Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film Licorice Pizza was released widely this weekend and what was supposed to be a fantastic coming-of-age story is making movie-goers get up and walk out of the film mid-way through.
Audiences are upset at several things about this film but mostly the alleged racism, and seemingly inappropriate age gap between the two main characters played by Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman.
Licorice Pizza Opens In Theatres This Week
The film was released to a very small number of theatres a few weeks ago but the wide release is what has fans of Anderson talking or crying pedo. The long-awaited release came just in time for Christmas but that might not be a good thing.
Fans took to social media to share their opinion of the film and the common theme is a level of discomfort that one would not expect when leaving a P.T. Anderson film. The problematic themes include the main character Alana being 25 years old and the young boy so adamantly vying for her attention is 15 years old.
The age difference isn’t danced around in the film, in fact, some felt like Anderson wrote it in a braggy way, constantly referencing the age difference and making light of it.
@somewhere_in_june0/10 👎🏽 #licoricepizza #film #foryoupage #fyp #westwood♬ Chopin Nocturne No. 2 Piano Mono – moshimo sound design
Licorice Pizza Fans Left The Theatre
— Shanntown (@shannonhall_art) December 25, 2021
A fan of the writer/director took to TikTok to share that she and her friends couldn’t even finish the film. They were also disgusted by the relationship, she describes Anderson’s take on it as “cute and quirky” and fans of the film called it “odd” but more or less accepted it.
However, she chose to “call it what it is, preying on a child”. The social media user also noted that some people tried to write off the inappropriate relationship as okay because Hoffman’s character was kind of smooth and really trying to get her attention.
However, most were able to look past the male character’s persistence and see it for what it is, a relationship that probably shouldn’t be taking place. The fan also noted that it was only the main character who sexualizes him it is most of the older women he encounters in the film.
Licorice Pizza Was Said To Also Have Racism
Moving on to another pressing topic from the film; blatant racism. Another early viewer of the film pointed out that the Asian American representation is ‘dramatically stereotypical and racist.’
There were multiple times that a non-Asian person was putting on a mock accent or making a joke about the Asian culture and even went as far as to have a scene that points out how easy it is to discredit and poorly treat Asian women. The viewer noted that generally, Japanese culture was mocked in an atrocious manner throughout the film, which was over 2 hours by the way.
Another viewer shared on Twitter that their experience watching the film was weird because people had no problem laughing at the racist jokes and not being triggered by the age differences in the characters.
Licorice Pizza Has A Lot Of Controversies
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Other fans assembled on Twitter to share their opinion of the film and while there was a healthy split even people that tolerated the film noted that racism and pedophilia were present. “Hollyweird is trying to normalize pedophilia by using an older woman and a young boy. This is outrageous and disgusting. #LicoricePizza” shared one viewer.
“It was an enjoyable enough but like why are we condoning ephebophilia??? #LicoricePizza,” asked another fan. Good question! let’s see how long this film stays in theatres.
— Antismoler (@antismoler) December 26, 2021