There are some things that don’t fold out as expected but still can be enjoyable. It may not be the oasis in the middle of the desert, but still good so that you are not disappointed.
‘Licorice Pizza’ was like that to me: I decided to check out this movie because I read a one-sentence review from a very prominent Korean movie critic, Lee Dong-jin, describing the movie as “효용이 사라진 후에야 깨닫게 된 사랑의 가치로 온통 찬란한 달음박질”, which could be, in my poor translation, be translated into something like “a run that is splendid all the way with the realization of the value of love that is realized only after it expired”. I was expecting a romance movie. Well, is this a romance movie? I’d say yes… but I’d also add that that’s maybe not the best part of it.
I think the value of this movie was more in how it displayed the feeling of confusion and being lost when your being young with the decoration of a nostalgic vibe. This is because the focus of the relationship of the characters was not focused on their emotional bonding or depth, but rather on each one’s emotional experiences and growths that they go through while their romance was taking place. The most symbolic scene representing this situation was running scenes of two main characters repeated in different contexts and circumstances. They would run to save, find, and reunite with one another, but while they meet in such an intersection, they are running. Running away, running to, running from, different troubles and situations that directionless youth places them in.
I had a lingering question about the movie, though. There were some scenes where Asian woman and Asian accent were used as a code of humor and the sexuality of women were expressed with revealing clothes and as the subject of curiosity and desire of the male character. Yes, the movie is based in the 70s when those things were not receiving the doubts that ought to be given, but I kept on questioning what will be the value of bringing it once again on a movie screen, especially without any additional context to denounce it. In my opinion, they were not integral to the storyline as well, so eliminating them would not have made the movie less probable. Yes, they were there at the time, but what’s the benefit of saying that they were there when the only purpose that its revival will serve is to state that they were there? That’s the question that I can not answer.