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Someone Needs To Explain Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Licorice Pizza' To Me

By Jen Maravegias | Film | September 28, 2021 |

By Jen Maravegias | Film | September 28, 2021 |


Licorice Pizza.png

The trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie, Licorice Pizza, dropped yesterday.

First of all, I’ve been spelling it “liquorice” since someone handed me that band’s album, Listening Cap, back in 1995. And now I feel dumb and also angry at all of my auto-correct software.

Secondly, what’s happening here? It’s the ’70s. It’s the San Fernando Valley. Is this Magnolia? Is it Boogie Nights? Something in between, maybe? More teens, less frogs and porn. Can we make Paul Thomas Anderson an adjective? Because this trailer is quintessential Paul Thomas Anderson. It is the PTA-iest of the PTAs.

Bradley Cooper plays disco-jumpsuited film producer Jon Peters. Tom Waits is a Hollywood director, which is inspired casting. I look forward to him stealing every scene he’s in. There’s Sean Penn looking ’70s sleazy in that suit and the distinguished, touch-of-grey sideburns. Maya Rudolph! What are you doing … Oh right, aside from being awesome in basically everything, she’s married to Paul Thomas Anderson. According to IMDb, Licorice Pizza also features Skyler Gisondo, who recently crushed it in HBO’s The Righteous Gemstones, Benny Safdie, and John C. Reilly.

The leads here are Alana Haim from, you know, Haim. And Cooper freakin’ Hoffman stepping right into his father’s footsteps in his film debut. (I might have cried a little.) They play Alana Cane and Gary Valentine. This seems to be a movie about them falling in love set to a killer soundtrack.

The title, by the way, refers to a ’70s California record store chain that was bought out by Sam Goodie in the 1980s. You’re welcome.

You can feel however you want about Paul Thomas Anderson movies. But you’ve got to hand it to the guy, the verisimilitude is always on point. Liquorice Licorice Pizza has a November 26th limited release date and will be available nationwide on December 25th.

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