Unicorn Store (2017)
April 7, 2019 9:58 PM - Subscribe

A woman named Kit receives a mysterious invitation that would fulfill her childhood dreams.

(Disclaimer: if the premise, unicorns, or anything twee bothers you, you will want to skip this. If you like rainbows, unicorns and bling, give it a shot. The latter is the intended audience, clearly.)

Kit is a twentysomething who's just been failed out of art school for being too rainbow-colored-bling. She sucks it up and joins a temp agency, where she is immediately sexually harassed by the boss. Then she gets an invitation to "The Store," run by "The Salesman" (Samuel L. Jackson in a delightful series of fancy colored suits and glitter), who straight up offers to get her a unicorn. He doesn't exactly quote her a price, but he does tell her that she has to do things like provide the unicorn with a nice, stable home where people aren't fighting and stuff like that. To that end, Kit enlists a hardware store employee named Virgil to help her fix up her playhouse.

Also working on that career thing, Kit gets offered the opportunity to do a presentation on the "Mystic Vac." Which is goddamned amazing and probably needs to be seen for itself. She is wearing enormous amounts of fringe, Bedazzled the vacuum and throws confetti and glitter everywhere to test the vacuum.

But...is this unicorn thing real?

From this NPR article:

"This is not a movie for everyone. Kit is what a Manic Pixie Dream Girl would be like if the story were actually about her, if her quirks and energy and flights of fancy mostly affected her life, not someone else's. Her style, for sure, is what a lot of people would refer to as "twee," and that's if they felt generous. It's the kind of thing, particularly from an adult woman, that can carry the stink of affectation, of a persona adopted to seek attention with whimsy. It is Larson's performance and Samantha McIntyre's script that make it clear that no, this is really Kit. This is really her heart, and this is what makes her happy. For a unicorn, she's precisely the right sort of girl. So why does she feel like she needs to change?
posted by jenfullmoon (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am not the intended audience. I want nothing to do with unicorns or glitter. I have my shit together goddamnit and I haven't temped in years. And I loved this movie. Don't write it off based on the premise. Enjoy it for what it is.
posted by vverse23 at 11:43 PM on April 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

My kid insisted on watching this then wept furiously until bedtime that she has no unicorn.She also feels strongly that Kit's decision to give up her unicorn to the other woman was a stupid decision.

I liked it but felt it lacked the sweep of filming it could have had. Some shots were really beautiful and showed the promise of the unicorn palette but then it would reset to a fairly ordinary tv-movie frame, and not in a way that implied an ordinary/surreal division, just less commitment to color and light and cinema than it had the potential to be.

I was also very not thrilled by the Asian female role as written. Like, yay diversity and why does she have to be the cold yet sexy bitch? Hm.

I still really liked 80% of it and loved her daft sweet parents, the shout out that her problems are her own making and solving, and that she has a strong voice. Also Kenny fell into the lake is funny!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 2:09 AM on April 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

I liked it too! I thought the ending was a little bit anemic, but Mamoudou Athie is so VERY charming, and I'm always thrilled to see Joan Cusack in anything ever.
posted by exceptinsects at 10:29 AM on April 9, 2019

This is not a movie for everyone.

I don't agree with this. I think this is a reflexive reaction to a movie that is built around an explicitly female-coded aesthetic, although the rest of the review is more or less on point.

"Twee" is not my thing. I put this on as a semi-joke: "hey, Captain Marvel made a Lisa Frank movie, let's check it out."

I was cracking up the whole time and my viewing companion was bawling at the end. This is a really good movie. I recommend it to everyone.
posted by prize bull octorok at 8:36 AM on April 12, 2019 [6 favorites]

No movie is for everybody, but it only gets said about certain movies, and that’s always worth examining.
posted by maxsparber at 8:26 AM on April 13, 2019 [5 favorites]

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