Here's why you should go see Licorice Pizza
With stunning visuals, a rake of celebrity cameos and a charming script, Licorice Pizza is a must-see.
When I booked tickets for Paul Thomas Anderson's film Licorice Pizza, I had no idea what to expect. Literally. I saw the name of the film pop up in Twitter threads of recommendations, so I decided to go see it completely fresh - and I'm very glad I did.
The film is a refreshing, coming-of-age tale that follows two young people, Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) an ambitious teen actor turned entrepreneur, and Alana Kane (Alana Haim), a young woman who's unsure of what she wants her life to look like.
Licorice Pizza charts their eventful and complicated relationship, as they start up a waterbed business in the San Fernando Valley in the 1970s.
From a purely aesthetic standpoint, Licorice Pizza is worthy of a cinema trip. The film's visuals summon an image of California that is so visceral, it borders on familiar. It captures the glamour and appeal of Los Angeles in the 70s, but without any unnatural sheen. Instead, it remains, aesthetically speaking, soft and dreamy throughout.
The visuals, coupled with some killer 1970s outfits and an utterly nostalgic soundtrack, render Licorice Pizza a feast for the senses, but it will also warm your heart. Gary and Alana's friendship is complicated, but very real. The film explores their unusual dynamic with care, and features moments of understated intimacy and heart-breaking vulnerability.
As well as being a touching coming-of-age story, Licorice Pizza is delightfully unpredictable. A kitsch song and dance number within the first 30 minutes lets the viewer know they're in for an endearing but wild ride. Additionally, the film is packed with celebrity cameos, including Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, Maya Rudolph and Tom Waits. Despite these big names, it is our two leads that, quite rightfully, steal the show.
Licorice Pizza is currently playing in cinemas across Ireland.