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Licorice Pizza

I really enjoyed this. I spent a lot of it wondering why certain things were happening and where other things were going, but none of it really mattered in the end. Most of the time that’d be quite a negative take, but for this it isn’t. It feels more like an anthology structure than a straight up narrative, except you only follow two characters predominantly. It’s a little bit all over the place and unfocused, but it’s lovely. 

One character is a man stuck in a boys body, who somehow manages to lead the life of a fully grown man too. He’s only fifteen but he’s already a washed up actor looking for other ways to make money, and through the course of the film he finds a fair few. The other is a girl whose body has perhaps aged a bit too fast around her, who similarly is leading the life of a young girl despite being 28 and telling everyone she’s 25. It’s a really interesting dynamic which leads to the mentally younger becoming the mentally older’s chaperone, and then everything else comes from that. So much happens that I found myself wondering how much time had passed and how old they were towards the end, until it was confirmed that he was still only fifteen.

If you’re going into this expecting to find a narrative thread to follow you’ll be disappointed. It’s a piece of cinema that’s designed to be experienced and felt more than it is supposed to tell a defined story. It’s a bit like American Graffiti or Dazed and Confused where the point is just to hang out with the characters for a bit, and it does a great job of creating that atmosphere. There’s a scene where a character essentially asks whether what she’s spending her time doing is weird, and the response is “well, it’s whatever you think it is”, and that line really sums what this film is as a whole. If you can think of it in an innocent light, you’ll have a really good time.

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