Review: Licorice Pizza


Who's it for: PTA fans, those nostalgic for the 70's, people who just want to vibe.

Gary (Cooper Hoffman) is a 15 year old child actor and businessman who crushes hard on the 25 year old Alana (Alana Haim) in 1973 California. They become business partners and it's played off as first love.

There's been a lot of controversy surrounding the age gap between the characters in this movie, and rightfully so. It's weird. It's just hard for me, as a one time 25 year old woman to even imagine what would be attractive about a 15 year old. Alana brings up her age at first, then as things progress she gets jealous and petty when her child object of affection starts flirting with a girl his own age. I just didn't vibe with it. 

I bring up the word "vibe" again because another review I read pointed out that this film was "just vibes" and after watching it, I couldn't agree more. There feels like there's large chunks of the story missing. It's easy enough to follow. Gary and Alana meet, and their relationship progresses, but the way the film is edited makes me feel like a lot of things ended up on the cutting room floor. All of these things add up. Choppy story, a relationship I can't get behind, the one character that exists solely to be racists against Asian women. Overall, it's just not for me.

I can't deny there aren't things about this that don't work. The production design is fantastic, and Haim and Hoffman, despite me not liking their relationship are pretty good in their parts. I can see why someone would love this film, but I'm just not one of them.

Grade: C

Comments

  1. This is a movie that I've actually liked LESS the more I've thought about it. As for the age difference thing, I thought they played it well for a while, but a couple of scenes made it too icky for me to get past.

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    1. I agree, at the beginning it was fine. But then it got super weird. It's an issue I had with Diary of a Teenage Girl too.

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  2. I was supposed to see this a couple of days ago but I ended up cancelling the day before because I have the flu. This was a film I've been wanting to see since its announcement. It's PTA, he puts my ass in the seat!

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    Replies
    1. Oh no! I hope you feel better and I hope this works for you more than it did for me when you get to see it.

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  3. I was so mad that my local cinema isn't showing this, but then I'm reading more and more reviews like this and I don't feel so bad anymore. I still want to see it, but I'm not in as much as a rush anymore.

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully the UK gets it soon so you can at least cross it off your Oscar list, but yeah, nothing I'd rush out to see.

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  4. I probably will pass on this unless it comes up on regular tv. Considering I just watch a mother and son getting it on (Boardwalk Empire), this seems tame. Now if Hugh Jackman or Liam Hemsworth came to me wanting to seduce me, I may ponder this for, like, 3 seconds.

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    Replies
    1. LOL I love Boardwalk Empire, but poor Jimmy.. Poor Angela too, she really got dealt a bad hand in life.

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  5. I have a lot of blindspots w/ PTA and I have mixed feelings about Phantom Thread (though might rewatch it as it's now on Netflix). The word 'vibe' seems fitting for this and I also read an article discussing the disturbing age disparity of the characters. Maybe I'll wait til it's free on streaming.

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    Replies
    1. I didn't love Phantom Thread either. It was nice to look at, but I'm kind of disappointed that's what Daniel Day Lewis chose to retire on.

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  6. Oooh, as clueless as I am, I had no idea what this was about. That gap seems a bit sketchy, but there's a part of me that gets it (if I recall, when I was 15-16, I had a teacher who was probably mid20s...and wowwwww). Aw, damn it.

    Now I feel compelled to check it out. I'm a weirdo, huh?

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    Replies
    1. For me, it's HER side of the gap that makes me question it. A 15 year old lusting after a woman in her 20s makes sense, but for a 25 year old to be like "Yeah, I'm down with this" is what I can't comprehend.

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