But the whole thing could have been hollow if Anderson hadn't assembled the perfect formula for a light romcom. Fresh, real faces come to the fore, and Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper and Benn Safdie are glimpsed in the episodes. We subconsciously expect a heart-wrenching drama from Anderson, but we get a chronology of events that, by the end of the film, increasingly works as something sedative and hilarious.
Completely different story is Alana Haim who sets a natural tone for the entire film - at least because she played herself and in partnership with her real family. The inner teenage of either 25 or 28 self-confident girl turns out to be much stronger. "It's weird that I'm hanging out with fifteen-year-olds," Alana says and does absolutely nothing about it.
But Anderson hasn't just created a confident, sassy girl whose image in other settings would have caused rather audience's dislike. Alana is a real 70s' heroine, trying to find herself, her acknowledgement , love, and just to figure out what to do next in the face of patriarchal unfreedom. But like Gary's case, once we believe in the righteousness of her actions, Alana starts monkeying around, sticking her tongue out and doing everything out of spite, exposing her inner child. Perhaps the main characters aren't so different.