Gary Valentine, a young actor and popular kid at school falls in love with Alana Kane, a student teacher who is a few years older than him. He convinces her to meet him for dinner and the two of them become friends, although Gary is more attached to her than she is to him. As the two become friends, the trials and tribulations of romance make themselves known as Alana and Gary struggle with what each one of them are really looking for.
Paul Thomas Anderson is not a director that I’m super familiar with. I’ve not seen any of his other work but I know he’s a fan favorite with many quality movies on his resume. That said, Licorice Pizza is an interesting conundrum. The acting, soundtrack, and visuals were all top notch. Absolutely perfect casting with Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim. They were both incredible. Each scene felt natural and alive and had a very distinct visual style that I picked up on right away. And the soundtrack was perfectly 70s. All that aside, the story feels disjointed and it just kinda meanders on for about 2 hours until it ends. The characters were in the driver seat, not the other way around and it felt more like a home movie than a multimillion dollar picture.
Licorice Pizza might not be the best introduction to Paul Thomas Anderon’s filmography, but it has definitely driven me to look at the rest of his filmography. Licorice Pizza is currently only available in theaters.