Unicorn Store is Unique but Muddled

Despite winning the Oscar a few short years ago, Brie Larson is continually underrated as an actress. Her performance in Unicorn Store, a little film she also directed, is proof of her talent to the one-hit-wonder trolls and her best work since Room. She stars as Kit, a young woman in arrested development, living jobless in her parents’ basement until an exuberant Willy Wonka for adults (Samuel L. Jackson) comes a-calling selling “exactly what you need.” Unicorn Store is a Millennial coming-of-age movie about a woman in her late twenties, a bubble of joy who’s brought down to earth by the dull trappings of adulting and societal expectations. Should I mention the perils young women face navigating the playplace and the workplace? Store has a lot on its mind and little time to say it, but its chief flaw lays not in performance or content but point of view. Larson approaches the material as an objective observer of Kit, not as Kit herself. Lacking in whimsy, her directorial debut is a confusing affair, never sure whether to endorse Kit’s rose-colored glasses, her childish glee, or to send her packing on the inevitable journey to real adulthood. Larson’s performance, as well as Bradley Whitford and Joan Cusack as her quirky parents, keep it afloat when the plot going and themes get tough.

Grade: C+

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