Licorice Pizza- Movie Review

“Licorice Pizza” is the story of Alana Kane and Gary Valentine growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973.


Rachel Miller, Reporter

“Licorice on pizza, that sounds gross!” Is what you might say when you hear the new film from Paul Thomas Anderson, which takes place in 1973 in Encino, California. 


Licorice Pizza is a coming-of-age romance movie which stars Cooper Hoffman (son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) as Gary Valentine and Alana Haim as Alana, Gary’s teenage crush.


The two characters meet as Alana is helping the photographer on picture day at Gary’s school. Gary meets Alana and is instantly smitten by her, he carries himself with such certainty and addresses her so straightforwardly that she can’t offer assistance but get drawn into his way of life.


While their relationship provides the structure for the film, “Licorice Pizza” is neither sappy or “one true love” like the Notebook but more of a journey of self-discovery for both Gary and Alana. They sell waterbeds together and Gary creates an arcade while Alana helps local politician Joel Wachs run for his campaign.


The movie embodies youth, with everything all happening at once, at the same time it felt like nothing really happened at all. Licorice Pizza provides a freshness of what it means to be young, as well as what it feels like to grow up. 

‘Licorice Pizza’ Is Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1970s Power Ballad — and the Funkiest Love Story of the Year ”

— Rolling Stone