Review: Unicorn Store left out the magic


The promotional poster for “Unicorn Store”

Anna Woodward, Staff Writer

Movies have the power to uplift us, make us smile and remind us of our dreams. When I first saw the trailer for “Unicorn Store,” I thought it would make me smile and remind me what it was like to be a little kid. From the trailer, the movie seems like an uplifting tale about a woman finding comfort and finding herself with the help of her childhood dreams. While I didn’t hate this movie, it still disappointed me. I was excited to watch it, but instead found myself struggling to stay interested.

“Unicorn Store” tells the story of Kit (Brie Larson) who fails out of art school. In a state of sadness and heartbreak, she applies for an office job. As she tries to put herself out there in the workplace, she receives an invitation to a mysterious store. There, a salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) reveals to her that he has a unicorn he can give her, but only if she proves herself worthy of owning one. Kit has loved unicorns since she was a child and desperately spends the rest of the movie redeeming herself with the help of multiple side characters, including her boss, Gary, her parents and her love interest, Virgil.

Larson was not only the main character, but she directed the film. Despite Larson’s clear talent from previous roles, Kit’s character was awkward and boring to watch throughout the film. There were many times throughout “Unicorn Store”where a scene could have been very funny, but was instead drab and not entertaining. To some extent, realistic dialogue is important, but “Unicorn Store” focused on all-too realistic conversations the whole time, never the ones that make people laugh.

The writing warps Kit’s character from a potentially quirky and enchanting one to a child who throws tantrums when she doesn’t get what she wants. Yes, she is upset she didn’t meet her teacher’s expectations, but she just talks to her parents, who simply want to help, like an immature preteen. She may want to hold on to her childhood dreams, but she just comes off like a child who needs to grow up. It’s hard to root for her as the heroine until the last 20 minutes or so, when Kit’s character finally meets her potential.

There were two scenes, like when Kit gives a presentation at work and when she comes to terms with the impact that unicorns had on her life, that were captivating and perfectly executed. In these scenes, we were able to see Kit in a way that the rest of the movie lacked. She was authentic and was able to express all shades of her personality and background. These are the scenes that stuck with me the most, I just wish that the whole movie could’ve done the same.

While the writing made some scenes sound like a poorly made school project, the music and cinematography made “Unicorn Store” stand out and reflect the message of the film. The score accurately captured the mood of each scene, whether it was happy, anxious or heartfelt. Thanks to this, I was able to see more of the mystical, fantasy-like theme that was associated with “Unicorn Store.” The colors of the movie were vibrant in a “happy” scene and gray in a “boring” one.

“Unicorn Store” wasn’t completely a flop, but the trailer made me wish for sweeter things. With better writing, this film could’ve been one that made audiences laugh out loud, especially with such an experienced cast with comedic roles already under their belts. “Unicorn Store”‘s intentions were charming, but ultimately fell flat.