Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Review: "Unicorn Store" is a statement by Brie Larson

Unicorn Store Review
"If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans"

That's a quote my brother says all the time, he's said it a few times throughout life. I never quite felt the sting of that quote until recently. If you asked me a decade ago, where I'd be today, my answer would not look at all like the life I'm living right now. Sure, there are those who have their heart set on goals, and they achieve those goals. But some people have bad luck, or obstacles arise that you didn't see coming, or things just simply change. A combination of those three things kind of happened to me. But you know what? The life I am living right now is much better than I could ever imagine. I have a great wife and I have an adorable little daughter and those things are my main sources of happiness. Sometimes your goals change too, and I have different priorities now, so I am not sure I have failed yet.

Brie Larson plays Kit in "Unicorn Store," a movie she also happened to direct as well. Kit from the moment she was born was seemingly obsessed with unicorns. You know when your child and your imagination runs wild 24 hours a day and seven days a week? When I was five-years-old, I totally thought I could pull off being Batman. Of course my parents laughed, but I was totally serious. Kit obsessions forced her to want to take care of unicorns when she got older. But as she got older and older, that dream never went away. So much so, that now that she's almost 30, she's still obsessed with them. 

When we initially meet Kit, she's trying to make as an artist, but her taste is a little too...shall we say..girly. Because she's such a unicorn fan, they are front and center in all of her creations. She over-indulges with bright colors and glitter and it doesn't work for her in todays art scene. She goes home disappointed. It doesn't help that she has overbearing parents, who want her to get a job and have a normal life. But what is normal? How can we all have a normal. If everybody has different wants and needs, and hell people are just different in general, how do you define normal? But she eventually tries to plant her feet in a "big girl job."

Eventually she gets invited to meet The Salesman. He is played by the always wonderful Samuel L. Jackson. Its a typical out-of-left-field performance by Jackson and of course he nails it. He convinces Kit that he can get her a unicorn to take care of, but she has to complete certain tasks. She has to create a stable for it and a slew of other tasks. She goes for it, this is everything she's ever wanted. So what if it doesn't make sense, she's going to go for it. That's the big meaning of the movie, to follow your dreams. No matter what people say, complete your dreams. Also, be you. No matter what. Let your freak flag fly, who cares what anybody thinks.

The movie plays a fun game of keeping up the "is she really going to get a unicorn game." For a directorial debute, Larson may be up to something here. "Unicorn Store" is definitely more style than substance, but its a charming little film. It's got a solid cast also featuring Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford and Hamish Linklater. It took a few years to finally be picked up by Netflix. I don't know the story, but perhaps there is an underlying metaphor there. Keep your dreams up, even much later, they can still come true.

FINAL GRADE: B

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