Paul Thomas Anderson is officially back with another film and the veteran filmmaker documents a movie between two star crossed lovers in California’s San Fernando Valley in the 1970s. While the leads are a pair of fresh-faced actors, they’re surrounded by several A-list stars such as Bradley Cooper, Sean Penn, Maya Rudolph, and John C. Reilly. In celebration of the movie’s release, this article will list the top five films that involve any members of the cast of Licorice Pizza; Whether they’re credited background actors named Tim to the featured attraction, the only films exempt from this list are animated features. Let’s get started with the first name on this list:
This engrossing and tragic biography follows Harvey Milk, who becomes the first openly gay man elected to public office on the Board of Supervisors. Easily one of the best performances of Sean Penn’s career, the actor expertly embodies the spirit of the title character. Though the film ends tragically, the feature manages to convey the importance of Milk’s life, while celebrating the achievements he’s made for gays and lesbians.
This captivating drama starring an A-list cast follows criminals Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser, who are caught in the midst of an operation sting by FBI agent Richie DiMaso. The two lovers are forced to work undercover of DiMaso’s undercover case; however, the inclusion of Irv’s wife may can blow their cover pretty quicky. American Hustle manages to be a mega-feat: a riotously funny, deeply engrossing drama that’s packed with a rich cast of characters. Not surprisingly, Christian Bale disappears into the role of Irv. Despite being a criminal, he’s genuinely a good person and Bale effortlessly balances the different layers of his character that’s helped by his elaborate comb-over and 40 weight gain. It also helps that both Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams are the perfect foils for him. Lawrence is easily the funniest part of the film, though her character brings a nice warmth despite Rosyln being a bit crazy. American Hustle is the rare movie that has an A-list cast and does an excellent job using them. This drama was well deserving of its seven Oscar nominations.
In one of the more underrated features on the list, Idiocracy sees Joe Bowers, a very average dude, being selected to be put in hibernation for a year along with Rita. Unfortunately, the duo is left in stasis until 2505, and they discover that the average intelligence of humans has decreased so badly that Joe is now the smartest man in the world. Idiocracy can be uneven sometimes and not every joke packs a punch, but the film is more thought-provoking and entertaining than it has any right to be. Comedic veteran Maya Rudolph makes great use of her role as Rita, but Luke Wilson playing the average guy was perfect casting. Idiocracy isn’t the funniest film you’ll ever see, but its definitely one of the best ones in the 2000s playlist.
Adam Sandler arguably delivers the best performance of his career as Howard Ratner, a jeweler who makes high-stakes bets in a seedy world that clashes with his business, family, and adversaries. The ending to Uncut Gems may not be the happiest climax in film history; however, the exploration of Howard and his world is deeply compelling. Seeing Sandler balance his relationships with his wife, the mistress, and the loan shark provides great tension throughout the 2 hour and 15-minute runtime and other standouts include Julia Fox and Kevin Garnett. The only other negative is that we don’t get much from Idina Menzel. Sure, the film highlights just how broken her marriage with Howard is; however, it would’ve been nicer to give the Frozen actress a bit more meat to her role. Regardless, Menzel does the best she can with what’s she given and it’s a shame that Uncut Gems wasn’t shown any love by the Academy voters.
In this darkly comedic and sometimes depressing feature, The Lobster stars Collin Farrell as David, a recent divorcee who must find a mate within 45 days or he’ll transform into the animal of his choosing, a lobster. The Lobster is a biting social commentary on love that highlights the pros and cons of relationships that’s aided by a sharp script that’s carried by a strong cast of characters. Wisely, Yorgos Lanthimos doesn’t try to bog down the film with exposition, and Farrell and Rachel Weisz have strong chemistry with one another. While the murder of an innocent dog was unnecessary, Lanthimos milks his original premise to great effect and The Lobster is easily become one of the best films of the century.