Unicorn Store (2017) is an oddity even among oddball comedies. Sitting somewhere between corporate satire and a coming of age comedy, the story centres on Brie Larson’s child-like character and her (very late) journey into adulthood.
Working behind the camera for the first time, Brie Larson conjures strong comedic performances from her Cast. Funnily enough however, her own screen time is primarily what lets Unicorn Store down.
Old hands such as Joan Cusack and Samuel L Jackson produce some of the best moments of this quirky, hallucinatory, coming-of-age ‘indy’ but Larson’s portrayal of the naïve-dreamer completely misses the mark. She seems to have drawn too much on her role as Kate Gregson in United States of Tara here and the cutesiness is dialled up to such levels that it is at times excruciating.
Given Brie Larson has established herself as a tremendous dramatic Actor – Room (2015) is testament enough – this misfire therefore gives rise to the question of whether she can actually Direct. Given the inherent and almost tectonic tonal shifts of Unicorn Store’s narrative, I say we should give her the benefit of the doubt, for now.