Alana Kane and Gary Valentine have grown up in the San Fernando Valley, but they don’t meet until the day Gary’s high school hosts a photo shoot. Alana is no longer in school, she is a young woman struggling to define herself and find a way beyond her uninspiring job as a photographer’s assistant. Gary, a budding actor, has already done the odd bit of paid acting, and tells Alana almost immediately, determined to impress her. Gary’s self-confidence amuses the girl, but she also arouses her curiosity, and it doesn’t take long for a sincere if somewhat awkward relationship to develop between the two. Time passes and their friendship deepens. Together or separately, they experience pivotal moments that are as funny as they are bittersweet. Aware of their situation and somewhat lost at the same time, Alana and Gary go through a period that leads them to know the deep emotion of first love, coming of age and the discovery of an unexpected and reciprocal potential.
In his new film, the nominee for 8 Oscars Paul Thomas Anderson (The Invisible Thread) proposes a coming of age set in the San Fernando Valley (Los Angeles) during the 1970s. There, the existential troubles of its protagonists take place, a young couple who, together, will discover what the transition to maturity means and the troubles of first love. Licorice Pizza moves between comedy and drama to compose a charming film (with a happier tone than usual in the filmography of the Californian filmmaker) that recalls the great classics of this subgenre. Newcomers Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim (member of the rock band Haim) exude chemistry leading a cast that includes heavyweights like Oscar winner Sean Penn (Flag Day) and Academy Award nominees Bradley. Cooper (The Alley of Lost Souls) and John C. Reilly (Holmes and Watson), among others.