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Arts & Culture
KPCW sends its most discerning moviegoers to the movies each week to let you know which films are worth going to, and which are a pass.The Friday Film Review airs after the Noon News at 12:30PM and during The Local View.KPCW Friday Film Reviewers are:Barb BretzRick BroughMark HarringtonLinda JagerLibby Wadman

Friday Film Review--"Licorice Pizza"

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"Licorice Pizza" is a new romantic comedy - written, directed, and

produced by Paul Thomas Anderson - that serves up a slice of life in

L.A.'s San Fernando Valley in the 1970s.

Opening with a scene at a high school, a smug 15-year-old, Gary

Valentine, becomes enamored with Alana Kane, a 25-year-old

photographer's assistant working the school's picture day.

Gary, played by Cooper Hoffman, son of late actor Philip Seymour

Hoffman, is an aging but overly confident child actor who's convinced

he's just met his future wife.

Alana is played by singer Alana Haim, making her big-screen debut.

Fittingly, Haim is a real-life San Fernando Valley native and a member

of the SoCal rock trio Haim with her sisters, who also appear in the

film along with her parents playing her on-screen

family.

Gary's character was modeled after Hollywood producer Gary Goetzman, a

close friend of Anderson's, whose colorful stories from his days as a

child actor and a waterbed salesman are weaved throughout the film.

Gary and Alana's implausible and awkward love story is at the film's

center. Their ten-year age difference is uncomfortable, but their

relationship remains platonic throughout the movie as they both pursue

their parallel - and often wild - adventures throughout

the San Fernando Valley.

An eclectic cast of characters is woven throughout the film, including a

brief appearance by Sean Penn playing movie star Jack Holden (based on

the actor William Holden), who runs into his rowdy director buddy Rex

Blau (played by musician Tom Waits) at a Hollywood

hangout, that ends up in an impromptu nighttime motorcycle jumping

stunt on a nearby golf course.

But one of the most memorable performances in the film is Bradley Cooper

as Jon Peters, a former hairdresser and longtime boyfriend of Barbra

Streisand, who Gary and Alana encounter during a waterbed installation

gone wrong, which is a true story according

to Goetzman.

Rated R for drug use, sexual material, and language, "Licorice Pizza" runs

a long 2 hours and 13 minutes and only plays in theaters.

Supported by a great soundtrack and cast, "Licorice Pizza" is a film worth

watching for those who grew up in the Seventies and fans of Hollywood

nostalgia.