his Arab ghetto with her aunt. When the leader of a rival gang also falls for Lila, the ensuing love triangle initiates a journey of sexual discovery -- and sets off a chain of devastating events.
Lila dit ca is one of those movies that's more notable for its sense of style than anything else. Director Ziad Doueiri perfectly complements the film's admittedly spare storyline with appropriately dreamy visuals - including a camera that seems to float through the film's events - and a wonderful soundtrack featuring bands like Air. The movie follows a quiet young writer named Chimo (played by Mohammed Khouas) as he becomes infatuated with the flirtatious Lila (Vahina Giacante), who's just moved into his small neighborhood. Chimo's rebellious friends don't know about the friendship, and mercilessly taunt the new girl on her less-than-conservative behavior and style of dress. Lila dit ca coasts along on the charisma of the two central performers, along with Doueiri's endlessly creative direction, until the film finally runs out of steam towards the end. It also becomes increasingly difficult to believe that someone as kind and gentle as Chimo would hang out with these thugs, particularly in light of their third act actions. Still, Doueiri does manage to paint an indelible portrait of this small town and it seems clear that he's destined for bigger and better things