Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza ★★★★★

I expect further viewings of Licorice Pizza will reveal deeper, more hidden themes and meanings. But on a surface level, Paul Thomas Anderson’s good vibes love story between Alana Kane and Gary Valentine (Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, impressively great in a film stuffed with all-timer performances) is just a wonderful groove to be in, a nostalgia trip that doesn’t sugar coat but doesn’t wallow in re-examination. It creates its own unique, hilarious, offbeat world, one which sort of existed in one sense and never did in another. Like the now-defunct titular record store (which we never see in the film), it’s a place one can visit in fantasy.

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