Unicorn Store (2019)

Movie Title: Unicorn Store

Year Released: 2019

Rated: Not Rated

Runtime: 1h 32min

Genre: Fantasy, Comedy

Director: Brie Larson

Writer: Samantha McIntyre

Starring: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford, Karan Soni, Mamoudou Athie, Mary Holland, Hamish Linklater

Review: After failing out of art school and taking a humdrum office job, a whimsical painter named Kit (Brie Larson) gets a chance to fulfill her lifelong dream of adopting a unicorn when she meets a mysterious man known only as The Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson).

Where do I begin with Unicorn Store? For starters, this is Brie Larson's directorial debut. Known for winning an Academy Award in 2016 for Best Actress (The Room), and for playing the titular character in Captain Marvel and subsequent movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Larson directs and stars in this fantasy comedy. Samuel L. Jackson co-stars with Larson again as a goofy salesman with gold ribbon-adorned hair. Perfectly quirky for the always entertaining Jackson. As a sum of its parts, Unicorn Store should be applauded for its message, albeit lacking in execution to a degree. This film urges us to never forget our inner child, and hang on to the parts of us that make us who we are no matter what they may be. Everybody essentially has their "thing", whether it be sports, music, hobbies, etc. We all have things that we hold near and dear to us that help shape and mold our lives, especially in our earlier years. Larson's character, Kit, has always been enamored with unicorns. These magical creatures have always acted as sort of a safe haven for her, often giving her an outlet and an avenue of acceptance when it didn't seem like they were always available. I totally get that, and I think the sentiment is something that a lot of people can really resonate with and need to be reminded of from time to time.

The hard part here, is conveying this in a way that is both inspiring and appropriate. I think this film unfortunately loses its way at times as it toes the line from being inspirational to downright immature and illogical. I get that there are fantasy elements to this story, but it's the human elements that left me scratching my head. Kit wearing a wispy, glittery gown to work and giving a presentation while dousing the entire office in glitter is just plain silly. I think this film tried too hard to explain the importance of not losing your inner child without remembering the fact that we do actually have to grow up a little bit in order to function as an adult in society. It's almost as if this movie leans to extremes in order to perpetuate this model of immaturity that is oftentimes associated with the millennial generation. I totally get the message, and I think it's definitely a film that merits a watch for those types of people who are looking for a little motivation. You certainly can't knock this movie for a lack of originality, and fans of quirky, whimsical indie films will assuredly enjoy this. With that said, this film is definitely not for everyone. If you feel up for the task, don't wear any good clothes. For better or worse, you'll assuredly be covered in glitter and rainbows by the end. Seriously, there's a lot of glitter and rainbows. And a unicorn. There's definitely a real, living unicorn in this movie.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: According to Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson cast himself in the movie.


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