Here's Why You Should Definitely Go And See "Licorice Pizza"

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Don't let the title deceive you, this film is a modern masterpiece.

Though it was hailed the best film of 2021, Licorice Pizza has still flown under the radar due to bigger blockbusters taking the spotlight.

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So here are the reasons you should know about why it's absolutely worth seeing.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

7. It's Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson

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You cinephiles out there might know and love the director's previous work. Considered of the greatest directors working today, Paul Thomas Anderson is renowned for directing critically-acclaimed films like Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, The Master, and Phantom Thread

Licorice Pizza is very much like Magnolia in that it follows the characters' daily lives in the San Fernando Valley. Though this new film is more realistic since there are no frogs falling out of the sky, Licorice Pizza is still an outrageous and enjoyable film that features Anderson at his finest.

6. The Nostalgia Factor

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Like Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Licorice Pizza is a nostalgia-fueled tribute to pop culture and old Hollywood. One example is John C. Reilly starring as the guy who played Herman Munster in full costume. But this nostalgia is not blind, as the story addresses sexism, racism, and toxic masculinity engrained in American culture, particularly in the film industry. Despite this, the film is still a delightful time capsule that doesn't go too far in filtering the past.

5. The Humor

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Following the style of teen dramas that came before, Licorice Pizza features enough humor to satisfy cinephiles and casual moviegoers alike. The film delivers plenty of jokes courtesy of Paul Thomas Anderson's quirky writing style. With the characters getting caught up in multiple bizarre situations, the director uses every opportunity to call out their absurdity with well-placed jokes, and they are only made funnier with the actors' perfect deliveries.

4. That Truck Scene

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Probably the most suspenseful scene in the entire film is that moving truck sequence about halfway into the story. After Gary vandalizes John Peters' sports car, which ran out of gas, Alana is horrified to see that their moving truck has also run out of gas. She is forced to drive down a long hill in the middle of the night backwards in order to get more fuel. The film keeps you on the edge of your seat with the possibility that Alana could crash the truck or another car could come out of nowhere and hit it, making for an exciting scene that'll have you staring at the screen until the very end.

3. Bradley Cooper's John Peters

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Bradley Cooper has a knack for playing colossal jerks in movies, and he makes the most out of his brief appearance as producer John Peters. Cooper's character is a walking land mine that could blow up at any moment. He threatened to murder Gary and his little brother if they messed up his house, he nearly set someone on fire at a gas station, and he threw a trash can into a store window for no good reason. Bear in mind, John Peters is an actual film producer, but the accuracy of this film's depiction of him remains to be seen.

2. The Leads

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Licorice Pizza graced us with two new actors in Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, who share a powerful chemistry on-screen. Both actors make their film debut in Anderson's latest project, with Haim jumping off from her musical career and delivering a remarkable first performance. 

It is also worth mentioning that Hoffman is the son of the late great actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman's father had repeatedly worked with the director, starring in both Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, and The Master, so it's quite fitting to see Cooper follow in his father's legacy by working with Anderson.

1. It's Unpredictable Story

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What stands out about Anderson's film is how unpredictable the story is. First, you think it's about child actors trying to keep up their careers. It then pivots to the protagonists selling water beds, with one of them being accused of murder for one scene. But after the gas crisis puts them out of business, the film follows Alana working in Joel Wachs' mayoral campaign, in which the candidate is struggling to hide his homosexuality.

All these bizarre changes and unrelated subplots make the film a cinematic roller coaster that emphasizes the unpredictability of life. This theme is at the heart of the film's coming-of-age story, as it follows the leads growing up together while struggling to find their place in the world, which is something that we can all relate to.

Do you agree with this list? Were there any other good reasons to see this film? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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