‘Licorice Pizza’ Review: California Dreaming and Skimming
These moments are cheap and stupid and add nothing to a film that throws a great deal for alternating scattershots and laser effects: the OPEC oil crisis, beds of water, palms against a night sky. The silhouette of trees and the kind of stars that no longer shine bright. One of the repeated beats Anderson best hits is “Licorice Pizza.” It’s like living in a company city like Los Angeles, where everyone is in business, seems, or wants to be, and That’s why hung up is Hollywood and its promise, whether it’s Gary or the drab and mediocre stars lying dormant in the neighborhood joint. There, Sean Penn roars in the form of an old studio as Tom Waits and other friends smile on the sidelines.
Throughout the time, Alana continues to burn, relentlessly lighting up Gary and the film as bright as Fourth of July fireworks, even as the story slides around, and gathers. and loses momentum. The film doesn’t always know what to do with Alana other than the dog after that, and it’s a special one that when Anderson makes her the subject of love and lust, he trumps her sexual desire. Alana may be lost, but she is not dead, quite the opposite. She is a woman who lives for the world and is aware of her allure. But she has an empty libido as virgin and safe as a teen-comedy heroine. She doesn’t even ask Gary to cheer her up, not that she would know what to do.
Alana deserves better, hey! Everyone knows it (well, not Gary) even the Hollywood producer based on the real Jon Peters (a sensationalist Bradley Cooper). Peters appears after Gary starts the Water Bed Company, a white shirt over his chest hair, a kilo of coke (probably) above his nose. Business is a long story, not a particularly good story, but Peters, who is dating Barbra Streisand, wants a bed and he wants it now. This begins a tour de force sequence in which Alana, who is helping Gary steer things, grabs the wheel of a monstrous moving truck. She’s a natural, a genius, Streisand, Andretti, a California goddess, and, as she brakes and slows down and goes, Alana gives you a vision of perfection and the “licorice pizza” the driver needs.
Rated R for stereotypes, language and teen high junk. Running time: 2 hours 13 minutes. in Theaters.
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