Licorice Pizza

It sounds disgusting. For the record, I would never eat a pizza with licorice as a topping. 

But I couldn’t resist a coming of age story set in the 1970s. After all, that’s when I came of age.

Of course, I didn’t come of age in California. Nor was I a child actor. Which made Licorice Pizza something new, or as new as Hollywood gets. 

I chose the film in part because there was just enough time to finish it before the end of my flight. I’d never heard of it before. Which shows how much attention i pay to Hollywood – the film was nominated for Best Picture (and other Academy Awards).

Alana is 25. Gary is 15. There’s no way she should be interested in him. Given her family situation, perhaps it isn’t surprising that a child-actor, perhaps mature beyond his years, would have some appeal. She may not be aware of it, but she is looking for change.

But there are other options. More mature perhaps. Then Gary is arrested for murder. And the waterbedbusiness takes off.

Alana is conflicted. She loves being adored – but by a 15-year-old? Is that good or bad?

Being 15, Gary isn’t ready for an adult commitment, even though he thinks he is. How will Alana handle that?

How do the two of them handle business setbacks as world affairs impact their corner of California? Will pinball be their salvation?

I must confess, I enjoyed the film, even as I at times felt the plot had gone a little off the deep end. It is definitely roooted in time and place. You’ll recognize many of the characters, though the names have been changed (I presume for legal reasons). The film is well written and well performed, though the only actor’s name I recognized was Sean Penn.

Despite being far-fetched at times, I kept being drawn in, asking myself, does boy get girl in the end?

Licorice Pizza is a movie for all of us who have at some time in their lives had a crush on someone older, someone unobtainable. I suppose you could call it a fairy tale for adults.

It brought back memories of my youth. Even if it is set in California.

Definitely one I want to watch again when it shows up on one of the streaming services I subscribe to.


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