It’s not a surprise that 2021 has been a trash ass year. It’s unanimously ties with 2020 as the worst years in human history. Seriously, has anyone said 1990 or 1979 was trash? No, because coronavirus didn’t exist then. So therefore, those are wrong answers. Licorice Pizza comes at a great time where we need an escape. This year hasn’t exactly been as exciting or as satisfying when it comes to movies personally because art is in a weird place right now and emotionally, a lot of movies didn’t hit as hard as I would’ve liked. Licorice Pizza, though, is one of the few movies that actually delivered for me this year. It worked for me precisely because it’s a movie that refuses to live in the now and instead recognizes the joys of being young when you didn’t have as many worries in the world in a time when things just felt less complicated. I’m not going to be all hyperbolic and say that it was so thrilling that the edge of my seat needed an edge of the seat or that it’s going to bring movies back because movies never left. What are you talking about? But I did enjoy it a lot due to its clear inspiration from films like American Graffiti and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Paul Thomas Anderson has crafted a gratifying coming of age story that feels like a great return to the vibe of Boogie Nights.