Jake Alda Coffey’s review published on Letterboxd:
I remember the excitement I had eagerly waiting for this movie for a year and a half to see this. I loved the concept. I’m a sucker for movies involving 1960s Hollywood. The subject could be anything centered around that time period, and I’d find it interesting. OUATIH was no different.
Alongside The Big Lebowski, I consider Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood the ultimate “hangout” movie; a movie that doesn’t rely on plot, but more so the characters and the settings around them. We get immersed into 1960s Hollywood where it’s full of glamour and hope. Throughout the movie there are Easter eggs and homages the golden age, which is something that I love.
What I found most cool about this movie though is seeing my literal neighborhood being turned into the 1960s. Seeing them eat at restaurants I eat at, wall the streets I drive by. Brad Pitt takes a turn onto a freeway entrance that I take almost every day. In some ways, it’s surreal seeing that.
I always go back and forth on how I feel about the ending. Given that it was Tarantino and knowing that a whole subplot was about Charlie Manson (whom we only see in one scene in the beginning even though he’s mentioned throughout the film) I finished Tarantino was going to alter reality in a certain way. He previously did it with Inglorious Basterds, having Hitler get assassinated in a theater. So I felt he was going to do something similar in this movie. Although I predicted the overall theme of how I thought it was going to happen, I was slightly off. I figured Sharon Tate was going to survive, but I thought she would be the one to fight off the Manson family. Or that she would still get attacked but Rick would stop by just in the Knick of time to save her. While the Manson Family members did die in this, it was primarily Cliff (with the little bit of help from Rick and his flame thrower) that ultimately put Tex and his minions to their demise. Ultimately you just have to accept this ending, as I have. When I first saw It in theaters I was mixed about the ending. I felt Tarantino should have stuck a little bit more to reality but after a couple of rewatched and thinking, I realized that it’s an acceptable ending.
This movie stands at 2 3/4 hours, but I just always want more from it. I love these characters and their little storylines. And the 1960s itself.