The Unicorn Store is the first film to be produced, directed and starred by Brie Larson. It follows the story of a failed artist student Kit (Brie Larson) with a Peter Pan complex due to her over the top colourful childish aesthetic. Returning home to live with her parents Gladys (Joan Cusack) and Gene (Bradley Whitford), Kit consequently becomes depressed.
In order to grow up as she think she is supposed to, Kit takes up a temp job in a marketing company where her sole job is to do copies. In the workplace her co-workers have all very bland personalities; the awkward president of the company, Gary (Hamish Linklater) starts making inappropriate passes at her and Kit being as innocent as she is doesn’t even notice. All the while Kit is getting invitations to “what she needs” where she follows these ominous instructions and goes to a sketchy place which turns out to be bright and colourfully fun inside. The Salesman (Samuel L Jackson) offers her the chance to own a real-life unicorn, which coincidentally is a childhood dream of Kit. In order to earn said unicorn Kit must prove herself ready, building a home for it and other tasks like financial stability.
I’ve gotta say that this movie is not for the cynical, you must have a spark in you which does help you see the magic in the small things in life. It has a harsh but important contrast of the seriousness of growing up, and the fun part for all of us that want to believe. Larson does an amazing job as a big child, throwing tantrums and finding the confidence when she needed it the most, being unapologetic about her quirkiness. The relationship with her parents has an interesting point as they are trying the best they can with a difficult child/woman.
For most of the movie I was very weary of the salesman and the president of the company, taking advantage of someone so innocent but this tension is relieved accordingly at the climax of the film. However, the role of Virgil by (Mamoundou Athie) the carpenter guy who helps her build the stable chemistry with Kit felt a bit intermittent but to be honest he is still young. A word of warning, the camera work is very documentary style so it’s not very still, if you’re not really into this style of filming, this may annoy you deeply.
I would recommend Unicorn Store specifically to anyone who needs a pick me up if you’re feeling in the need to believe.