Official Discussion - Licorice Pizza [SPOILERS]

  1. Yeah, I noticed it immediately when I heard his voice. I was wondering if anyone was gonna catch it, since he appears very quick.

  2. I was so engrossed in the movie that I didn't even register that he was just a cameo. Like I saw him and thought he would come into play later in the scene but quickly forgot about him once the cops showed up

  3. That was so great and the two of them's reactions to what just happened is another reminder of how different in age they are. Gary is like wow that was awesome and Alana is like that was seriously fucked up. We could have died, I shouldn't still be doing stuff like this. They do that same technique of contrasting between their reactions several times in the movie too

  4. Alana watching them celebrate with jerry cans as she realises the age gap is an issue because she had a completely opposite reaction was perfect.

  5. I'm relieved to see that no one got injured during the truck scene, surprised that Gary's brother Greg and his friends managed to stay calm during the whole ride.

  6. Bradley Cooper’s Jon Peters telling him that they’re both from the streets killed me. I felt like the whole segment was inspired by Kevin Smith’s account of interacting with him

  7. Did anyone notice that he played Barbara Streisand's husband, and Streisand was in one of the older a Star Is Born movies, and Bradley Cooper played opposite her character in the newest one?

  8. He turned out to be amazing actor with a very wide range.... I mean when he started everyone pegged him as the hunk.... let’s hope he pulls a DiCaprio and eventually wins an Oscar.

  9. That whole section was my favorite part of the film. Alaina having to drive the truck backwards downhill was awesome.

  10. I think that Cooper is generally adequate as an actor, but he was a rockstar in this role! I got the impression that he was acting from personal experience; he seemed to really understand the psychology of the type of person he portrayed.

  11. I'm not a big PTA fan in general, but I really loved this movie. I thought it was funny, beautifully shot, and wonderfully acted. Alana Haim is rightly getting tons of praise, but I thought Cooper Hoffman also gave one of the best performances of the year.

  12. I think it's interesting that every older guy that Alana wants to be with instead of Gary is essentially the idealization of what Gary wants to be. Like Sean Penn's character is a widely adored and respected actor, the guy running for mayor has a whole dedicated team of people working on his behalf, etc.

  13. This is the better take to have. People just keep having these surface level opinions that it's a girl wanting to fuck a teenage boy. When it's not even close to that. I didn't even see their relationship presented in that way really. I mean the beginning of the movie starts off with Alana being asked what are her plans and she says she doesn't know. I think it's a very well laid out movie about a young woman trying to find her place in a time that was very sexist.

  14. I don't know. My take while watching was that Alana befriending Gary was her avoiding the reality that she needs to grow up and get her shit together, and her trajectory through the movie made it seem like she would choose to grow up by remaining platonic with Gary and focus on her career, but her choosing romance just felt like it went against her character development, in addition to being a bit creepy

  15. Hi there - I was unfamiliar with this song but am noticing it mentioned on every “best needle drops of 2021” list. Can you remind me where in the movie it was?

  16. Watching this I felt like I was watching a modern classic. Loved it so much, especially Bradley Cooper and Bennie Safdie's arcs...

  17. Yes, the ending really didn't work, both from the reversal of the way things were going and all the damn running around. It also had a flashback which went against the naturalistic feel of the filmmaking to that point. I don't know what he was thinking in crafting that final scene.

  18. So to be clear, Alana is 28, right? In the scene in the truck when she’s talking to Bradley Cooper’s character, it seems like she kinda slips up and says she’s 28 before correcting herself to 25.

  19. I think Alana is an unreliable narrator and is just supposed to be an ambiguous 20-something. Her Dad being so protective of her and the way her sisters acted made me doubt she’s close to 30.

  20. There was less reason for her to lie to Gary in the first scene about her being 25 and more reason for her to lie about being 28 to Cooper's character.

  21. I caught that as well and thought it was odd too. They never mention it again. Don't really understand what the point of it was. Even if she was 28, it doesn't change the dynamic of their relationship anyways, when 25 is already significantly past the era of adolescence to begin with.

  22. She says “28” to Bradley Cooper’s character because she’s intimidated, not because that’s secretly her real age. Since it’s a lie she slips up while saying it and then just says her real age of 25.

  23. In real life, that was a slip-up and she accidentally said she was 28 because that is her real age but her character is supposed to be 25. They left the slip up in there on purpose.

  24. I might be alone in this, but the age gap really took me out of it. Not just 10 years, but specifically 25 years to 15 years. It's just unrealistic to the point of being absurd.

  25. I agree. I didn’t know we were all suppose to be cool with that age gap. It was EXTREMELY distracting to me. I kept thinking they’re going to give it some explanation or i misheard/misunderstood something that made it less gross.

  26. It was perfect as a platonic relationship story, but then ruined at the end. They should have move forward in time a bit, perhaps to he was 18, 19 or 20 yrs old.

  27. When they were out of gas and rolling downhill, one if the houses they rolled past looks like the house that was robbed in Boogie Nights

  28. I watched this last night and didn’t realize how many characters (including the main character) were based on real-life people. Wikipedia definitely helped with that (please donate $2 to Wikipedia).

  29. That's why it reminded me more of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood than any other PTA film. These completely historically inaccurate (or maybe not) portrayal of famous names.

  30. I liked how pretty much every man Alana takes an interest in turns out to be an asshole. That includes Gary. I think when Matthew tells her they are basically all assholes she then picks Gary. Lance refusing to do the prayer gets her family mad at her. Jack allows her to fall off the motorcycle and doesn’t care. Joel is using her to appear straight and so on.

  31. What about the chief of staff guy that she ditches for the opportunity to have a drink with Joel? He seemed like the best choice, but maybe he’s not messed up enough for her.

  32. Thing was I didn’t even think Lance was being a dick in all that, it didn’t seem like he ever lied and said he was Jewish going into it or anything like that, and he was very respectful in turning down the prayer at dinner.

  33. I went with my wife and daughter, a 15-year-old cinephile who is ahead of the curve with her knowledge of cinema, and we all loved this movie. I legitimately felt emotional during the opening. After such a tough year for the world, it was truly a wonderful feeling to be sitting in a theater enjoying a new movie from PT Anderson.

  34. Oh man I’m a big time film buff, I hope one day i get to have kids as passionate about film as your daughter :)

  35. I was looking for someone to mention the Safdie plotline, it might have been my favorite part of the movie. I can’t even really put a finger on why, I just loved it. Those close ups!

  36. That was the entire point of the movie, in my opinion, that people use each other. She uses men and Gary uses her, etc

  37. Alana was using her men as ways to feel more mature. They definitely all served a role in making her fill grown up and like she was actually doing something with her life

  38. What I loved about this film was how I related to both Gary and Alana. When I was 15, I had so much drive - taking AP classes, in speech and debate, hoping to go to Harvard law. Now that I'm 25, I feel like I'm in Alana's position. My life isn't going how I imagined it would be and I feel somewhat stuck. I'm struggling to hold on to a rapidly dwindling youthfulness while also trying to figure out how to actually make the world a better place. When you're 15, you want to be 25 and when you're 25, you wish you could be 15.

  39. I think the only thing I liked about this movie was the soundtrack. I do not understand all the praise it's been getting from critics and in this thread. It was a meandering plot with two mostly unlikable characters leading the way and no real story arc. I found Cooper Hoffman insufferable throughout the film, just did not like that character at all which I hope was the point? The age gap is problematic, but not as much as how weird both of their characterizations were and how they just kind of rolled with it. It's really really fucking weird for a 25 year old to hang out with high school sophomores. That's not my biggest hang-up though, it's mostly with how there were multiple absurd scenes and scenarios that just kind of materialized out of nowhere. With the bad writing and weak dialogues I just couldn't get into it at all. I don't know, this film was mostly hollow and pointless to me.

  40. I love PTA, and Licorice Pizza is a good movie, but ngl it let me down a bit. I felt the subplots varied wildly in quality and utility. The Bradley Cooper section was my favorite and the most engaging, but I found the Sean Penn subplot completely useless. Thankfully, Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim carried the movie with their infectious banter, chemistry, and Anderson's excellent dialogue flowing from their mouths. Still, more than any other Anderson film I've seen, I felt self-indulgence and wonky pacing. No reason this movie had to be 2:15.

  41. Should’ve cut at the kiss imo. That final shot and ADR was rough. Very unlike PTA to fumble the landing like that.

  42. It’s very meh. It felt disjointed and the characters weren’t fully developed. I wanted to care about them but didn’t. It had some fun elements but I feel like it needed a stronger storyline.

  43. It felt so incredibly scripted that the characters didn’t feel human. I can’t imagine either of them existing in the actual world.

  44. Just realized after reading the last names of the three actors in this movie that they are from the band HAIM that I used to listen to and I think it's their debut? What a movie to start your career with.

  45. I wish I had anything interesting to add, but at this point, everything has been said. I just wanted to tell the void that this was the first movie I've seen in theaters in over 2 years. I was really excited to go, and I'm very glad I did.

  46. was that creepy guy lurking outside of Wach’s office the same guy in the police station at the beginning of the film? when the police drag him out and he sees Gary and says “that isn’t him.” i thought for sure they were the same dude but i haven’t seen anyone else talk about it

  47. I was going to ask what happened with that guy? I left as the credits started so i didnt sit to the very end. Honestly I thought the guy was gonna be a shooter trying to attack / kill Wachs with whatever was in that bag? Been thinking about it since i left the cinema

  48. Favorite movie of the year. Beautiful cinematography, Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim's performances feel like a revelation, and PTA's script is as nuanced and charming as ever. This has been a great year for movies, this feels like a perfect capstone.

  49. For someone who composes movie scores that don't even sound like music half the time, I never thought I'd be moved by Jonny Greenwood's score, even though he didn't have a large presence in it overall. It just felt so serene and appropriate for a movie like this.

  50. There's a surprising amount of warmth underneath all of his stuff. He has a really unique ability to take those atonal melodies, and present them in a very pleasant, comforting way. Sort of extracting a melody where there shouldn't be one.

  51. Is it just me, or did PTA cut scenes of Cooper's freakout at the 76??? In the trailer he is destroying cars with a squeegee, but those scenes aren't in the film.

  52. Paul said in an interview that it was a scene that was in the edit for a long time, but eventually he decided to cut it because Alana and Gary were not in the scene and it was one of the only moments that was outside of their perspective, so they decided to cut it.

  53. Unsurprisingly this movie seems to be very divisive, I think it works for some people and doesn't for others. Let me preface all this by saying that I'm not challenging anyone who enjoyed it, and more power to you if you did. But personally I don't understand the hype here.

  54. I found the movie entertaining and loved experiencing 70s LA through PTA’s eyes, but I agree with everything you said. Alana was acting immaturely so consistently that I honestly forgot she was meant to be 10 years older. She is shown There was a chance to examine the morality of this relationship, and the tendency of people to romanticise the idea of adulthood until they actually reach it, but PTA never really ventured into those depths.

  55. Anyone pick up on references to other films? The one to Taxi driver wasn’t subtle at all, but the nighttime tracking shot of Gary and Alana walking definitely reminded me of Blue Velvet.

  56. I got MAJOR Taxi Driver vibes from the dude hanging outside the campaign office, to the point where I was almost convinced the movie was going to turn into it but from the Cybil Shepard perspective

  57. If memory serves, didn't Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character in "Punch Drunk Love" own a mattress store? (Like father, like son?)

  58. I’m preeeeetty sure the first phone call scene with Gary and Alaina was a reference to the phone call scene in Happiness with PSH

  59. Gary embodied the idea of childhood and innocence, and I liked how PTA showed how easily his smitten crush for Alana could be brought to silence and intimidation by older men in the film.

  60. Did I miss something? It felt like the movie had a few subplots going on and it just abruptly ended. Pretty disappointed by a PTA movie or I’m just stupid.

  61. Magnolia is one of my all time favourites. I think There Will be Blood and Boogie Nights are also exceptional, along with The Master.

  62. Kind of why I found the overtly romantic, in filmmaking technique, not just content, ending so odd to the point of wondering if it takes place at all.

  63. I really liked Alana’s performance. Impressive debut. The scene where she yells at her family is definitely her Oscar scene. I really hope she wins at least the golden globe for this. If you like the haim sisters please listen to their music especially women in music part 3

  64. I don't get why people think portrayal of something means the writer or director must therefore support or condone it. Were we supposed to have a dialog where Cooper explained to his friend that he was racist towards his wives and that he should show respect to Japanese people and their culture.

  65. You don’t need to have a debrief conversation about how bad the Asian accent bit was, but someone as well versed in film making as PTA could find ways to humanise the wives beyond being the wives of the racist that would add to their character and without directly relating to the other scene, give it a brand new context in a powerful way.

  66. I found it incredibly boring, which is a huge sin for a film that is ultimately a hangout film/composed of vignettes.

  67. Absolutely love PTA, all of his films, his writing, his eye, the style…all of it. Really loved elements of this movie, some great characters and all that.

  68. As far as the age gap/romance thing, I felt he handled it okay up until the end with them kissing and her saying she loves him in what seemed like a voice over. What the hell?! The movie seemed to be building towards them not being together, kind of helping each other grow to different things. Then that reversed it in an uncomfortable way.

  69. Very good film. Glad everyone agrees on this and there is no controversy surrounding the film whatsoever. It would be a real shame if a bunch of people with the media literacy of a 3rd grader waged an ideological war against this movie in specific.

  70. I was 100% on board to give this a 10/10 until the last 2 minutes of the movie. The kiss took me way out of the film, as well as Alana saying she loved him in such a rushed manner. Though it hits the nail on the head, in regards to the age gap, and is meant to make the audience feel strange, I just can’t get on board with it.

  71. I agree with you, the ending was weirdly rushed. Maybe it could've ended with them running to find each other and leaving it ambiguous if they found each other in the end? idk

  72. TIL Gary is played by the son of Phillip Seymour Hoffman. That kinda blew my mind and very bittersweet since PTA with Phillip Hoffman a lot.

  73. Does anyone know when this releases in Latin America? Although even then, it's not sure if it's even gonna come out in Venezuela :(

  74. The actress who played Bebe Glazer (Frasier's Agent) in Frasier is in this and I loved how she played a similar role here

  75. Any chance that Gary Valentine takes a few wrong turns in life and Fat Bernie's grows up and becomes a different Matress king, Dean Tumble?

  76. Just got back from the movie. I was very conflicted about the ending, but it felt very dream like with the echoy voice and slow mo I know it wasn’t meant to be a “and then they fell in love” finale.

  77. Did anyone notice that in the final scenes, when Gary had his opening night at his ping pall club … he was wearing a white suit exactly like Bradley Coopers character wore? He also was acting crazy, swearing at kids, telling them - “I own this place!”, kicking bikes outside on the sidewalk. He then walked inside and started schmoozing the ladies. This was eerily similar to when Cooper was kicking trash cans down the street and then flipped a switch and started hitting on passing women while Alana sat with her head in her hands. Gary was turning into Coopers character - who Alana so obviously despised, and yet she still returned to him.

  78. I was super scared that #12 dude was going to attack the office. I mistakenly thought he was the same guy in the police station earlier, but the credits disproved that. The posters evoked some Harvey Milk promo posters which also led me there.

  79. So is Jon Peters known for his "from the streets" references? That had me cracking up because of the Evening With Kevin Smith segment (re: the Superman script Kevin did) about when Peters talked about relating to Smith because they are both "from the streets".

  80. As the movie went on, I kept expecting there to be a longer passage of time. But then they'd bring up their ages again, and I'd realize that not a whole lot of time has actually passed. If they had aged the characters throughout the movie (without them maturing emotionally), that could easily have fixed some of the ickiness I felt at the end with the age gap so glaringly present.

  81. I kept expecting her to reveal she wasn't actually 25. He gave them way too big an age gap for that period of life. There's no reason at all to say she was actually 25, she could've just as easily been 20 and the only thing that would've changed would it would've been less weird.

  82. Yeah, the more I think about this, I’m thinking that this movie is about nostalgia blinding us from the past not being all that we thought it was. We have this story presented to us so glamorously, like a pleasant memory, sometimes even dreamlike, and yet the entire story is predicated on something that the film seems to want you to forget: that obviously, this relationship is completely unacceptable.

  83. Your reading of the film seems to be super charged with a cynicism that PTA does not seem to share at all, either in any of his interviews or the way he makes his movies. He tends to withhold judgement from his characters. It doesn’t mean you don’t make strong points, but Joel Wachs isn’t a cold hearted character — you’re assuming the film agrees with his boyfriend’s anger at him. Wachs seems to be a sincere politician who wants to make a change, but his bleak assessment about the 1973 world they live in is 100% correct.

  84. Would you not consider Safdie's character a positive character? He's a seemingly honest politician. He gives up his love life for his career which he believes is for the betterment of society. He gave those around him hope. I didn't see much to dislike about him.

  85. Why did Cooper Hoffman’s character need to be 15, he could have been 18 and almost none of the plot would be any different. The age gap is uncomfortable because it is only acknowledged once in the film and then just dropped as no big deal. The age gap could have worked if Alana was mostly using him for money and trips and made it clear she saw him as a younger brother which is where I thought it was going in the beginning but later we see she is jealous when he is with other girls. On a technical level it was excellent but the relationship to me played out like Rushmore if Jason Schwartzman and the teacher’s relationship was romanticized.

  86. I thought they should have lowered her age. 15 and 18 (maybe 19) year old gap is a lot less cringy and she could have like just graduated high school and unsure where her life is going in this moment.

  87. Acknowledged once? It is pretty constantly mentioned/is a plot point. I’m not disagreeing with you entirely, because I’m still trying to form an opinion from what I just watched. Just want to point out it is often brought up.

  88. If Gary is 18, he doesn't need a chaperone to go to the convention in New York. If he's 18, he doesn't need Alana to drive him around everywhere. I'm not saying the age gap is unproblematic, but a lot of the plot falls apart if Gary's an adult.

  89. So licorice Pizza is definitely a way to describe a vinyl record, which makes sense cuz this movie is all about the spin.

  90. That Sean Penn riding over the fire scene may have been one of the most shoehorned scenes in movie history. PTA sure did ask you to suspend your disbelief quite a few number of times this film but that scene took the cake.

  91. It was a pretty big build up for a lot of nothing, felt like he just wanted to plug Sean Penn and Tom Waits in for the hell of it

  92. Lol yeah I was thoroughly entertained with that whole scene but can't justify any of it against what you're saying

  93. Does anyone else think that Alana is lying when she says she’s 25? Do we know for sure she’s 25? She still lives at home, and I think she’s the youngest daughter, so you have a bunch of 30 year old women living at home? Since she lied about it and said she’s 28, I think 25 is a lie too.

  94. My sister's boyfriend told me this was really bad. I liked the trailers and it got good reviews, so I decided to ignore him and see it anyway. I should have listened.

  95. Am I weird for feeling iffy about this movie? I’ve been looking forward to it for a while now and was super excited to finally see it. I knew about the age gap, but I figured they’d make it a major point of the story. Which they did. But it seems this is one of those movies you watch and it doesn’t turn out how you want it to (me wanting Alaina to make the right decision, but her ultimately continuing to make snap spur of the moment bad decisions)

  96. To me the Asian accent scene is funny because it's clear how foolish and absurd it is. You're laughing at how ridiculously inappropriate the behavior is.

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