Unicorn Store is a coming-of-age comedy film that premiered on Netflix on April 5, 2019 after its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2017.
The film is written by Samantha McIntyre and is Brie Larson’s feature directorial debut. Larson also co-produced the film with Lynette Howell Taylor, Paris Kasidokstas-Latsis, Terry Dougas, David Bernad, and Ruben Fleischer.
The District, Rip Cord Productions, Rhea Films, Sycamore Pictures, Hercules Film Fund, and 51 Entertainment are the production companies.
Larson also stars in Unicorn Store as kit alongside Samuel L. Jackson as The Salesman, Joan Cusack as Gladys, Bradley Whitford (Get Out) as Geene, Karan Soni (Deadpool) as Kevin, Mamoudou Athie as Virgil, Mary Holland as Joanie, Marth MacIsaac (Superbad) as Sabrina, Ryan Hansen (Party Down) as Brock, and Hamish Linklater as Kit’s creepy boss Gary.
Larson first auditioned for a role in the film a few years ago but did not get the part. The project stalled but after it was revived in 2016 Larson was invited to come on board as director and got the leading role as Kit.
Unicorn Store plot: What is it about?
Unicorn Store follows Kit (Brie Larson), a young adult who is forced to move back in with her doting parents — Gladys (Joan Cusack) and Gene (Bradley Whitford) — and take up a dull and uninspiring office job at a temp agency after dropping out of art school.
Kit is dissatisfied with her life and suffers depression. She soon begins to receive mysterious messages inviting her to a fairytale-like place called The Store where you can get anything you need.
She meets the mysterious Salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) who takes her on a tour of The Store which has an ice cream parlor and a unicorn salon. The Salesman promises Kit that she can at last live her childhood obsession with rainbows and unicorns, and fulfill her juvenile fantasy of adopting a unicorn only if she can provide a home and security for it.
Assisted by hardware store employee Virgil (Mamoudou Athie), she begins to build a home for the unicorn: A stable stocked with multicolored (rainbow) hay.
Larson described Unicorn Store as an “abstract self-portrait of myself.”
She said, “It’s totally a metaphorical journey of not only my experience of being an actor and learning how to be true to myself in the face of people telling me no or that I was wrong or telling me to change, but it was also directly my experience directing this film.”
Looking after the unicorn is clearly a metaphor for adult responsibility, whereas the film in general is all about growing up — while keeping alive the joy, imagination and dreams that come before adult-hood.