Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza ★★★★½

Imagination prevails so that wet dream logic can become physics. Realizing that those adolescent dreams that felt so real are loose desires borrowed from being awake—dreams are a reality where every character speaks in our vocabulary and embodies a cliché. I salute PTA for confiding in the privilege granted by the film medium that allows him to envision these “crude archetypes” as the childish musings of a mind unconscious to social norms and the daytime. In that vein, it’s best to imagine Licorice Pizza as a sort of a collective dream of two teenagers, where the consciousness of Alana and Gary occupy the same cortex. Age here is not dictated by Earthly time, but rather in the congruency in everything that formulates their chemistry. It is no crime to think of this film as maybe two 15 year olds(?), 20 year olds(?), etc. who are just given a differing age on screen corresponding to what their worldly expectations may be. In fact, sometimes age and behavior are each other’s reciprocal.

I have been unfairly critiquing a lot of recent films that operate as a sort of “low low fantasy” as being nothing but vessels for cheap escapism. Licorice Pizza proves contrary as dream logic can enunciate rich naturalism and are not mutually exclusive. The movie starts and ends in the unconscious, and when it’s this lucid, it can be tangible enough to live upon, walk upon and mistake for real life. Jarring as the tangents here may feel, they fill the frame and transit the film between sleep cycles, and luckily every ensemble here is memorable. The film ends as softy as it landed and refuses to ever awaken. I also need to mention that dinner scene with Sean Penn onward secures this as one of the funniest films I have seen now and ever. 

The joys of running through empty avenues. Why did people ever stop running to get from one place to another? Could be a me problem but I sweat no matter what speed I’m going.

As I write this review returning from the movies with Natalie, we sat together on some chairs that somebody left out for free in front of their house. Neither of us remembered in the moment that it rained earlier today so we walked off our movie high in our Soggy Bottoms.

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