Steve G 🐝’s review published on Letterboxd:
As someone who has not matured mentally since the age of about 14 and is obsessed with Adidas products, I ended up relating to Unicorn Store a lot more closely than I expected to.
Additionally, as someone who has struggled with living too much in my past, I also identified with it. Brie Larson's directorial debut is one that will be quickly dismissed as overly whimsical by many people, and not just the sexist weirdos giving it 0/10 on IMDb without even having seen it. I can see why it would garner such criticisms but as someone who normally hates that sort of film, I can't agree that it's the case here.
I didn't see Unicorn Store as a film that rested completely on whimsy or trivial matters at all. There's clearly a strong message here, of not living too much in the past but also not allowing your youth and dreams to completely die, that is the beating heart of Larson's film. And performance, for that matter, as it's clearly a subject close to her heart, leading to a heartfelt piece of work in the process.
It's certainly an odd film but who the hell cares as long as you enjoy it and feel as though what it's trying to say is actually getting across to you? It's also really funny and I laughed on a number of occasions at some quality one-liners, a recurring gag about kale (it really is fucking vile, come on) and Larson suggesting that Mamoudou Athie could pass for a Fox. And I thought I reocgnised him, it's Basterd from Patti Cake$!
I enjoyed seeing Larson showing off her comedy chops as well. I know her earlier career contained a lot of comedy but I haven't seen much of her early stuff. Her decision to have Joan Cusack play her mum is pure fantasy fulfilment in itself and a decision that I'm sure absolutely everyone will applaud and thank her for. It's always a pleasure to see her in anything.
This is a really promising debut and I sincerely hope that Larson doesn't go all Charles Laughton on us. A bit of a delight, really.