Directed by and starring Brie Larson, Unicorn Store is a comedy that relies on quirky and absurd comedy to tell its story, but it strangely works. Originally, it premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival but was released widely to Netflix in 2019.
Kit (Brie Larson), a daydreaming girl who is obsessed with unicorns, gets kicked out of art school and returns home feeling down. Her Mom (Joan Cusack) and Dad (Bradley Whitford) want her to move on and try to get her romantically interested in her childhood friend Kevin (Hamish Linklater), who she sees as a rival for her parent’s attention and not a potential partner. Deciding it is time to grow up, she takes a temp job at a PR Firm where her new boss Gary () shows an interest in her. That all changes when she gets an invitation to ‘The Store.’ She goes and meets a quirky salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) who promises her a real unicorn if she can provide a horse stable, financial security, and a loving home. She recruits kind hardware store clerk Virgil (Mamoudou Athie) to assist while she takes her parents and co-workers on this strange journey.
I honestly did not know what to expect when I watched the trailer for this film (and after seeing Larson in Captain Marvel) I was not sure how to approach it when I saw she had also directed Unicorn Store.
That being said, I strangely enjoyed this movie. While the pacing was a bit slow, I found the quirky humor worked really well for the film. Larson’s character definitely had the outsider vibe, a person who wants to grow up, but is not really sure how. As everyone around her tells her to move on from the unicorn obsession, it becomes clear that the unicorn is not necessarily real, it represents the happiness in her life or lack thereof. In that way, it is a parable about balancing reality with your dreams while trying to search for that person or persons who will love you for being just you. It all comes together in a twisty climax that is surprisingly different than a lot of films.
Bottom line, Larson was definitely in her wheelhouse with this film. While Unicorn Store did have its issues, it captures that Millennial desire to be taken seriously, while also not wanting to do things too seriously. Its quirky, absurdist comedy fit right in and left the viewer feeling hopeful.
FAVORITE QUOTE: The most grown-up thing you can do is fail at the things you care about.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Strong language
Check out the trailer below:
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