Saturday, January 15, 2022

Licorice Pizza

I always save the best for last, and I totally did not mean to forget to post it yesterday.

You know my stance on romance movies, so the fact I'm reviewing this alone should be reason enough to hunt this movie down and watch it. Once more we look at a facet of the complex, shining, crazy diamond that is relationships as we meet Gary and Alana and this is where it becomes complicated to talk about this movie. Because I have so much I could say and yet don't want to say anything, because the way their relationship forms is so endearing, simple yet strange, and absolutely real. Cause Gary, my f***ing man, is the smoothest bastard I've seen in my life. He hits on her out of the blue one day and she inexplicably against her own protests goes to meet him for a Coca-Cola, and it's this real tightrope situation where they are undoubtedly best friends but a lot of people flat out ask them, hey are you guys a thing now, and they genuinely say yes and no. At first I thought it was a modern story but it actually takes place during the early 70s, the clothes, the appliances, the world events, and it works surprisingly well for the story plus I'm a sucker to see that decade. I love our leads, Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman are honestly a bit too good. I can't say one bad thing about them, they play it so well and with an abundance of sincerity. You buy the romance, they do things just to spite one another, they do have conflicting emotions, they can be quite weird. That's kids man. That is romance at a young age where they have nothing to compare it to, they're just trying to figure it out. I think movies like this will stand the test of time far more than your regular love story fare. But it's damn funny too, I was probably the only person in that theater laughing consistently, honestly even to the point where I thought I was laughing too loud that I was disturbing the viewing for everyone else. It's a bizarre but highly effective use of comedy and one that hit my buttons just right. I haven't seen many Paul Thomas Anderson movies, only Boogie Nights before this but I sure noticed he loves him some long takes, moving long takes at that which worked wonderfully. The camera moves frequently and scenes take their time which I appreciate. They don't need to rush, they just ride this weird torpedo to the end, and it immerses you in the time period and more importantly the relationship. It is worth every second. I quite loved this movie and do urge people to see it when you can. I give it 4 stars, 9/10, a surprise to be sure but a welcome one.

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