Film Review: Licorice Pizza (2021)

Zena V.
2 min readJul 2, 2022
Image by Focus Features

I will be honest: I did not get what this film wanted from me. It’s one of those movies where I question the Academy’s decision-making process (but since I do that every year, I’m not sure it means much). The quirkiness that bled too much outside of the main characters was a weird stylistic choice, because I think it took away from the main characters. But, even Alana’s peculiarities in some scenes felt like an overused trope that was no longer compelling in the least, like the early 2000s era of quirky women and their turbulent love lives. Are we watching Welcome to the Dollhouse or Ladybird? Perhaps 500 Days of Summer with a more clueless main character?

All of the actual plots felt pointless, too. I think I am personally weary of movies that use Hollywood or acting as a kind of backdrop. There’s at least one every year, and it’s boring. Oh, also: let’s just throw in Sean Penn and Bradley Cooper, because they need some jobs I guess?

The characters weren’t badly written. I think normalizing characters like that is a good thing, and we do get them more frequently now — people who never know what or if they want or whether they should say what they want, or who block out what they’re feeling so they can feel angry instead. The execution was not the greatest, though. Add to that a romance that breaks some rules — sure, we haven’t seen this particular blend of it in a while, but did I care? I’m not sure there’s anything interesting to me about someone ten years older deciding to date a fifteen-year-old, because he was persistent enough. I’m sure it happens, but again, that didn’t come across as anything meaningful to me.

If anyone can explain to me why they liked this, I’d be open to hearing it. For me, however: I give it ★★.5 stars. Sorry, Hollywood, ya lost me here.