but you may want to see the movie first before reading this review!
Unicorn Store is a 2017 independent movie starring and directed by Brie Larson. Kit (Brie Larson) is an art student who has failed art school and finds herself living in her parents' basement. Her childlike style with rainbow-coloured clothes and self-made beaded necklaces is out of step with everyone around her. Her parents (Joan Cusack and Bradley Whitford), despite being youth counsellors, have the effect of making her feel even worse. Depressed by this stereotypical example of failing at life, she joins a temp agency and gets a job at a marketing firm. Clearly, she doesn't belong there.
One day at work she receives a mysterious and exciting invitation to visit 'The Store'. At the store, the salesperson (Samuel L. Jackson) tells her that if she can prove herself by creating the right habitat for it to live in, then she can purchase a unicorn. Kit immediately sets to work to build a stable in her backyard, with the help of hardware store clerk Virgil (Mamoudou Athie). Meanwhile, at work she's tasked with creating an advertising campaign for a vacuum cleaner, while being low-key harrassed by her boss, and putting up with hostile colleagues.
The big question is -- is Kit having a mental breakdown, or do unicorns really exist?
Unicorn Store is full of contrasts. The drab, monotone atmosphere of the office is the antithesis of Kit's bright, colourful art and her excitement at the prospect of owning a unicorn. Her blossoming friendship with Virgil is so different from that with her parents, who unwittingly neglect her while living for the troubled youths who attend their camp. The movie is whimsical and fun, and I loved it. I have to admit, I saw a lot of myself in Kit -- whose creativity is rejected and is searching for meaning in life. I was clutching at my blanket in anticipation of how it would end, but thankfully it was satisfying. Unicorn Store teaches us that we should be ourselves, and we'll find a place to fit in if we follow our hearts.
Would I watch it again? Yes, several times!