X Close

Licorice Pizza: a forgettable nostalgia flick What's wrong with enjoying things one last time?

Yay! You’ve seen an art film. (Licorice Pizza)


January 7, 2022   5 mins

After I watched Licorice Pizza, I did not storm out of the theater in disgust at its alleged paedophilia: 25-year-old photographer’s assistant Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and 15-year-old actor Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) like each other. Instead, I sat in the Art Deco movie theatre until the lights came on and a packed house of attractive people started to chatter excitedly. I felt exhausted, depressed, and embarrassed by what seemed like feigned enthusiasm for a forgettable film. And I felt exhausted by my own exhaustion: by my own inability to get excited.

Someone recently described to me, vividly, the anhedonia of severe depression: of finding himself in sublime mountains, in champagne-service clubs, with gorgeous women who loved him, feeling nothing. And I guess somewhere on the depressed-neurotic axis there’s an overlap between “I don’t enjoy things anymore” and just wishing you were the type of person who likes Marvel movies and Ed Sheeran and doesn’t feel a bored yet self-satisfied despair as you attempt to chat with the median individual on a dating app.

There’s something bovine about cinema, which is also what is spectacular about both popular art and art in public: the confirmation that the individual spirit is also the shared spirit, that what is vulnerable and personal and redeemable about us, is in all of us. Art makes us feel realer and deeper, and to share that with others makes us feel less alone. But for the same reason, bad art can also seem like an insult to the human race itself: that’s all we are?

To play on David Foster Wallace: Licorice Pizza is a supposedly good movie I will never see again. Los Angeles, especially, is plastered with ads for the film; so is my demographically overcoded web browser. I am supposed to like the new Paul Thomas Anderson film, having seen quite a few of them already; yeah, I’ve listed “film” on the interests line of my rĂ©sumĂ©. And, seriously, how many art films are there today besides low-budget films intended for an audience of 100 individuals residing mostly in Bushwick, Israeli-Austrian dramas about the Holocaust, and slow cinema about outsider farmhands from low-GDP EU member states?

Nonetheless, I was left asking myself: what were all those moviegoers so excited about? Why are critics so impressed? How was this moving?

Much as the film’s alleged anti-Asian racism is more shockingly unfunny than it is shocking, the romance in Licorice Pizza is neither revolting nor remarkable. Anderson can make touching films about characters struggling toward misguided intimacy. But Licorice Pizza isn’t even a cloying teen romance: Gary and Alana neither consummate their mutual attraction nor even mourn it, and instead simply bounce around for over two hours: cute, charming, and completely inconsequential.

The moment Gary asks out Alana, she cheerfully declines with, “That’s illegal!”, but it’s not like he tries that hard, anyway. At their first dinner, they tell each other they’re not going to forget each other, but they seem pretty happy to goof around with his more prepubescent-looking friends in zany, period-piece pursuits (waterbeds, pinballs, slightly unsavoury politics). There’s little narrative momentum, little impediment, and little sense of “the stakes”. The leads are affable, and Haim is astonishing; but these characters are as thin as the candy on an M&M.

Previous Anderson fare arguably went a little overboard on the downbeats: all that really degrading stuff at the end of Boogie Nights, all those dying men in Magnolia, all the violence in Punch Drunk Love. But at least that mattered. Here, the downbeats are basically that two people who’ve agreed not to date get a little bit jealous when the other one flirts with someone else. The tensest scene involves Alana driving an out-of-gas truck in reverse down the Hollywood Hills. To no one’s surprise, it works.

But the scene after that, I think, holds the key to the movie. They’ve gotten the truck down the hill and collected some jerrycans from the gas station. The sun is rising, painting the quiet road in almost psychedelic purples and oranges. The younger boys are ecstatic silhouettes on the horizon, laughing and leaping and pretending to hump each other with the gas tanks. Meanwhile, Alana is crouched on the sidewalk, near trash and glass, head hunched over her knees — something good has happened, something fun is going on, but she can’t enjoy it.

I don’t know why Anderson made a film that was clearly going to be accused of paedophilia — he told Variety that while walking by his local middle school, he saw a teenager flirting with a girl taking school pictures, and instantly thought the premise was “ripe for humour”. And anyway, he says: “It’s not romantic in any consummation of things. That would be inappropriate.”

Regardless of whatever PTA was thinking, we live in the era of the “Mommy Girlfriend”. Infinitely affirming and infinitely caring, the Mommy GF is the ideal mate for a generation of men that commonly self-identifies as autistic or anxious, and who have no idea how (or whether) to be masculine or mature. With the Mommy GF, you can stay a kid. As an iconic 2013 4chan post went: “that face when you’ll never have a cute slightly older Mommy GF who cleans up after your loveable-fuckup-self, helps you do your taxes, brown-bags a lunch for you to take to work, wakes you up on time, and cuddles you to sleep.”

That’s not exactly the deal here; I doubt the phrase “Mommy GF” was thrown around Licorice Pizza brainstorms, and Gary, anyway, seems like a perfectly confident and competent young man. But for better or worse, the Mommy GF has graduated into end-of-year lists — and maybe even real life. A number of millennial girls in my circle have started dating Zoomer boys, and I’ve been wondering about these relationships.

They’re all around 30. They’re all, more or less, ambitious. It’s tried-and-true for the clout-chasing young woman, to date an older man. But why date a younger one? As Mariah Kreutter has pointed out, it’s hard to see why Alana’s “borderline incoherent character” has any interest whatsoever in dating a 15-year-old. What, after all, does the Mommy GF want?

Maybe this: to enjoy things, one last time. Very young people, especially boys, enjoy things with an unbridled, carefree insouciance that evaporates the second one becomes concerned with becoming an “adult”. And perhaps on the fringes of show business and in the afterglow of the Sixties — or in the youth-obsessed inertia of millennial life, screwed by 2008, scared of settling, mired in therapy-brained exploration of the unconstrained yet unfulfilled self — one can soak in that sweet, warm limbo for just a little longer.

But sooner or later, it has to end. As a young woman told me recently, for the educated millennial woman, it’s a bit odd to marry in your twenties; but once you hit 30, you’re suddenly “an unmarried 30-year-old woman”. Essentially, you’ve got one year. The clock starts ticking, and all time becomes time lost. Every joy contains its future loss. And for the archetypical millennial woman — with no savings, no house, and no children – ageing reaps no accomplishment and no satisfying narrative. It’s purely something that makes you look worse in photos.

If you date the younger guy, you can zip around the Valley plotting hare-brained schemes, or at least understand TikTok. But you’ll still feel old, even older than you are. Just 25, Alana is, as Gary calls her, the “old woman”. It’s unclear what her main worry is — material success, glory, being single — but she’s going to be worried for the rest of her life. And Gary doesn’t care about any of that, not really. He’s just having a good time. And seeing that good time — a band of boys, playing as the sun comes up — she wants to cry. Tellingly, from the next scene, she commits herself (rather unconvincingly) to “politics”.

But this breezy, sugar-dust cloud of a film doesn’t dwell in despair. At the end of it, Alana and Gary just run toward each other, with a condescending intercut of identical earlier sequences (they really could be walking, but I suppose running looks nice in trailers). They kiss. Music plays. Did you notice that this was shot on 35mm and the colours were very warm? Did you see that the characters had cool clothes, which included many prints? Yay! You’ve seen an art film. Nice.

Perhaps that’s what the Mommy GF wants: to be able to just enjoy a film like this. Maybe I’m just growing out of it.


Ann Manov is a writer living in New York. Visit her website here.

ann_manov

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

67 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Graham Stull
Graham Stull
2 years ago

Esther,
I don’t know if you read these comments, but if you do: some friendly advice.
Print out this essay you have put into the public eye. Annotate each paragraph in red ink, sketching the essential idea.
Now take these paragraph summaries and transfer them into a single document, underneath one- or two-word headers. Essentially you will have reverse engineered an outline.
This is the outline you never wrote for this essay. Now read it. Is it confusing? Borderline incoherent? Yes? Is it, in fact, surprising just how bad this outline is? So much so, that you want to rewrite the whole thing, giving it a proper introduction, a central idea and a conclusion – perhaps with a neat ‘full circle’ anecdote that makes the reader go ‘ah’ at the end?
We pay to read your words. We pay because we want to enjoy thoughtful, well written articles in an age where everything is clickbait rubbish.
Next time, write an outline. It might not provide reprieve from mediocre arthouse cinema or the anomie of being a middle class American Millennial woman. But it will make you a better writer.

Richard Slack
Richard Slack
2 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Exactly. This is one of those Unherd articles that start with “Why?” and pose a question about some fact that the writer believes to be the case; I recall one a few months ago entitled “why don’t liberals like the music of Vaughan Williams. That one, like this, one made no attempt to provide evidence for the existence of the phenomena and examination if patterns and clues can be derived from this, but moved straight on to providing reasons as to why it was the case, or would be the case if it were.
Unshackled by even brushes with reality it meandered on from cliché to ad hoccery floating in a stream of conciousness who knows where? Probably a weir. This piece does the same, I have not been convinced that the writer has a point to make, let alone whether she has made it. But she does feel pretty chuffed with her knowledge of arthouse cinema.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Slack

That’s because these writers model their prose style on those banal introductory monologues to sex in the city.

Hersch Schneider
Hersch Schneider
2 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Yep this was definitely one of Unherd’s ‘straight to comments’ articles

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
2 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

This should be Betteridge’s second law of headlines. Every headline with ‘Why’ in it will inevitably fail to answer the question.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

Dear Grown-up
Thanks for dealing with the children.
Regards
The other grown-ups.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago
Reply to  Graham Stull

I completely disagree. If you want an essay straight out of Creative writing 101, or one that confirms/conforms to thing you already thought, maybe you’ve come to the wrong place.
In any case your snide attitude is not really civil. Perhaps you should have worked a bit longer on your little opus before hitting the SEND button.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

A lot of movies and series are becoming increasingly tedious and are clearly ‘staged’. Shouldn’t one be losing oneself in a story and cast instead of seeing the personnel behind the movie?
What I am seeing is the ham-fisted heavy hand of the Diversity and Inclusion Director. Then looming large is the ‘Technical’ Director introducing a gratuitous climate change discussion into bedroom talk. I have even seen a plot line around vaccines clumsily forced into a story.
No wonder people are losing interest.

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago

I haven’t been watching anything mainstream in years. It’s just not worth it anymore. I’d rather use my time for other things and enjoy the few movies and series that aren’t woke yet. It could still take a good while until companies realize that their main audience doesn’t appreciate what they’re doing.

Last edited 2 years ago by Michael K
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

A lot of Unherd articles are probably becoming increasingly tedious. I say probably because the premise of the article looked thin and I just skipped to the comments which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
Does it matter if the articles are junk if they provoke good analysis and comment?

Raymond Inauen
Raymond Inauen
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Good point, often the comments are the real spice, the article is just the bait!

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

Precisely! The moment one of those ham-fisted scenes appears, I turn it off. In fact, I don’t even watch movies that were made post 2020, when the “Academy” proscribed the various boxes a movie must check off before any potential nomination is considered.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

Do female contributors (apart from the occasional Harrington piece) ever write about anything else other than men?
Seriously, is their world really so limited and male-centric?
What incredibly sad and unfulfilled lives they must lead.
I wonder how many articles about women their male colleagues have penned?
Why is that?

Last edited 2 years ago by Eddie Johnson
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

I’ve never really thoughjt about this, but you are correct. It’s rather depressing really.

Peter Kriens
Peter Kriens
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

And even Harrington tends to have the relations between the sexes as topic. Although her articles tend to go quite a bit deeper then her female collegues. But I exactly had the same reaction when I saw the title. Bit sad.

Benjamin Jones
Benjamin Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

It’s the same with most female comedians.

Nick Bernard
Nick Bernard
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

I think you are generalising somewhat. Aayan is one of my favourite writers and she always discusses the big issues.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Nick Bernard

“Generalising”…yes, of course. But the wonderful Aayan and Ms Harrington, my favorite writer, are exceptions to the rule, as far as I can ascertain.
Over at the Speccie, this is decidedly not the case, but they are more oriented towards the daily news cycle.

Dugan E
Dugan E
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

I got as far as the first sentence. So it’s not about pizza then?

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

Even how women are the real victims of war – because losing your husband or boyfriend is so much worse than actually losing your life!

Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
Annemarie Ni Dhalaigh
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

Yes. That is because they are A. Not very bright and B. Have been conditioned to think and write this way.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

So once again intelligent and well-educated women are apparently bereft of agency, and thus not responsible for their behaviour in any way, and are just… well… victims?
You’d concede then I hope that as men are also conditioned, they too can be absolved from blame for their actions?

Last edited 2 years ago by Eddie Johnson
David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

The mommy GF thing is totally new to me, but sounds like it’s ripe for some analysis if it’s really a thing. Is this the alternative for women who don’t like cats 🙂
Seriously though – women who think they can stretch out their already extended adolescence by dating immature men? Young men extending their childhood by dating mummy replacements? Oedipal drama? Refusal to become adults? Fear that if boys grow into men they will become “toxic”? Lack of proper father figures?

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

It makes sense. The modern dating market is like this: girls spend their youth up until they’re 30 partying and dating the attractive guys, who don’t like attachment. But it doesn’t matter, because the girls aren’t looking for anything long-term anyway. Indeed, they would reject perfectly suitable, industrious family men on the grounds that “they’re not yet ready to settle”. Then with 30, they slowly start to realize that their beauty is fading and they need something solid now, fast. Many of them don’t find that kind of thing however, because the men they rejected spent their time working and becoming successful, and now sleep with younger girls. What usually happens is that these women now start to pout and say that “there are no good men”. This is when they usually get pets to fight the loneliness, or, apparently, hook up with minors.
Does it sound cruel to say that “women at 30 aren’t attractive enough to find a good mate anymore”? No doubt. But it’s also the truth. And it could be avoided – I’m convinced many young women wouldn’t want to spend their youth in this way. It’s just that feminists tell them to “sleep with whoever they feel like”. That’s bad advice. It’s also bad advice for women to focus on career or education in order to find a mate – men don’t really care that much about career (note: this doesn’t mean women shouldn’t have a career). Men care about women who stand by them in their best years, and who haven’t been damaged by needlessly high amounts of short-lived “relationships”. Don’t listen to feminists. Instead, look at how happy they themselves are, then judge for yourselves.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael K

“Does it sound cruel to say that “women at 30 aren’t attractive enough to find a good mate anymore”? No doubt. But it’s also the truth.”

Wow. You must have sky-high standards. I can think of at least 30 women off the top of my head that are attractive at the age. That’s just people I know personally. Even the ones that aren’t married yet have something going for them.
Do we really need to condemn an entire generation? Some of this feels a little tedious. There’s a few years yet, let them do their best.

Last edited 2 years ago by Geoffrey Simon Hicking
David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

Agree. It’s ridiculous to think that women cease to be attractive at 30, but the biological clock is ticking, and the tables are starting to turn in mens favour.
Does nobody else find a few wrinkles around the eyes attractive?
What definitely is unattractive is women who have nothing to show for their years and, regardless of age, are still trying to be teenagers.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Once everyone currently over 35 is either retired or dead there’ll be no one to do any useful work. And besides things will start to fall apart well before then as the up and coming generations fail to do anything useful or take any responsibility. The only hope is that the Russians invade western Europe. They still understand the value of culture, education, work, religion, fitness and armed force. Moscow may indeed prove to be the third Rome after all…

S B
S B
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Smith

great concept for a “film.” probably more interesting if done with a mostly Russian cast in the European roles.

Martin Smith
Martin Smith
2 years ago
Reply to  S B

You provide the script, I’ll audition the talent.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Is it not the female equivalent of the dirty old man

Last edited 2 years ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

I think it is. But for some reason they seem to get a free pass.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

As always

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago

Someone a couple of years older than my kids talking in a slightly world-weary way about a film in which someone a couple of years younger than my kids doesn’t date a kid. This article really isn’t going to appeal to an adult demographic.

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

If it’s generally true that millennial women are into teenage boys (I doubt it myself), this might at least represent some sort of reversal of the established minor injustice that teenage girls tend not to be interested in teenage boys, preferring men a little older. So hooray for today’s teenage boys: they’re finally getting some action.

There is of course the hypocrisy dimension to this one, in which if the sexes were reversed we’d be calling it a movie about paedophilia and everyone would be predictably furious. But I can’t be bothered.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago

“After I watched Licorice Pizza, I did not storm out of the theater in disgust at its alleged paedophilia: 25-year-old photographer’s assistant Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and 15-year-old actor Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) like each other.”
Even in the US surely nobody would allege that this constitutes paedophillia.
Oh, and maybe you like your young squeeze because he can bonk like a rabbit. I could, once upon a time. It was all I could do, but it was enough

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

Even in the US surely nobody would allege that this constitutes paedophillia.

They would if the sexes were switched, and nobody would be particularly shocked at the accusation, despite the oft-quoted idea that girls/women mature earlier than boys/men.

Andrew D
Andrew D
2 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

It wouldn’t be paedophilia either way. I think the correct term is ephebophilia.
Personally I wouldn’t have believed my luck if at the age 15 a pretty 25-year-old woman had taken an interest in me, and consummation would have been a dream come true!

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

I am disgusted by your type casting of rabbits in a most degrading way. So shallow!

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

A typical example of stereotyping speciesism. I am shocked and offended for all the asexual rabbits out there.

Barry Wetherilt
Barry Wetherilt
2 years ago

‘..disgust at its alleged paedophilia: 25-year-old photographer’s assistant Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and 15-year-old actor..’ really, a 15 year old pre-pubescent? The lazy incorrect use of the term ‘paedophile’ to describe sexual relations with anyone under the local age of consent (15, 16, 17, 18..) only serves to diminish the true horror of paedophilia in much the same way that the cry of ‘racist’ has lost its impact as apparently now everything is.

Last edited 2 years ago by Barry Wetherilt
AC Harper
AC Harper
2 years ago

Or perhaps now that every significant issue in films has been done to death, over and over, we are reduced to trying to find meaning in the slightest offerings?
Not looking forward to Licorice Pizza II, The Son of Licorice Pizza, The Return of Licorice Pizza, Licorice Pizza the Musical, etc.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago
Reply to  AC Harper

You forgot the prequel! “Pizza Before Licorice”

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
2 years ago

Esther. Get outside and enjoy the countryside. Stop analysing art. You are in a parallel universe which offers nothing real.
Make something. Dig the garden. Take a kid to the swings.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Bell

The writer talks of how intellectually below the woman, a 15 year old is. The division between ages, and one assumes implied is how a 30 year old woman is full of thoughts and ideas.

I cannot imagine how it would be to be with a 30 year old person – at mid 60s I am amazed at how ignorant, unworldly, and inexperienced the 30 year olds are. As much as the difference between her and the 15 year old.

Maybe its just that I have had a very wide ranging life, but the modern 30 something like this writer seem as shallow as they think the kid.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

It is not age it is experience.
At The Battle of Crecy Edward III was told his 16 year old son was fighting for his life he replied ” Let him earn his spurs ” . He did and became The Black Prince.
In Nelson’s Navy a sixteen year old could have four years of experience at sea, including combat. Alexander The Great died at 33 years of age.
Nowadays one can be a thirty year old and have the same experience of life as a fifteen year old.
The reality is that swathes of the middle class are not being tempered by the experience of overcoming adversity, pain and hardship , so fortitude is not developed and the knowledge that goes with it. One cannot learn sagacity from someone else , only be learning from experience.

Michael K
Michael K
2 years ago

One visit to Tinder or other online dating platforms with the account of a 30-something “nice guy” profile would prove to you that the theory is indeed correct. 30-year-olds on Tinder, who are “just now” looking for something solid, would even take men who are younger than them. This is very unusual for women in general, and is a sign of the times. Meanwhile, women under ~28 practically never match with average guys their age or slightly above. Of course, knowing this, no self-respecting man would want a woman who “settles for him”. As a sad result of this dynamic, countless men who would have wanted a family choose to be single instead.
It’s not “odd” to marry in your twenties, it’s the sensible thing to do. Of course given that the selection of the partner has been conducted with due diligence.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

Was it on here that I read recently about Professor Allyn Walker, of some obscure US University, who has written a book advocating sympathy for paedophiles, starting by renaming them as MAPs – Minor Attracted Persons?

One of the core objectives of Marxism is to destroy the nuclear family. Post modernism extends this to the complete removal of all sexual boundaries. The only two left are paedophilia and incest.

So, little by little, first change the language, normalise it for boys, and so the wedge is inserted.

I’m sure the empty soul who wrote this will be unaware of her role as useful idiot.

Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago

No dear, you are not growing out of it, whatever “it may be, but hopefully you are growing up. Women of all ages have always appreciated the beauty of a young Adonis passing by, but it doesn’t mean they want to sleep with him.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago
Reply to  Jean Nutley

Judging from the pic he is not a young adonis. And isn’t 15 a bit young, even for an Adonis?

A S
A S
2 years ago

I must be in the minority in never having wanting to be my husband/boyfriend’s mommy or ever searched for daddy-figures (and I was pretty close to my father). When is *that* new age going to arrive?

ralph bell
ralph bell
2 years ago

Great insightful article about a your generation of which I know little. I was going to see the film but following your comments I will see something else.
‘The Guardians’ Mark Kemode, gave it 5 *’s 😉
Always better having some articles with more culture and less politics.

Hosias Kermode
Hosias Kermode
2 years ago

Well at least I now know not to bother seeing this. Not that I would have. Sounds unbelievably dreary. The young depress the hell out of me.

David O'Sullivan
David O'Sullivan
2 years ago

Why do millennials talk about TikTok like its the most esoteric, complicated thing in the world lol. Its just instagram vids but more short term content

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago

The fact that a movie like this gets greenlit is proof positive that all the talk about men and women being the same is pure bullshit. A movie about a dirty old man dating young girls would never get made. If it did, he would be the villain of the story, not someone vaguely sympathetic as this woman.

Last edited 2 years ago by David Batlle
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

25 year olds too old?

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

Cut off is about 30.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  David Batlle

In Japan, “Christmas cake” is an insult for an unmarried woman of 25+.

David Morley
David Morley
2 years ago

You’ve noticed too. Any idea why?

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
2 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Consumed by lust, I suppose.

David Batlle
David Batlle
2 years ago

Aka “ Alpha seed, beta need”

Deac Manross
Deac Manross
2 years ago

The yawning divide in the morals/values that this movie’s discussions display just makes me go WTF? This is a great article and no, normalizing that it’s ok to run off into the night with the 15 year old as the movie fades to black leaves all to the imagination (and as someone else mentioned to the sequel, ‘Son of Licorice Pizza”). But now compare Manov’s article to what I just read this morning in my local “Entertainment” section of my small midwestern newspaper and the movie sounds like some fun, nostalgic, innocent coming of age movie. Cognitive dissonance comes to mind. Here’s the review:
“It’s a rare film that makes you nostalgic for a time and place you need knew, but Paul Anderson’s breezy, sunny “Licorice Pizza” does just that for the San Fernando Valley of Gary Valentine and Alana Kane’s youths. Awash in Southern California calm and optimism, this is a playful and joyous ode to the big personalities, embellished stories , endless possibilities and endearing Hollywood-adjacency of a place that barely exists anymore”
The cultural divide is not more evident.

Last edited 2 years ago by Deac Manross
Terence Fitch
Terence Fitch
2 years ago

My eyes glazed over with boredom as I detected that introspective whining tone these articles adopt. In life I’ve discovered this kind of person fills the atmosphere with energy sucking gloom and there’s no changing them- on they go, handwringingly overthinking every last minutiae. I’m off for a nice walk!

William Shaw
William Shaw
2 years ago

Going to the cinema to watch a film?
Who does that anymore?

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
2 years ago

But sooner or later, it has to end. As a young woman told me recently, for the educated millennial woman, it’s a bit odd to marry in your twenties; but once you hit 30, you’re suddenly “an unmarried 30-year-old woman”. Essentially, you’ve got one year.

No.

You have 5 years.

If you want to tell women they can have it all, that they are scroungers if they have a kid in their 20s before they can afford to raise them (they have no choice due to all the pathetic immature men around with low incomes) but then tell the ones that avoid that that they have one year after they are 30, then you’re just being cruel. The worst of the left (“settling down is boring”), and the worst of the right (“surprise! You’re infertile, you’re a failure, and it’s all your fault!” Ha ha ha ha!) all in one nice package. Congratulations.

Oh, and by the way, my Mum had me when she was 40. They tried for siblings, but couldn’t manage it, so it makes sense that 30 should be the beginning of the end of settling down…. but saying “you have one year” is basically saying there’s no point living after that.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

The risk for down syndrome starts climbing exponentially past around 32 or so. Before that is probably a good age to have the first one.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

Why have so many BLT comments been removed from this article?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
2 years ago

The problem with dating 15-year olds, I would imagine, is that they expect everything to be done for them. Perhaps this is part of the attraction. The women have an instinct to seek a partner that needs them. In previous generations, a woman’s power was often based on the man’s inability to boil an egg. He stayed with her out of such basic needs, even when she became increasingly unattractive sexually in comparison to the younger models available.
Obviously the more spontaneous and frequent erections of a young man are also attractive to older women.