Licorice Pizza

Licorice Pizza ★½

An absolute waste of time and the most bored I've been in the cinema for a long, long while. Often with other films that are frustrating I can at least latch onto an aspect of its story or its composition and think about why it doesn't work for me - restlessness makes me want to think harder about a film and its merits - Licorice Pizza is so deeply insubstantial that I couldn't even do that. This is a bad movie, undoubtedly Anderson's worst. So sickeningly self-obsessed without the style to back it up, or the inherent tension and interesting setting and brilliant performances of his better work. 132 minutes of slick 70s reproduction and frothy banter between an all-star cast and yet none of it sticks - the whole production slides around on the screen. Even when a story beat makes sense and doesn't come out of left field, so often I felt like my reaction was limited to "so what?" or one of those shrugging hand gestures. There's a scene where Alana Haim's character is thrust into an argument between two lovers over dinner, both of them half-whispering their problems to each other, and I think it sums up pretty well how this left me feeling: I'm hearing a lot about other people's problems, but I don't have any of the worldly or personal context that would render it interesting, and I don't really see why I should care.

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