Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Unicorn Store (2019)

Movie Name/Year: Unicorn Store (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Length: 92 Minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Production/Distribution: Netflix, The District, Rhea Films, Rip Cord Productions, 51 Entertainment, Hurwitz Creative
Director: Brie Larson
Writer: Samantha McIntyre
Actors: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Joan Cusack, Bradley Whitford, Mamoudou Athie, Hamish Linklater, Martha MacIsaac, Karan Soni

Blurb from IMDb: A woman named Kit receives a mysterious invitation that would fulfill her childhood dreams.

Cat’s Point of View:
It’s likely not often that the lead from a high-profile blockbuster such as Captain Marvel (2019) shares the spotlight of said box office smash with their own directorial debut. Unicorn Store followed closely on the heels of the Marvel powerhouse with its April Netflix release date. I’m guessing that the streaming giant was counting on that tie-in to draw in the viewers. It seems like a sure bet to me – but it was a gamble, nonetheless.

The question here is – did it pay off? I’m not so sure.

I was intrigued by the trailer and the film’s cast. I felt, surely, that a comedy with Samuel L. Jackson (The Other Guys, The Hateful Eight, Glass), Joan Cusack (Mars Needs Moms, Snatched, Instant Family), and Karan Soni (Deadpool, Office Uprising, Always Be My Maybe) as pillars of the supporting ensemble would be worth the watch. Even though the movie didn’t rank on our Top 20 list for April, it seemed certainly worth watching. Seemed is the key word there.

Unicorn Store did live up to the promise of its trailer, at least. There were funny moments and amusing groaners. I would even go so far as to say that there were endearing qualities in the film as well. Jackson was perfect as The Salesman. I mean, seriously – if Samuel L. Jackson promised to give me a unicorn, I might just believe him.

Larson’s character was relatable to some extent. If you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, you would have gotten a couple different responses. Early me would have told you I wanted to be a veterinarian because of my love of animals. Later, I would have explained how my passion for singing and a really special teacher inspired me to be a choir teacher. I was able to pursue my dream until reality and reason became a buzzkill. (It’s hard to build a career around your voice when you are allergic to the world and it’s the first thing to go when all the trees and grass conspire with dust to make you sick as a dog on a regular basis.) Going back to the drawing board of life sucks.

Beyond that, I’m afraid the movie lost me a little. I’m not entirely sure where the disconnect happened, but I can’t deny that it did.

Brie Larson is undeniably a solid bet as an actress. I can only imagine that with time and experience, her directorial talent will grow. Unicorn Store wasn’t too shabby for a debut, really – it just wasn’t hitting the right notes for me. I might just give it another watch-through and see if I might change my mind. Who knows – I might have just been tired and cranky when I watched. I certainly wouldn’t steer anyone away from giving it a chance, though.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 64%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 42%
Metascore – 44/100
Metacritic User Score – 2.6/10
IMDB Score – 5.5/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating2.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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