Review: UNICORN STORE Is A Quirky And Impressive Feature Debut By Brie Larson

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Unicorn Store is a new comedy that is the feature directorial debut of Brie Larson. It is about a failed artist living with her parents who receives a mysterious invitation to fulfill one of her childhood dreams: owning a pet unicorn. It debuted at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and is finally making its way onto Netflix.

This film is a unique twist on the coming-of-age tale. Yes, we have seen movies about adults that are stuck in their childhood having to grow up, but have we seen a movie like that with unicorns? Not really. The premise of Samantha McIntyre’s script is creative, fun, and quirky. If nothing else, this film needs to be praised for its cool ideas.

The protagonist of the movie is certainly very compelling. Anyone who has ever felt like their dreams are distant from reality will see something to relate to in the character. Despite the heavily surreal and fantasy-based elements of the film, it still feels very honest and real in ways that are truly surprising.

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Although the message and symbolism is obvious, it is still meaningful. The protagonist’s quest for the unicorn represents her desire to return to a time in which she was happier and had less responsibility. The movie’s ultimate message is a common, but touching one: we all have a little bit of childhood wonder in ourselves even if we appear to have grown up.

On top of that, the film is simply a ton of fun to watch. It is filled to the brim with innocent and quirky humor that makes the movie breezy and refreshing to watch. This isn’t a dark and brooding film with deep commentary on the current state of society. Instead, it is a feel-good movie with an inspiring message, and those are just as important.

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The ensemble that was assembled for this movie was definitely quite impressive. Larson does an awesome job as the protagonist, bringing her humanity and charm to the role. It is obvious that she has a lot of passion for the character and the film. Samuel L. Jackson is absolutely hilarious in his role. It is super funny to see him in a pink suit ranting about unicorns. Bradley Whitford and Joan Cusack are also great as the protagonist’s parents.

On a technical level, the movie is quite strong. For a directorial debut, this is pretty impressive because it doesn’t feel pretentious like some first films by actor-turned-directors do. Larson is obviously very talented and it will be interesting to see what she does next if she gets any time off in her acting career. The cinematography and production design are both very colorful and do a great job of establishing the tone of the movie. The score is light, bouncy, and used quite well. That being said, the big payoff moment is a bit unsatisfying in the way it was shot.

Overall, Unicorn Store was a really solid comedy. It is enjoyable, has a great message, and is very well-directed by Larson. This is a very accessible film, both in terms of content and availability, so be sure to check it out!

Unicorn Store is available on Netflix beginning April 5.

By Sean Boelman

Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

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