(AP) -- It’s school picture day at a high school in Southern California's San Fernando Valley in the opening scene of Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1970s-set “Licorice Pizza.”
The photographer’s assistant, Alana (Alana Haim), strides up and down a long line of students waiting in the sunshine outside a gymnasium. She’s barely looking at any of them, but one makes himself noticed. Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) locks eyes with her and doesn’t let go, even as she does all she can to ignore him. He’s a 15-year-old actor, she’s in her 20s, but his attempted pick-up — sweetly direct, with a not entirely put-on maturity — makes her smile begrudgingly.