Licorice Pizza - SPOILERS!

Started by wilberfan, November 05, 2021, 08:30:50 PM

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achordion

Quote from: Drenk on November 29, 2021, 02:43:33 AM
SPOILERS ENDING OF LICORICE PIZZAGATE

Quote from: Montclair on November 29, 2021, 02:02:23 AM
So, this was a really good movie and the age gap stuff didn't bother me, up until
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the kiss at the end. I felt uncomfortable. A 15 year old boy kissing a 25(maybe 28) year old woman isn't sweet, innocent or romantic. Plus we hear her voiceover say, "I love you, Gary." Weird. I would've loved to kiss a woman in her mid-late 20s when I was a 15 year old boy, but I would've looked back on it and realized I wasn't old enough to consent.


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And even immature adults know better than kissing teenagers.


[minor spoilers ahead]

I would be fine with the kiss alone if it weren't for the fact that the movie's final leg ends in a generic rom-com fashion (totally out of character for PTA) which doesn't leave one with the sense of ambiguity or unresolvedness of Inherent Vice or The Master (both superior films, imho).

Licorice Pizza is still a fun and entertaining movie, but it largely dances around the incompatibility of Gary and Alana's relationship (age-gap and personality incongruities) which highlights its lack of willingness to really explore the ins-and-outs of their relationship (and interior lives -- does anyone feel they fully understand either character?). Phantom Thread didn't run into this issue, and it was a romance centered around a toxic relationship as well, and that's a central reason why LP isn't as great as that film.

In the end, the overwhelming acclaim for LP can be chocked up to the fact that it's a highly cinematic and impressively directed/acted film that is also an entertaining and accessible rom-com at a time when people are clearly hungry for both of those things (pandemic streaming malaise antidote), and we know people loved their young love rom-coms like Lady Bird (an *extremely* overrated film, btw -- The Spectacular Now is better).

Side-note: The discourse around the "racist" Asian joke in LP is ludicrous, and only being pushed by oversensitive white people and absolute dullards. I say this as an Asian person. I don't think that line of critique will have much legs.

Pringle

Quote from: Drenk on November 29, 2021, 05:19:30 AM
My point/worry is that he may be avoiding the story in front of his eyes, though. Making it worse by trying to make it safe.

But I'm overjoyed that men who want to date teenagers will be interested in Licorice Pizza! Wonderful!

Have you seen this movie yet?

PaulElroy35

Quote from: Montclair on November 29, 2021, 02:02:23 AM
So, this was a really good movie and the age gap stuff didn't bother me, up until
Spoiler: ShowHide
the kiss at the end. I felt uncomfortable. A 15 year old boy kissing a 25(maybe 28) year old woman isn't sweet, innocent or romantic. Plus we hear her voiceover say, "I love you, Gary." Weird. I would've loved to kiss a woman in her mid-late 20s when I was a 15 year old boy, but I would've looked back on it and realized I wasn't old enough to consent.


But hes not grown up yet   he wouldnt feel like YOU feel now.

achordion

Point of clarification: Gary is at least 16 by the end of the film, no? I seem to recall him saying to Jon Peters that he turns 16 in a month, and that was before Alana got her job at the campaign office, and before Gary got the idea for the pinball parlor. Assumedly at least 3 or 4 months must've passed at minimum by the end of the film (possible much longer, too).

Considering he's the one pursuing her for most of the film, it can hardly be said she was grooming him, either. Though it would be  very trendy and #woke to say she was and just write it off sight unseen, as if life can ever truly be boiled down to simple rules to follow like the Bible.

All that to say, the romantic relationship (if there is one) clearly can't work for a number of reasons, but the movie's final act would like us to believe that it could. Regardless of what PTA says in interviews, his intention of having it be clear that they won't go on to have a anything more than a friendship does not come across narratively or cinematically in that last stretch of the film. Maybe some of the deleted scenes made that clearer, but that's an editing problem, not something that can be chocked up to the viewer's lack of comprehension. I've only seen the film once, but don't think I missed anything as this film isn't as dense or subtle as his other works.

Pringle

IMO, the clear implication of the film is that they are in love, and when Alana sees that another character is forced to hide their love due to societal constraints, she decides to go for it and reach out to the person that she loves.

She is also very impulsive in the movie though, and she was totally ready to date both Wachs and the campaign worker only like an hour or so (in terms of the characters reality) before the last line of the film.

Lots of Bees

A little behind on this thread, so sorry if this restates stuff that's already been said.

Saw it the other night and have been holding back thoughts because I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said, aside from some specific scenes that I don't want to get too into. I loved it and could easily see it moving near the top of my PTA ranking on even just one or two rewatches (although I can never really consistently rank his movies).  I gotta say, everyone said the cinematography is great, but it is even better than I expected. The colors, the tracking shots, the beautiful lens flares, and ESPECIALLY so many of those shots that he composes like nobody else, with characters close to the lens obstructing the focus of the scene, or mirrors obstructing characters faces... there is just nobody out there who is composing interesting shots like that anymore, even the best cinematographers out there. It felt like the culmination of all the things I love about his style, and honestly I think has my favorite cinematography out of any of his movies (or at least top 2 with The Master). Gonna make me insane when it inevitably doesn't get nominated.

And I agree with a lot of what Montclair said in their review, but I do disagree about the acting—I was honestly looking for moments that felt 'acted' to me and really couldn't find any. It felt so authentic, no moment felt forced. I love Dillon Freaser and Jeremy Blackman so much, but in my opinion these performances were a bit better. Alana's performance is so complex, and I feel like Hoffman's is being undersold. How the fuck does a seventeen year old who's never acted before do that? It is possible, of course, that I will change my opinion on future watches, but those are just my thoughts on the performances on first viewing.

Figured I'd mention that the moments that got the biggest laughs in my theater were
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Bradley Cooper walking back up the hill to the truck, and especially when he ran back to talk to the tennis girls after smashing the window.
People were falling out of their seats for that one.

The storytelling felt the most similar to Phantom Thread I think, which is strange because that hasn't been said much. In terms of the rhythm of their relationship—the fighting, the jealousy, the drifting apart and then coming back to each other without logical explanation, it felt very similar. I fucking loved the moment where
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Gary gets arrested, and it serves absolutely no purpose in the plot aside to heighten his and Alana's relationship, and lead to the Sonny and Cher-scored running down the street scene. It was perfect. Not to mention that "It wasn't him" was another moment that got a huge laugh.


I'm still working through the ending, it's one of the only things I'm not sure I love yet.
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It feels like sort of a horny-teenager fairytale ending to a story that doesn't seem to be leading toward it, and I would really love to hear Paul's reasoning for it. He mentions in interviews that he doesn't see them together romantically in the future, so it's curious that he ends it that way. I think it was beautifully done and still affected me emotionally, I was just a little surprised by it honestly and I'm still figuring out if I think it was right for the story. The Nate Mann character seemed like a great age-appropriate love interest for Alana, and I'm curious if the story would have still felt like it worked if the movie would have implied that she ends up with him, and just left her and Gary as a platonic love story. (keep the "I love you Gary," get rid of the kiss?) Just don't feel like much would have been lost (besides that great swirling-light shot) without the kiss. However, the "they're all shits, aren't they" almost made me cry, and so did the running immediately following it. Just gotta work through how I feel about the end-end.


Overall I had an amazing time and was incredibly satisfied, so many brilliant moments to rewatch a thousand times.

eward

Spoiler: ShowHide
Alana really is a bit foolish not to pursue a relationship with the Nate Mann character, that dude is a hunk and a half.

wilberfan

I was thinking about Higgins on the way home last night.  Hope he doesn't have too much (negative) residue from all of this.  (Some positive residue would be welcome, of course.)

https://twitter.com/JarretNathan/status/1465546315232800775
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

wilberfan

As a minor footnote to our ongoing discussions, and for the possible interest of future digital archeologists, here is TheLastSnowKings review of LICORICE PIZZA. 

Because I know some of you were wondering: LastSnowKing's review of Licorice Pizza...
Posted with permission.

from u/TheLastSnowKing sent 3 hours ago

Spoiler: ShowHide
Yes, I've seen it. It's not good. I know it's a shocker that I think that, but walking into the theater I really did hope it would be good. It's not. It's just Inherent Vice 2, but with Anderson's much weaker writing in place of Pynchon. With some cutesy Punch-Drunk Love moments thrown in. And what a pointless title that meant nothing.

Good soundtrack/needledrops.

The "romance"/"relationship" is weak and never believable at all. Hearing his ridiculous story about how he conjured up the idea was hilarious. No Anderson, it was not a good idea and it just sounds like you had to come up with an excuse for the unnecessary age gap because you were desperate to put the Haim family in a movie. The Alana character is such a male writer creation and confirms to me that Anderson is never going to write a good female character. The bigger surprise is how little Gary registered. This connection felt empty and thus the film has no substance. I don't blame the actors. For first timers, they're pretty good. Especially Haim. But they're let down by the weak script and poorly written characters. Who are Gary and Alana and why should we care about them? We never really find out.

Back to the story, or lack there of, what stakes are here? It never even felt like a "hangout" film to me. We watch Gary basically do what he wants with little consequences (the false arrest excluded). How is this interesting? And the whole Joel Wachs plot is a mess that's ultimately just a weak red herring. Regarding Jon Peters and "Jack" Holden, I think Anderson actually thought he was making some sort of commentary about predatory men which fell completely flat. And in the end, Alana has to settle for this doofus Gary? And we're supposed to cheer? What was Anderson even going for here?

I'm not even going to go into the whole Asian bit or the age gap (again). Those have been covered ad nauseum. I'm more interested in some of the vile undertones. People will think I'm reading too much into it. But Alana falling off the motorcycle on the ground was chilling and HAD to have been a reference/response to Fiona revealing that he shoved her out of a car. That's immediately what I thought of. And Alana's boredom at Penn and Waits' rambling was an obvious reference to her "quitting cocaine after listening to Anderson and Tarantino" story. Ditto Alana trying to drown out Jon Peters' meltdown as he trashes everything. That had to be referring to him throwing the chair across the room after he lost the Oscar. And even the Chumash line could've been mocking her for including land acknowledgments on her album. Isn't this all just further abuse? And Maya must feel so great being used once again as nothing more than a pointless, token cameo as he ogles the the young female lead.

I guess this was his OUATIH (a film I don't think is good in the first place). Congrats, I guess. He and Tarantino's "competition" is just sad to me at this point.

These are just what my initial thoughts are. The film just made me feel pretty gross.


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"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

Lots of Bees


pynchonikon


wilberfan

"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

wilberfan

Those little moments.  I was just thinking of when...

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Alana falls off the back of the motorcycle, and when Cooper runs to her, all she can say is,  "I fucked-up Danielle's guitar."  And then, in a sort of beautiful callback to the first few seconds of their first meeting--she repeats it.  ("You say everything twice", Gary points out to her when they first meet.)   
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."

WorldForgot

Love the way she sez that. Also love how she sez

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" Stop talking slimey" to Gary in the school gym

wilberfan

And how often

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teenagers annoy the shit out of her--within the very first few seconds we see her.   More than once they're literally in her way, and impeding her progress.
"When something doesn't resonate, it quickly becomes a tedious endurance test."