The Age Of Innocence
Don´t get fooled by the racy trailer with the amazing soundtrack - the movie is way too long and not really exciting. Like a director´s cut from a high maintenance director. Oh, hey, right: "Licorice Pizza" is by Paul Thomas Anderson - the other Anderson with the ticket to be loved by critics and Hollywood comunity alike. Only his namsake Wes Anderson gets more advance praise and that A-list cast other directors can only dream about.
We watch Philip Seymor Hoffman´s talented actor son Cooper in his first leading role as a teenage boy falling in love on first sight with a twen girl; we know the drill - she is not interested but flattered, joins him for all his enchanting adventures only to drop him whenever any other pair of bell bottoms cross her way.
Did I mention that the movie takes place in the Seventies? Meaning: Cool soundtrack, cool styling, cool locations, cool everything - and kind of close to Anderson´s own life. As he grew up in the Seventies in Sherman Oaks himself, in touch with the movie business from a very early age on.
Cooper Hoffman does a very good young Philip Seymor Hoffman - in absence of that infamous malice of his father´s. He will probably end up with a brilliant career as an actor as well. His co-character Alina Haim plays that older love-interest with perfect casualness, also: she seems capable of driving a truck - even without gas and even in reverse.
Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper and Tom Waits all are playing Hollywood players as ironically as possible, not to mention Andersons´s wife Maya Rudolph and Leonardo di Caprio´s father George in cameos.
Maybe a bow to all those protagonists hanging out in larger Los Angeles to become part of that Hollywood fairytale; mostly without any success, but always with that certain attitude of hope.
"Licorice Pizza" used to be slang for vinyl records - also a reminiscence to better days, I guess, from a director who shot his first short feature with a betamax video camera.