Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza ★★½

I suppose that’s the third of Anderson’s fucked up relationship movies, or fourth if you count Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a relationship. Either way, it fails because Anderson doesn’t bother to figure out how the pair fits together. 

Conceptually sure. Gary is trying to grow up too quickly and Alana likewise. People take him seriously enough to buy his waterbeds because he’s a scam artist like every other man in the movie. Nobody takes her seriously because she’s a woman, and like every other woman in the movie she’s stuck in service roles. 

See? That’s the unfunny joke about Jerry Frick’s interchangeable Japanese wives. There’s a point to it, and apparently the real Jerry Frick did marry two Japanese women. It’s just a shitty way to make the point.

So right, it’s about a toxic relationship, which is fine: Phantom Thread. It’s just that the pieces don’t fit. Anderson showed us what Krieps got out of Day-Lewis, and vice versa, even if it wasn’t healthy. This time it’s just stated as a fact. Gary’s vision of Alana — “you repeat everything twice” — isn’t even all that accurate.

Block or Report