the eyes of tammy faye (michael showalter, 2021)
music friday: february 25, 1976, fillmore auditorium

geezer cinema: licorice pizza (paul thomas anderson, 2021)

We went to a movie theater for the first time in a couple of months. Chose a movie at a place where you can pick your reserved seats in advance, meaning we could see only a few people would be there and our seats would be mostly isolated from anyone else who showed up. When we got to our seats, we found a family of four who apologized, explaining that they had moved from their own seats because they had been seated in the disabled section, which separated them with spaces in between the four seats. We said no problem, and took the same seats on the other side of the row. After the movie started, the family got up and left. We can only assume the reason their seats were goofy is because they were in the wrong theater. As soon as Licorice Pizza started up, they left.

I've seen quite a few of Paul Thomas Anderson's movies. I liked Magnolia the most, and have fond memories of Boogie Nights. I am not much of a fan of There Will Be Blood. I've been looking forward to this one because of Alana Haim, and she didn't disappoint in her acting debut.

The movie was a bit long, and there were a couple of scenes that had weird racist stereotypes towards Japanese ... bad enough right there, but I couldn't figure out why the scenes were even in the movie, and when a film is a bit long, I get impatient with the excess. How you feel about the ending will likely depend on what you think of the age difference between the two lovebirds. The most common point people make is that if the genders were switched, and it was a 25-year-old man partnered with a 15-year-old girl, it would be creepy. So the question is, does it matter that here, it's a 25-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy? I don't have an easy answer. Haim and Cooper Hoffman (another debut ... he's the son of Philip Seymour Hoffman) are both wonderful, which matters because if there is no chemistry between the two people in a rom-com, there's no movie. It's understandable why the teenaged boy is infatuated with the grown-up woman. It's not so clear why she is interested in him. As she says, answering her own question, "I think it's weird that I hang out with Gary and his 15-year-old friends all the time." Because I never quite understood why he meant so much to her, the ending seemed abrupt. Much as I was enjoying the movie, and loving Alana, I really didn't want to see them get together in the end. My wife was less conflicted ... she thought it was just wrong, because of the age difference.

Ultimately, I was more bothered by the Japanese stereotypes. And I was sorry Alana Haim didn't get an Oscar nomination.

[Letterboxd list of Geezer Cinema movies]



I think the question here is just what is this movie about? I liked it because I'm a fan and I'm prepared to think in and about his films when I go in. I see him as inherently a YMMV kind of director, and his mileage always seems to match mine. My wife hated it because it dragged on, never got anywhere, and because of the above "conclusion" of the two youngins. To her it was about nothing, an I can't disagree, though I think the nothing is something by design. But I want to know what you thought!!

Steven Rubio

I was probably too biased in favor of Alana Haim ... unless she stunk, I was going to love her. My wife, also, is impatient with movies about nothing, and I suspected going in she'd be put off by the episodic nature (I try not to know much about a movie before I see it, but I knew that would be a feature). Still, she had to watch it :-) ... it's part of our Geezer Cinema that we trade picks every week, and this week was my turn. I don't think it was about nothing, but I believe character arcs can be the something that makes seemingly random pictures cohere. The problem here was I didn't buy those arcs ... Gary is the same from beginning to end, and while Alana comes to love him, I didn't think it fit into what we learned about her.

I want to say the age difference didn't bother me, and it certainly didn't piss me off as it did my wife. But as I said above, at the ending, I was hoping they didn't get together ... she could do a lot better. That might just be my bias towards Alana Haim. I don't include my ratings these days, but just for you, I'll let you know I gave it 7/10. And as a reminder, 6/10 means OK-but-meh, 5/10 means I didn't like it, 7/10 means I liked it, 8/10 means I really liked it. In Geezer terms, I average 7.4 on movies I pick, 6.6 on movies she picks. I do love how her picks really reflect what she likes ... her first four picks way back when were a John Wick movie, a Marvel movie, a Fast and Furious movie, and one of those Gerard Butler-as-Secret Service-Guy movies.

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