‘Adulting’ while keeping our childhood imagination
By Casey Lee
Before heading over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson starred together in this little story of adults trying to live their childhood dreams. The question is, should we throw away our childhood desires to fit into an adult world, or do we need them to make sense of it all? Meet Kit, a vibrant artist of some talent who doesn't like to colour within the lines. Instead of adhering to the strict conventions of portrait art, she splashes her canvas with shapeless rainbows which in turn, earned her the disapproving marks of her teachers. Disgraced, disqualified and disillusioned, Kit drops out of art college and moves back to her parent's as she tries to figure out what to do with her budding adult life. After always being drilled as a disappointment (in her and parents' eyes), she decides to take up a dry, temporary job with a soulless ad agency.
While skirting around a vice president and mastering the copy machine, she receives a personal invitation to visit ‘The Store’, which promises to offer her heart's desire. After coming face-to-face with a pink-dressed Samuel L Jackson, she reveals her heart's desire of owning a unicorn. However, before she can get her unicorn, she has to meet with the store's conditions as to show that she is ready to own one.
With the process of acquiring the unicorn feeling like attaining adult responsibilities, the likability of its characters relies too heavy on sympathy instead of empathy. Although Kit appears to be the only mildly adjusted adult as compared to the rest of her uncomfortable colleagues and love interest, her plight and alienation are easily felt by a generation of viewers that would scream against the injustice of the world if they do not get what they want.
Although it doesn't seem to deliver on its full potential, ‘Unicorn Store’ is sprinkled with good intentions. Brie Larson's directorial debut (and Samantha McIntyre's first feature script) is a glittering guide (thanks to the prismatic camerawork of Brett Pawlak) on how to find a place for our inner child (and even embracing them by dancing on glitter on a conference table) in the face of the cold realities of being an adult, and being accountable for our beliefs. Kit's desire for a unicorn is marked with maturity as she learns to be responsible for her emotions, her welfare, and her connections to the people around her. While she eventually faces refusal and rebuttal for showing her childish side, it is through creativity and the impossible faith of getting a unicorn that she finally accepts herself and finds her place in the world. In any case, ‘Unicorn Store’ epitomizes the best advice it can give itself: "The most adult thing you can do is failing in what you really care about”.