‘Licorice Pizza’ (2021) | Movie Review

Directed By:

Paul Thomas Anderson

Written By:

Paul Thomas Anderson


Bradley Cooper, Skyler Gisondo, Sean Penn


Comedy, Drama, Romance

Rated R for language, sexual material and some drug use.

Gary Valentine is a 15 yr old who falls in love with 21 yr old Alana Kane in the San Fernando Valley. This is the story of both characters going through life and finding themselves in each other, in this Paul Thomas Anderson film that’s a dream-like coming of age story with two incredible premiere performances.

First I think the acting done by both Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman are stellar in every way. Say what you will (with certain validity) about the characters age difference, the actors chemistry is solid and really lets you feel like the relationship is real. Cooper Hoffman has done his late father proud and I truly hope he continues working and bringing performances like this. I have loved Alana Haim for her music but had no clue she had such a heartfelt performance like this in her for a debut! Truly all of the supporting cast with Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper, and more shined and enhanced the film.

‘Licorice Pizza’ is also a really funny film. There may be a few jokes that come across pretty easily as insensitive and the film asks you to find the humor in the adage “Those were the times” level of racism. Decide for yourself how to feel about those particular scenes, however the humor throughout the film is great. I love the witty dialogue and dynamite screenplay that will for sure be nominated come awards season.

Overall, ‘Licorice Pizza’ is a charming quick coming of age story that goes by in a breeze. you’ll love the characters and will leave wanting to go right back into the world Paul Thomas Anderson created.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10.
Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of PatrickBeattyReviews.com and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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