Sometimes, a movie likes to ride on its "indie" status. It Felt Like Love, the first film from writer/director/producer Eliza Hittman, is just such a movie. With a thin plot that focuses on a sexually immature teen named Lila (Gina Piersanti), It Felt Like Love is sparse in dialogue and lacking in visual richness. Being an awkward, gawky teenager is a plight that will always remain resonant, no matter how much technology and vernacular evolves. And yet, the struggles Lila faces in her coming of age story are generally unmoving.
Wanting to desperately to be as desirable as her best friend, Chiara (Giovanna Salimeni), who seems to have no trouble attracting boys her age with her looks and confidence, Lila often appears pathetic and/or psychotic. With an opening scene that highlights this fact, we see Lila on the beach wearing unrubbed in sunscreen on her face as she watches Chiara and her boyfriend longingly.
Seizing any opportunity to seem like someone could be interested in her, Lila pursues Sammy (Ronen Rubinstein), an older tough guy whose reputation dictates that he's willing to bone whoever. This alone makes her a candidate for Ms. Low Self-Esteem. Although Sammy is somewhat willing to mess around with her, his ultimate interest lies in Chiara, as she comes across as more unattainable.
Filled with dull moments of quietness that are intended to be profound, It Felt Like Love is a mere one hour and twenty-two minutes long. However, it starts to feel a lot like hate by the final minutes.