Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza ★★★★★

When he was 15, my youngest brother came to me for advice about being heart broken. He had fallen into a deep depression about a quick fling that had failed to evolve into anything more. I looked at the facts of my brother’s relationship—this girl went to a different school and they barely knew each other. So, my advice wasnt not exactly comforting: “I know this feels so big right now and you’re aching. But there were girls in high school that I was so depressed over that I have trouble remembering their names now.”  

My point being what feels big now feels smaller later. But what I didn’t say is that every now and then, those quick flash loves, those dumb teenage summer adventures reappear in your mind. Sometimes in a dream or sometimes triggered by finding an artifact from those doomed times.
To me, Licorice Pizza felt like a dreamy trip down memory lane. Obviously, nothing in McAllen, Texas came close to rivaling the scale of schemes Alana, Gary, and co. found themselves in. But everything felt that big and whimsical. And between the tight script and tighter camera work, PTA captured how hazy adolescent felt. We were little adults playing house and rarely ever considering the consequences. 

Both Hoffman and Haim’s performances captured the immature projection, rampant hormones, and incessant envy. The slew of guest stars brought their absolute best (with Bradley Cooper taking the fucking cake). Greenwood’s score backed by some soul hits played with my heart strings.

Perhaps my brother will forget the details of his teenage romances, but I doubt he’ll ever forget the magic.

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