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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Licorice Pizza Review: California Dreams and Intrigues

These moments are cheap and stupid and add nothing to a film that throws a lot into the alternation of scattering and laser effects: the OPEC oil crisis, waterbeds, silhouette of palm trees against the night sky, and those stars that no longer Shine brightly. One of the repetitive rhythms that Anderson shows best in Licorice Pizza is how it feels to live in a corporate city like Los Angeles, where everyone is busy with their own business, seems to be or wants to be, and so they keep clinging. for Hollywood and its prospects, whether it’s Gary or the faded middle-class stars lounging around the neighborhood. There, Sean Penn roars like an old studio buzzard, and Tom Waits and other pals grin on the sidelines.

Everywhere Alana continues to seethe and glow, relentlessly lighting Gary and the film as brightly as the Fourth of July fireworks, even as the story slips here and there, building up and losing momentum. The movie doesn’t always know what to do with Alana other than the dog chasing her, and it’s a special bummer when Anderson makes her an object of love and lust, but ignores her sexual desire. Alana may be lost, but she is not dead, quite the opposite. She is a woman who is alive to the world and aware of her own attraction. But libidinally she is empty, virgin and safe, like the heroine of a teenage comedy. She doesn’t even ask Gary to please her, not that he knows what to do.

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Alana deserves the best, damn it! Everyone knows this (well, not Gary), even a Hollywood producer based on the real John Peters (the sensational Bradley Cooper). Superbly tousled, a white shirt framing chest hair, a kilo of cocaine (probably) in his nose, Peters appears after Gary starts a water bed company. Business is a long, not particularly good story, but Peters, who is dating Barbra Streisand, wants a bed, and he wants it now. This initiates the episode “Tour de Force” in which Alana, who is helping Gary manage things, immediately gets behind the wheel of a monstrous moving truck. She’s a natural genius, Streisand, Andretti, the goddess of California, and as she brakes, slows down and drives, Alana gives you a vision of perfection and Licorice Pizza the driver she needs.

Pizza with licorice
R rating for stereotypes, language and teenage jokes. The duration of the performance is 2 hours 13 minutes. In theaters.

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