Unicorn Store (2017)

Unicorn Store
Director: Brie Larson
Writer: Samantha McIntyre
Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford, Mamoudou Athie, Hamish Linklater, Martha MacIsaac, Karan Soni, Annaleigh Ashford, Ryan Hansen, Mary Holland
Seen on: 13.4.2019

Kit (Brie Larson) is in her 20s, but would rather dream of rainbows and unicorns than grow up. She thought she could do just that in art school, but when she gets kicked out there, she has to return home to her parents (Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford) and figure out what other options she may have. While she is doing that, she starts working as a temp in a rather boring office. Just when Kit is about to give up on her dreams, she meets the Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson). He promises to fulfill her biggest wish: should she prove to be worthy, she can have a unicorn all of her own.

Unicorn Store is very twee – with that plot it would be hard to be anything else. Your appreciation of it will probably depend on how much you like this tweeness. I quite liked and enjoyed the film, although I’m not exactly falling over myself in enthusiasm.

The film poster showing Kit (Brie Larson) lying on grass in a rainbow sweater covered in colorful paint.

I usually don’t have a very high tolerance for cutesy or twee or quirky, or whatever you want to call it. You probably know the kind of films I’m talking about it. But with Unicorn Store, this vibe just fit the story so much and they lean so hard on it, making it tweeer than twee, that I didn’t mind it even a little bit.

And I think that this is probably due to the fantastic costume department that gives its all with both Kit’s and the Salesman’s outfits. Those outfits alone are absolutely worth watching the film, and I say that as someone who has no love for fashion, generally speaking. I’m just usually very bored by it (when I notice it at all). There is no chance of not noticing or being bored by the clothes here.

The Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) and Kit (Brie Larson) looking at something.

That being said, overall it manages to balance fantasy and reality nicely, so it isn’t just made of costumes and tweeness. The performances are great and there are some awesome people in good supporting roles (Cusack, Whitford, Linklater). Plus, Virgil (Mamoudou Athie) is like cuteness personified (continuing the trend from Patti Cake$).

So, Unicorn Store may not revolutionize cinema and it may not be awards material (except for the costumes) but it is sweet and left me with a smile on my face – and I’d say that’s more than enough to accomplish.

Kit (Brie Larson) and Virgil (Mamoudou Athie) looking at something.

Summarizing: cute. Sweet. Unicorns.

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