Licorice Pizza (2021)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, and more.

The Intro:
The legendary director Paul Thomas Anderson presents his next feature film, “Licorice Pizza.” From my eyes, I feel like not a lot of people know about this movie. The one’s that do know of this movie know of it because of the heavy ad campaign that was run where this movie had trailers and teasers plastered literally everywhere. Then the people go, “Oh yeah, that movie!” Now whether you’re the cinephile or someone who decided, “hey, this might be good!” Well, here’s a bit of content you may either relate to or aggressively disagree with.

IMDb Summary:
“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.”

The Oberrating:
PTA films (Paul Thomas Anderson) for me either land one of three results. I head over heels love the film, “Punch-Drunk Love,” I vehemently dislike the film, “Phantom Thread,” or I am essentially middle of the road, “Licorice Pizza.” There’s never a little sway to the higher or lesser levels. “Licorice Pizza” has a lot that goes great for it. Some real solid comedic moments, exceptional performances, and as most can expect, an absolutely stellar overall production value. Let’s dig in.

Comedy: The wit and raw feel of the comedy within “Licorice Pizza” works perfectly for the 70’s vibe. Quite literally everyone in the movie has their own way of delivering the comedy whether it is with a rambunctious performance, subtle dry and dark humor, or awkward teenage-like delivery. Almost every bit hits the mark creating alluring bit of entertainment in the form of PTA’s newest film.

Performances: Stellar, as expected. This cast consists of many heavy hitters in the industry and also some relatively newer faces. While I do say everyone was stellar, I can’t say that many names really stood out among the rest. Alana Haim was a wonderful lead. Cooper Hoffman seems to be a sureshot to follow in his father’s footsteps. My personal favorite was actually Bradley Cooper (even though his seemingly best part in the trailer was solely a trailer scene.) Cooper was hilarious and commanded attention once he broke into the film.

Production: I mean, c’mon, it’s Paul Thomas Anderson. You know what you’re going to get. “Punch-Drunk Love,” “There Will Be Blood,” “Boogie Nights,” “Inherent Vice,” even my dreaded “Phantom Thread.” All the man does is incredibly made films, and “Licorice Pizza” falls right in line.

Now for my nitpicking – “Licorice Pizza” seemed a tad aimless for me. Sure this could be the aim of the story as we follow a strange pairing of lovers by way of age, but life as a young adult and a young teen are seemingly aimless. However, for me? I just could not get behind the vibe.
I also could have done well with a shorter run time. Once the end was coming, I was hoping it’d end on three or four different occasions. While the filler of the movie also felt like a bunch of short stories all crammed together to create “Licorice Pizza.”

The Wrap-Up:
INCOMING OSCAR NOMINATIONS!!! It is sure to be in line for plenty of nominations. Wins? I am not so sure. Personally, I probably would not pick it for a number of categories, but that’s just me. Guess we’ll see come nomination time.
Regardless, it is a good time for cinema. “Licorice Pizza” has charm and comedy. It is surely a fun and entertaining film and most will eat this right up. It definitely won’t be for some, but surely will entertain a lot.

Rating: 3.5/5 🎬

References:
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11271038/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11271038/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm




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