Unicorn Store is one of those films people will either love or hate. The methodically slow pace and strange blend of fantastical elements with the mundane is something that’s not always pulled off that well in the film. Having said that, Unicorn Store does have some good comedy placed through its 90 minute run time but the tonally inconsistent narrative and formulaic, coming-of-age story make this feel like more-of-the-same but in a slightly overlong format.
The story begins with Kit, an aspiring painter who loves all things unicorn-related. After her art piece is rejected unanimously by a panel of judges, she’s faced with the crushing reality of having to get a 9-5 job. Securing a position as a temp at an ad agency, a chance invitation promising to fulfill her childhood dreams sends her on a fantastical adventure to acquire a real unicorn. From here, the film then descends into a bizarre mishmash of ideas as Kit jumps between following the rules presented to her by The Salesman while struggling to remain motivated in her job with creepy boss Gary breathing down her neck.
On the surface level, there isn’t an awful lot in Unicorn Store that hasn’t been done more effectively elsewhere. The themes around letting go of your childhood, growing up and the crushing reality of the real world are things explored time and time again throughout the film. Kit’s increasingly flamboyant clothes and the saturated colours when talking to The Salesman only further reinforce this too. Thematically at least, Unicorn Store does do a good job exaggerating the mundane from the fantasy but this coming-of-age tale doesn’t feature anything particularly original or unique.
For much of Unicorn Store’s run time, the film feels overlong and fails to really make the most of its cast. Thematically at least, the film is pretty strong but the slow-paced story makes this feel more of a chore to sit through than it perhaps should. There will inevitably be some people who really resonate with this one but given the number of coming-of-age tales out there, Unicorn Store is not one that’s likely to be remembered in the long-term.
Verdict - 4/10