/10 756 votes
Release date: January 13, 2022
The story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and going through the treacherous navigation of first love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973.
Jug Jugg Jeeyo 2022
Jayeshbhai Jordaar 2022
Laal Singh Chaddha 2022
Badhaai Do 2022
777 Charlie 2022
Raksha Bandhan 2022
This movie is gorgeous, particularly in 70 MM. The cast is incredible, led by an unbelievable debut by Cooper Hoffman, and one of the best performances of the year from Alana Haim. PTA's best in my eyes.
Fmovies: Waiting for a PTA film is like the Olympics except we're always guaranteed a gold medal and Licorice Pizza was no exception. Much like Boogie Nights but instead of the raunchy truth of Boogie Nights we get the innocence of falling in love with all the games we "used to" play as teenagers. Licorice Pizza tells a simple story of boy chases girl but with the telling of a true filmmaker. In addition to the phenomenal list of supporting actors, the soundtrack, the cinematography and the truly one of a kind dialogue is the recipe for perfection and dare I say PTA is the only one left with said recipe. I can't wait to repeat my praise for another PTA film, it's inevitable.
This movie will be the first to give PT the Best Film Oscar. Alana Haim will definitely win Best Actress (her smile lights up the screen) and Cooper Hoffman is spectacular in his first role. I laughed pretty much all the way through; the dialogue is brilliant and witty and I believed every word. I also believed every scene, even as those scenes got stranger and stranger. But that's PT's style. The cameos are amazing and Bradley might get a Supporting Actor Oscar for his bizarre turn as Jon Peters. And the music choices, hokey moley. I don't want to give away too much, just check it out.
Licorice Pizza fmovies. Great cast and amazing performances from the two young newcomers, but the script here is an uneven mess and by the end it's all just a pointless boy-meets-girl love story. It's also easily 45 mins too long, with ENDLESS scenes of our protagonists running: we get it, but when you over-use symbolism it becomes comical.
Hard to rate as there's lots to like here, but the weak script is making me scratch my head asking why so many are calling this the film of the year. It's far from it.
But kudos for all the funny sequences.
You can almost always count on P. T. Anderson. He's got another winner with Licorice Pizza.
It's kind of insane that this is the first real acting role for both leads Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman (who through the entire movie I was thinking - he's kind of like a young Philip Seymour Hoffman, I wonder if that's why Paul cast him... then the end credits rolled and I realized it was his actual son). They both carry the entire movie with flying colors. The dynamic between them as actors is undeniable and the dynamic between their characters is an entirely separate feat. I can't think of any other movies where a 15 year old boy pursues a 25 year old woman, and everything that occurs between them feels so...natural. Hoffman has the chops to sculpt a fully believable and relatively complex character, while Haim is simply hilarious, realistic, and intensely crushable.
The film is also a very effective time warp. It truly feels like old world California - far more than Once Upon A Time In Hollywood did, in my opinion. It feels way more genuine - it's really impressive it was made in the last year or two.
There's a lot of great small roles and cameos as is sort of expected with many Anderson movies. Most notably, John C. Reilly appears for only ONE line of dialogue, as the camera pans past him, BUT, it's one of the most hilarious cameos I can recall, especially looking back on it. To me, it's really impressive how Anderson always seems to come up with the most oddball concepts and scenarios - his movies always have similarities but they're also so different from one another, and so different from what everyone else is making.
To me, the film's only real flaw was that it loses a bit of it's pacing in the final act and finally starts to feel like it's dragging a bit in the last half hour. It just feels like it meanders a bit. No real conflict - just floating a bit. Also, debatably, it doesn't have much of an "ending", but, the way it ends still satisfies just enough. It's subtle and charming enough.
Speaking of charming, this is probably Paul Thomas Anderson's most charming movie overall, and his sweetest. Tone wise, it's closer to Punch-Drunk Love than any of his other movies - it's definitely romantic. It's really just a majorly enjoyable and mostly calming delve into young love in the old world (with a slight element of abnormality). This would be a great date movie, to be honest. I hope Alana Haim gets nominated for an Oscar. See it.
My initial impressions, aside from making a lot of hooting and hollering notices and bowing in a Wayne and Garth type of "we're all not worthy" stance at a portrait of PT Anderson, who returns here to the Los Angeles of the 1970s again for a third time with a coming of age story about Alana (Haim) and Gary (Hoffman) and their misadventures and awkward but total connection to each other as friends and more, is that sometimes a film just needs to give me good characters, and this does this and then some.
By this I mean we have people, Alana and Gary in this case, who are immediately deeply felt and lived-in as these young people (though the age range makes that idea of 'young' into its own self-conscious and for Alana even neurotic beast), and the connection that grows between them as friends is that there is sentiment expressed (oh God oh goodness that scene with the two of them on the water-bed as he motions closer to her but then stops as "Let me Roll It" is more emotionally charged than any scene I've seen this year - and there's strong competition) without it being sentimental.
This is hard to do, but what helps is we are "hanging out" with these people but they're wants and desires are being figured out barely as they go along and the world around them is so rich and textured sometimes all they can do is run to keep up with things. They're simply... compelling, fully heartfelt people, but PTA isn't shy about showing their foibles. And around them are more "name" actors like Penn and Cooper and to a lesser extent Safdie and Waits who make immediate and strong impressions and yet also are people you get right away.
Which brings me to another impression.... this is maybe Anderson processing in his way things in the world over the past few years re: #metoo? Of course one can say "but hey the 1970s, you know," but nearly every man who Alana meets - who may be more of the protagonist than Gary, I don't know, it's close maybe co-protagonists - is either a leering/lecherous creep or full of their own anxieties and issues. I've seen one or two things on social media criticizing Anderson about this possible/kinda sorta romance between this teen boy and 25 year old Alana (if she is that or rounding up), but I wonder if they're seeing the same film I did because the film is really more about not even the romance side of it (though romance is laced throughout this) as it is that feeling when you're a teen and you're doing as much as you can to be an adult, but when you become an adult there is that temptation or even desire, usually if around the right group, to want to be young again. If you got to make it in the world, maybe it's better to do it with someone who isn't a (bleep) as a character describes men near the end.
As for the title? I think that's Alana and Gary: they don't go together, and yet they totally do. I loved this film and I look forward to seeing it a couple more times and diving in deeper on this. If by chance you're near a major city playing this before Christmas, run - or steer your Empty-tank vehicle - to the theater to get absorbed in it all. And did I mention it's PTA's funniest since Boogie Nights?