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Licorice Pizza - A New Age for Anderson

Inspired by his father, Paul Thomas Anderson began creating ameteur films from a young age. The vast majority of Anderson’s films are considered dark, edgy, graphic (DON’T watch Boogie Nights with your parents), and even scary. But his new film, “Licorice Pizza”, produces a surprisingly wistful take on 1970’s San Fernando Valley- a time where California was known for its plethora of drugs, prostitution, and crime. This refreshing film enchants the watcher with its romantic cinematography (also done by Anderson) and ever-changing plot line. At no point during the film did I have any idea what would happen next. Because his other movies are so intense, I was patiently waiting for a dark turn to occur throughout the film. But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was no dark turn- it was just a fun, enjoyable story about two teenagers running around a city.

The cast of Licorice Pizza are not your typical Hollywood actors. Alana Haim’s debut performance as the lead female role was noteworthy, but what made her role even more unique was that her actual family (two older sisters and parents) played her family in the film. Another interesting casting choice was Cooper Hoffman's debut performance as the male lead. Philip Senyor Hoffman, Cooper’s father, has starred in several of Anderson’s films and the two are known to be good friends. Between the cast, refreshing plot line, and dreamy setting, I think that Anderson must’ve enjoyed creating this film. While the film wasn’t anything intense like “Magnolia” or “There Will Be Blood”, it was simply enjoyable to watch and definitely recommended.

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