unicorn store

Stars: 2.5/5

"Unicorn Store" is pretty much what you would expect from a movie about an adult woman obsessed with unicorns — glitter-covered and sickeningly sweet. While it’s certainly colorful enough, the movie doesn’t follow through on the cast’s potential.

The movie follows Kit (Brie Larson), an adult woman who’s having a rough time and living with her parents after her artist dreams are crushed. She begins to turn things around after getting an invitation to a mysterious store, run by a man known simply as the salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) who tells her he can get her the thing she’s dreamed about for years — a real live unicorn.

The opening scene show Kit, exhilarated and covered in all sorts of paint and glitter, as she works on her art pieces, in direct contrast to the other artists, a bunch of pretentious men dressed in black, working in boring monochrome. She steps a little away from her work and then we see it — she’s smeared the canvas and the surrounding wall with a rainbow, a unicorn at the center.

Predictably, the others hate it. Even for the movie-watcher, it’s hard not to cringe at her manic unicorn frenzy. But even though it seems a little creepy that Kit, a fully grown woman, is obsessed with unicorns and has long conversations with her care bears, it’s actually really well done in the beginning of the movie.

You start to think that hey, maybe she’s got a point with all this childish whimsy, especially when she’s contrasted to the people around her and their unemotional ways. All of the supporting characters are really well-done, especially those who Kit interacts with in the workplace. Her boss, Gary (Hamish Linklater) is just the right amount of creepy and bland.

The way Linklater plays him is amazing. He practically outshines the main character with his hangdog attitude and really weird conversations. Gary sounds like Eeyore and is like the human equivalent of the color beige. When he and Kit meet for the first time, it’s because he shuffles up to her and points to a pound cake recipe he wants her to print out. Amazing.

There needed to be more Gary time, especially the way he uses his position in the company to act in very uncomfortable ways. This is one of the main flaws in the movie — the relationships and characters are really interesting, but not fleshed out enough or given enough screen time.

This is especially true for Virgil (Mamoudou Athie), Kit’s love interest who’s adorable but not really given a personality. Another really big issue was how quickly the movie becomes saccharine and boring. “Unicorn Store” was great in the beginning, funny and full of quirky new ideas, but then it completely deteriorated.

The latter half of the movie is just Kit making speeches about love, believing in yourself, that type of thing. While “Unicorn Store” has a lot of promise, it ends really poorly. It’s just too much sentimental stuff that’s really boring and saccharine. By the end, the viewer’s the one ready to barf rainbows.

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