…who are deeply alarmed about Licorice Pizza, and particularly the non-sexual, one-sided ’70s relationship between Gary (Cooper Hoffman), a 15 year-old actor and waterbed salesman, and Alana (Alana Haim), a 25 year-old whom Gary has a huge thing for but never scores with.

A similar kind of relationship was depicted a half-century ago in Robert Mulligan‘s Summer of ’42, except back then the younger lad (Gary Grimes as an anxious 14 year-old named “Hermie”) and the 20something woman (Jennifer O’Neill‘s “Dorothy”) did the actual deed…once.

Dorothy is heartsick over her young Air Force pilot husband having been shot down over France, and so, half-drunk, she invites Hermie to bed. Hermie is not only aroused but transformed by this episode, but the next morning Dorothy disappears, never to be seen or heard from again.

Herman Raucher‘s screenplay is based on his own actual experience. At age 14 he really did get lucky with a heartsick 20something he called “Dorothy.” If only some wokester scolds from the 21st Century could have somehow been time-tripped back to 1942 Nantucket and saved poor Herman from the terrible trauma of making love with a beautiful woman at age 14.

Related: Posted on 11.22.21.