Film Review: Unicorn Store

I’ve been …haysitant… to get excited for unicorns ever since Cabin in the Woods, but Unicorn Store has me coming back around to these mythical beasts. Especially with Samuel L. Jackson providing the sales pitch.

Basic Premise: Not gonna lie, I thought this movie was simply about an artist who lost faith in her creativity and goes in search of self. I definitely did not assume the title was extremely literal. This girl is in search of self; but more importantly, she’s in search of unicorns.

Random Observation: The most unbelievable thing about this film is not the possibility that unicorns might exist, or that Brie Larson’s character didn’t assume the “never be alone again” and “don’t you want to be loved forever?” greeting cards were coming from a serial killer and immediately report them to the authorities, but that there is no Lisa Frank merch to be seen anywhere.

Brief Thoughts: I wish I could say I was surprised to see that Unicorn Store only has a 44/100 metascore, but there are a lot of people out there who are dead inside. Poor them.

Fortunately for myself I found this film, and the performances of everyone involved, pretty charming. I wasn’t sure when it started up because, as mentioned above, the premise was much more than I was expecting. And I can imagine had I come into this viewing in a closed off mood the humor would’ve probably fallen flat at my impenetrably skeptical and pessimistically cynical feet. But once I got comfortable with the story and characters I was able to enjoy the quirkiness, and I was able to appreciate the ways Brie Larson’s character reminded me of things I’ve struggled with myself. Hope in the attainability of happiness is something we should all cling to, and it had me begging for unicorns to be real for all our sakes.

Favorite Lines: I actually wrote down a handful of lines for this one, but if I had to choose one I’d go with the bit of dialog that spoke to me the most:

“What are your long term goals?”
“Uh… I would like to not be a great disappointment.”

Quick Question: Anyone else get uncomfortable when Bradley Whitford’s character stares out the window at his daughter and new friend hanging out in the backyard? All I’m saying is Mamoudou Athie better have a best friend in the TSA in case he needs help getting out of there.

Nominee For Best Supporting Performance: Normally this is more of a joke category considering I think I’ve only ever used it to point out a closet ghost in Crimson Peak and the puppy in Aquaman (though I still whole heartedly stand by that puppy being one of Nicole Kidman’s best scene partners ever), but I felt a mighty need to shout out Hamish Linklater. The role of someone with a quiet confidence that blinds them to their ability to make those around them uncomfortable is nothing new, but it didn’t feel like old hat watching Linklater’s performance.

Biggest Complaint: Speaking of the great supporting cast, Unicorn Store needed more Ryan Hansen.

If You Liked This: Another movie (with Karan Soni, in fact) that pushes you to hope for the unfathomable so a main character isn’t destroyed in the end is Safety Not Guaranteed. Mark Duplass is looking for someone to travel back in time with him, and it should be you.

Final Thoughts: Finally, a film Netflix has stamped its name on that I actually quite enjoyed! Not that I expected anything less from Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson. Larson and Jackson all day every day please!

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