Licorice Pizza

Wannabe actress Alana Caine (Alana Haim) and successful childhood star Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) live in the San Fernando Valley and meet by chance at school picture day. She’s 25 and he’s 15. As they grow up during the ’70s, their friendship grows into a partnership and later love, in spite of all they go through.

Licorice Pizza has been getting so much praise that I had to see what all the fuss was about. It didn’t seem like something I would like at first and I was very close to giving it a miss. Suffice to say, I am so glad that I didn’t. It wasn’t at all like I was expecting it to be – it was better.

If you are looking for a plot driven film, this is not it. What you will get instead is an exploration of various characters, what makes them tick and why they are the way they are. It was a different approach than what I was used to and sometimes the pacing seemed a bit clunky as a result. Sometime it was as if nothing was really happening which took some time for me to adjust to.

That being said, the acting was superb. Newcomers Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman gave top notch performances; their award nominations are rightly deserved and I look forward to seeing them in future projects. Mixed in with bigger talent such as Sean Penn, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Maya Rudolph and Bradley Cooper, it was a joy to witness.

Licorice Pizza is really as good as everybody says it is. It took me some time to wrap my head around what I had just seen but I mean that in the best way possible. It made me think and had me feeling nostalgic for a time that I have never even lived through.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

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